Eric Allen Mr. Gary Pethe HUM-160 11-13-2013 “The Prestige”VRear Window’ The movie “The Prestige” starts out with a magician explaining the three parts of a trick; the pledge, where the audience is presented with an ordinary object; the turn, where the object is turned into something extraordinary; and the prestige, where the object is brought back. Magician Alfred Borden is sentenced to death for the murder of rival Robert Angier by drowning him in a water tank during one of Angier’s performances. Both began their careers as shills for “Milton the Magician” with JohnCutter and Angier’s wife Julia as his assistant. The pair observe an elderly Asian magician who is able to make a large fishbowl appear seemingly from nothing.
Borden realizes that the man’s frailty is in fact the act and comments that true magic requires commitment and sacrifice. Julia drowns during a performance of a water escape (in the same tank from the opening of the film). Angier blames Borden, who professes not to remember if he had tied her with a standard knot or an alternate which he had proposed.
The two go on to become magicians in their own right.Borden becomes “The Professor” with the enigmatic Bernard Fallon as his engineer, while Angier becomes “The Great Danton” with Cutter and assisted by the lovely Olivia Wenscombe. Borden meets and marries Sarah and they have a daughter, Jess, inspiring Angier’s Jealousy and anger. Angier sabotages Borden’s bullet catch, costing Borden two fingers.
Borden then ruins Angier’s victimless bird cage act, maiming an audience member, killing the dove, and damaging Angier’s reputation. Borden soon begins performing an impressive trick called The Transported Man, where he enters ne cabinet and exits another across the stage a moment later.Cutter insists that Borden is using a double, an answer which Angier refuses to accept. Nevertheless, Angier begins performing The New Transported Man using a double but becomes increasingly frustrated at having to end up below the stage while his double receives the adoration of the crowd. Angier is still not satisfied, and sends Olivia to discover Borden’s secret, but she betrays him. Borden once again sabotages Angier on stage, causing him to break his leg, and begins performing The Original Transported Man ith Olivia’s help allowing him to stage it more successfully.
Olivia delivers an encrypted diary to Angier which supposedly contains the secret to Borden’s trick. Angier and Cutter kidnap Fallon to force Borden to give them the key to the cypher. Upon learning that the key word is “Tesla”, Angier travels to Colorado Springs to meet with Nikola Tesla and enlists the inventor to make a machine which will allow him to truly perform the trick. Angier finishes deciphering Borden’s diary to discover it’s a fraud that Borden deliberately had Olivia give him. When a test of the machine ppears to fail, he angrily accuses Tesla of embezzling his money to pay for other experiments.However, he and Tesla soon discover that the machine works by creating an exact duplicate of whatever is placed inside it.
Angier returns to London, and reappearing in the back of the hall. Borden’s obsession with Angier and his affair with Olivia drives Sarah to hang herself. Borden attends Angier’s performance to discover the secret of his trick and forces his way backstage where he discovers Angier drowning in the locked water cell. Following Borden’s execution, Cutter learns hat Caldlow has taken in Borden’s daughter as a ward and has bought all of Angier’s tricks, including the machine.When he visits Caldlow’s estate to plead for its destruction, he recognizes Angier who admits he has always been Lord Caldlow but pretended to be the American Robert Angier to spare his family the embarrassment of his theatrical career. Cutter accompanies Angier as he stores the machine beneath the theater with the rest of the “prestige materials.
” On his way out, Cutter recognizes and nods to Fallon as Fallon enters and shoots Angier. Fallon’s disguise emoved, he tells the dying Angier that he and Borden were identical twins who shared their lives on stage and off.He removed the ends of his own fingers to duplicate Borden’s injury and the two shared lovers to maintain the illusion of being a single man. Fallon reveals they each loved one woman. Borden loved their mistress Olivia, while Fallon loved their late wife Sarah. Fallon berates Angier for not having the courage to perform his own magic instead resorting to stealing his trick but Angier explains that it took courage to enter the machine every night knowing that he ould drown in the box while his duplicate appeared at the back of the theater.Fallon leaves him to die as a fire consumes the building, casting light on rows of tanks containing drowned Anglers.
The cinematography of “The Prestige” and “Rear Window’ are similar in that they both use a lot of wide shots and various camera angles to shed light on sounds on and off the screen. Both movies have a lead character trying to spy on other characters in the movie for various reasons and both have suspicions about these various characters that either end up being true.Alfred Hitchcock uses basically the same camera angle to leer out the window of L. B. Jeffries apartment and Christopher Nolan uses a ton of different camera angles to achieve the shock and awe of a magician’s performance. Hitchcock’s movie takes place on one set, using different lighting and angles to present different scenes and times of day. Nolan’s movie on the other hand takes place on several different sets but the majority of the movie takes place on stage with an audience to watch these two magicians compete for their attention.
Films Cited The Prestige” Year Released: 2006 Director: Christopher Nolan Writers: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan Cast; Hugh Jackman Robert Angier Alfred Borden Michael Caine Cutter Piper Perabo Julia McCullough Rebecca Hall Sarah Borden Scarlett Johansson Olivia Wenscombe “Rear Window’ Year Released: 1954 Director: Alfred Hitchcock Writers: John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (short story) James Stewart L. B. Jeff Jefferies Grace Kelly Lisa Carol Fremont Wendell Corey Det. Lt. Thomas J.
Doyle Thelma Ritter Stella Raymond Burr Lars Thorwald