Best Illusion ever!!

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby John McDonald » 06/06/03 04:15 PM

Which Illusion do you think is the best and why?

Is it Harry Blackstone juniors floating lightbulb? David Copperifeld's Buzz saw? The Pendragons sub trunk? Victor Voyutko's floating, linking rings or something else?

I would be really interested to hear your personal favourite.

Best wishes

john :D
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Postby Steve Hook » 06/06/03 04:46 PM

All those are great, of course. Copperfield's "Vanishing Lear Jet" was one of his best, too.

But my vote is for Han Moretti's carboard-box-swords-and-ducks illusion. Simple props. Simply amazing.

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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 05:42 PM

The best illusion I ever saw was in Boston at the John Hancock in the late 40's early 50's. The magician had this wonderful large silk about six feet wide. He showed both sides. One side was black the other red. It was like a giant egg bag. He would reach in the bag and pull out an instrument ie claranet, trumpet, etc. He would play the instrument then hand it to the assistant. He would then flap the silk vertically, then show both sides, then reach in and pull out another instrument.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/06/03 07:27 PM

The first illusion that I recall really frying me was Harry Blackstone (Sr.) doing the Disembodied Princess, then on the same show the Drum that can't be Beat... the appearance of the donkey on stage put me away.

Seeing Robert Harbin (himself) do Zig Zag... another killer.

Seeing Phoa Yan Tiong doing his cut/restored handkerchief nailed me badly.

Copperfield's Flying has to be high on the list (pun intended).

Seeing Doug Henning do Paul Curry's trick where the rope is cut, the knot is tied, then the knot is slid to another spot on the rope and untied is another unforgetable.

I like Moretti's Paper Fir Tree suspension better than the box, but not by much.

Seeing Slydini across the table do his coin work... argh... pure pure mojo.

Lance Burton's vanish of the girl under her cape.

I could go on...

Veronin's self levitation.

Rudy Coby's 3-legged man.

Mike Caldwell's Sun and Moon.

Persi Diaconis with a deck of cards.

Marty Goldstien dealing blackjack with a cooler in a Vegas Casino...

all highlights...

Ken Brooke doing his complete act one night for three of us. :D :D :D :D :D
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Postby Guest » 06/06/03 07:54 PM

Pete - I understood the sliding knot trick Henning did was Steinmeyer's "Knot Unexpected." Is that trick different from the one Henning did (on the Tonight show and fried me) or is it one and the same? --Asrah
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/06/03 11:09 PM

I believe Steinmeyers came well after the Pual Curry one. Curry's was totally unbelievable. I was sitting in the front row of a theater in NY (at a University) with Charlie Reynolds and when Douglas untied that knot, I literally gasped and fell to the floor out of my seat.

I was dumbfounded.

It is published. It requires two assistants. I think Steinmeyer devised a way to do a similar effect without the assistants.

I also worked out a way using rubber cement joints and Pavel markets "super walking knot" which is a totally different, yet almost as effective as Curry's.

The Curry one is one I have been working on mentally and have a way to do it with only one assistant.

And another with NO assistant, but you have to OPEN with it. You walk on with a coil of rope. Tie one end to a chair, Stand at the other side of the stage and have a spectator cut rope anywhere and tie the knot.

Then the spectator him/herself slides the rope, stops anywhere and unties it.

Pretty complex and may be expensive, but would KILL.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 06/06/03 11:39 PM

In Steinmeyer's version, after you move the knot and untie the rope, you can give the rope to the spectators.

It's in "Device and Illusion," p. 109.

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Postby John McDonald » 06/07/03 01:00 PM

Yes I'd forgotton about Hans Moretti's sword box. That could come under the most dangerous category as well. Truly a great illusion and illusionist. Especially when he makes a full costume change including makeup and wig and emerges with a chicken on his head.

I must admit my own personal favourites are either David Copperfield's buzz saw or flying or Harry Blackstone juniors version of the floating lightbulb.

Which of these illsuions do you think creates the biggest emotional impact on the audience?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/07/03 01:40 PM

One of the best illusions I've ever seen is when Greg Frewen levitates a woman and then walks straight forward, through her body! What a whack in the head!!!!
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Postby John McDonald » 06/07/03 01:49 PM

That sounds impossible!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/07/03 04:55 PM

And it looked just as impossible--exactly as a magic trick should! I have no idea how it was done.
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Postby Kendrix » 06/08/03 09:55 AM

I think there are 2 that are neck and neck. Copperfield's Origami and Copperfield's Interlude or Soul Passage. The Pendagon's Subtrunk is a close third. When I saw the Origami with Joanie Spina as his assistant it was pure perfection. The Interlude stunned me the first time I saw it. I have seen these performed dozens of times by other magicians but, no one comes close to David's performances.
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Postby Carl Mercurio » 06/09/03 11:02 AM

I always remember the Copperfield illusion from his Dreams and Nightmares show on Broadway, in which two women have this semi-erotic scene on a canopy bed. He takes them to the other side of the stage and vanishes both women by throwing a sheet over them (actually, exposed to viewers in the cheap balcony seats where I was). Then he undoes the curtains that are tied to the posts of the canopy bed and the women just materialize from the folds! That one just blew me away.
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Postby Guest » 06/16/03 10:24 AM

Many wonderful illusions have been mentioned, and it's hard to mention only one. However, for me, it is the Moretti Box. I want back time after time to see performances of in "It's Magic".

