Cy Endfield

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Sam Kesler » 01/05/05 10:22 PM

Can anyone comment on Cy Endfield (the man) and especially about the card magic published in Endfield's Entertaining Card Magic by Lewis Ganson (Supreme Magic). According to Who' Who in Magic it consisted of three parts - 1955, 1956, 1958.

Mr. Endfield was an amateur magician, movie writer, producer and director. He directed the semi-classic movie Zulu in 1962. According to Halliwell's Who's Who he died in 1995 at age 81.

Sounds like he was an interesting fellow.
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Postby Guest » 01/05/05 10:35 PM

Here is what Robert Gill wrote about Cy Endfield.

"Cy Endfield has for many years been acknowledged as one of America's most skilful [sic] card men. He gives his beautiful routines logical and entertaining plots, and always departs from traditional practice. In addition to the actual effects, Endfield's handling for standard sleights are explained in full details; as a result, this is an important reference source on card magic of a high order." [Magic as a Performing Art, Bowker 1976, p. 73]

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Postby Dale Shrimpton » 01/06/05 05:25 AM

entertaining card magic was originaly run in the Gen.
My magical Mentor spent quite a bit of Time with CY, and tells me that he realy was one of the best guys around.
He directed many other films than Zulu, often including a little magic. He even directed one of the tarzan movies,somehow working in a saw through set in the middle of the desert!
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Postby Sam Kesler » 01/06/05 07:49 AM

Thanks for the info, guys. I just won the book on ebay. Apparently I am getting the Supreme edition that includes all three parts. Looking forward to it. You can never have enough card tricks. ;)

I see that someone else is selling the three separate booklets.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/06/05 11:01 AM

I believe Cy Endfield was a film director who left the US for England during and because of the McCarthy witch trials.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/06/05 11:09 AM

Correct.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/06/05 11:10 AM

One of his greatest films, one that I suggest you find and view was simply titled, "ZULU."

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Postby Randy DiMarco » 01/06/05 02:24 PM

I think Anthony Brahams is in the process of writing a new book on the magic of Cy Endfield.
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Postby Don Spurrier » 01/06/05 05:47 PM

ZULU...a magnificent film (with gorgeous outdoor scenery) is based on a true story. It had, I believe, a very young Michael Caine in his first movie role. It is more than worthwhile to locate.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 01/06/05 05:55 PM

Cy Endfield also discovered Sean Connery -- the film (whose title I forget) is a gritty b&w pic about truck drivers.

He also invented a portable chess set where all the pieces fit inside each other to form one piece. Another of his inventions was a one-handed keyboard for computer entry (details are in PABULAR).

The Endfield books are really good and if they are republished one hopes it will be done correctly.
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Postby Guest » 01/06/05 07:54 PM

The film was the 1957 British film dirrected by

Cy Endfield " Hell Drivers " with Sean Connery.

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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/07/05 10:43 PM

Originally posted by Quentin Reynolds:
I believe Cy Endfield was a film director who left the US for England during and because of the McCarthy witch trials.
Did he leave out of sympathy? Was he a communist? or a fellow traveller?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/07/05 10:46 PM

Cy was blacklisted.
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Postby Guest » 01/09/05 03:46 PM

If it's alright with the powers that be, I'll post the obituary of Cy Enfield that was published in the June '95 Genii... It elaborates slightly on some of the above.

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Postby Guest » 01/10/05 05:55 PM

Well, until someone objects.....

Film director and cardman Cy Endfield passed away on April 16 [1995] at his home in England, at the age of 80. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he studied at Yale and then worked with the New Theater League in New York. From there he moved to Montreal, and then Hollywood, where an encounter with Orson Welles at a local magic shop led to work as an assistant with Welles' famous Mercury Theater group. After serving in the army during World War II he began directing short subjects for MGM, moving up to features with Gentleman Joe Palooka in 1946.

He continued directing feature films, but his American career was cut short in 1951, when his political activities during his college years caused him to be blacklisted during the repugnant McCarthy era. As a result, he relocated to England, and remained based there for the rest of his life. He resumed his directing work, at first using a pseudonym, and helmed many movies, including Zulu and Mysterious Island. His work was the subject of a tribute at the Telluride Film Festival in 1992, which occasioned his last visit to the country of his birth.

His creativity extended to other areas: in 1972 he designed a limited edition chess set using precious metals, to commemorate the Spassky-Fischer championship match. To magicians he is best known for a book trilogy, Cy Endfield's Entertaining Card Magic, written by Lewis Ganson and published by Harry Stanley's Unique Studio in London starting in 1955. His work can also be found in such magic magazines as the Phoenix and the Gen. During the early 1980s he published an unusual "coded alphabet" in Pabular, the close-up journal edited by Fred Robinson. In fact, this was a system for a one-handed computer keyboard that Endfield had invented, and he used his friend's magazine as a means for establishing the system in print. Pabular readers were somewhat perplexed!

He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and two daughters.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/10/05 09:13 PM

Sometime in the 1980s I spent the afternoon with Cy at the Yale or Harvard Club (can't recall which), where he was staying while in New York on a visit.
He wanted to do a new book on the card effects he'd devised since the 1950s which would also include the original books done by Ganson, but rewritten, and we talked at length. His health was not the best, even then. For whatever reason our discussions didn't produce a book.
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 01/11/05 01:48 AM

One of the prefaces to Frank Simon's "Versatile Card Magic" is by Cy Endfield and includes a few stories about their friendship.
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