Years ago, Jay Marshall mentioned to me that his favorite all time Illusion was the original Blackstone Tire Illusion as done by Harry Sr. Harry Jr did a version, but it was not quite the same method.

Since Pete Biro mentioned some smaller effects, I'll mention my favorite piece of apparatus magic. It's Richiardi's version of the classic Orange, Lemon, Egg and Canary trick. I've watched the video of it countless times, and the choreography is simply marvelous. Reminds me of the routining of Cardini's act. Dimmairre and Tommy Wonder do fine versions, but Richiardi's was the greatest. (My opinion, of course.)

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Postby Leonard Hevia » 06/16/03 06:13 PM

Hi John-I remember Jonathan Neal Brown's one-handed vanish of a red silk from a clear tube on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the Fall of 1984.

This effect was his opener. He displayed (held up) the tube with the red silk inside in his right hand, pushed his right sleeve up with his left hand and the silk vanished instantly. A real fooler because the silk never went up the sleeve or in his jacket via pull. It was not lamp and chimney as I knew it. It took me a few years to find the answer in the Rice books.
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Postby Chance Wolf » 06/16/03 10:55 PM

This is almost impossible to answer so let me choose one Illusion based on all counts of what I look for in the perfect Illusion.
Jim Steinmeyer gets my vote for his creation of the Origami Box. As a designer and creator myself, it is my humble opinion that Jim scored 100% on everything an Illusion should be. Well Designed, Theme, Effect, Level of Mystery, Method, Innovation and the fact that it simply fooled the hell out of EVERY magician I spoke to as well as myself of course.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/17/03 09:15 AM

Mr. Hevia... what vol. and what page? :confused:
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Postby Pete McCabe » 06/17/03 10:33 AM

The best illusion I can remember was standing in Tannen's one day in the late 70s. A guy was holding a half-dollar, and he began tossing it from hand to hand.

Gradually I noticed that the tossing motion had become a hand-wiping motion and the coin was gone. A few minutes later I noticed this person had a coin again, and the process was repeated.

About the 8th or 9th time I saw it, I was able to catch the coin being sleeved. But the real illusion was the way the tossing motion slowly morphed into a brushing off of the fingers motion. That's what made this the perfect illusion to me.

By the way it was David Roth.
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Postby Frank Valenti » 06/17/03 02:49 PM

One of my favorites is the opening from David Copperfield's last TV special. 4 guys pick up a platform and a curtain comes down from the rafters and covers the platform for only a moment and the David is standing there. My words cannot descibe how beautiful and amazing it was. I know it is a take off of his reappearance from when he was locked in the safe and the building explodes but I think the newer version is much better.

Also Kalin & Jinger's version of the Selbit/Wakling sawing in half is another of my favorites.

Thanks,
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 06/17/03 04:29 PM

Hi Mr. Biro-The answer to JNB's silk vanish is in the first volume of the Rice books. I would be happy to fill you in by e-mail. I'm surprised I never saw that vanish performed again by any magician. It is really clever.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/17/03 06:18 PM

Thanks, will go open Rice No. 1. :genii:
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Postby Guest » 06/24/03 11:59 PM

Hi all,

My favorite of all time (so far) is Moretti's Box. I remember working behind Joe Stevens' booth at one of the Midwest Jubilees (in St. Louis). He was scheduled to shoot the Moretti video in Wichita right after said convention.

It was real interesting, as Joe flew back to Wichita, and we drove Joe's van back. All of Han's props (including the ducks and chickens) were in the back of the van. We had to listen to those all the way from St. Louis to Wichita (it was a long trip).

Blessings,

Bob Phillips
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Postby Guest » 08/13/03 03:21 PM

Frank I must agree with you. Copperfields opening with the platform, floors me every time I see it. The way he builds the suspence of the effect is truly magical. I have the show on tape and everytime I show it to a friend you can see their mouth drop to the floor. Amazing. It all about the presentation.
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Postby Ted Leon » 08/14/03 12:31 AM

S&R's Asrah, the most beautiful I've ever seen.
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Postby C. Hampton » 08/14/03 05:29 AM

I won't say that this is the best illusion, but I remember when I saw Cheporonenko do his Russian dolls act that I was completely baffled.
He performed in a lot of convention about a decade ago, but I have not hear from him in a long time.

Does anyone recalls this act?

Carl, I also had the pleasure to watch the Dreams and Nightmares in Broadway and it was a truly magical experience.
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Postby Doc Dixon » 08/14/03 05:49 AM

Best illusion ever? For me, there's no competition. It's Del Ray's routine with the frog and the rabbit. I was never fooled so badly as when the frog did the "handstand" on the cup. Sure, there are bigger tricks, but the combination of powerful effect with his wonderful and unique persona make it number one for me.

A great illusion from the greatest close-up magician I've ever seen.

Working hard,

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Postby C. Hampton » 08/16/03 04:04 PM

I cannot believe no one recalls the cheporonenko act, where he came to stage with a cape that he took off and shook around only to produce a bunch of russian dolls and finally his wife, that appeard and dissapear from the folds of the cape.

Anyone????
Does anyone knows the where abouts of these great performers??? :confused:
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Postby smokemist » 01/13/06 10:11 AM

dc's laser illusion, because no use of boxes or any other apparent apparatus, I was floored!

Floating lightbulb, vanishing birdcage to.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/13/06 11:24 AM

My favorite illusion is still Doug Hennings Things That Go Bump in the Night. It is based on the Million Dollar Mystery, but I didnt know that all those years ago when I saw it for the first time. It completely floored me, especially when he produced a tiger out of that little box at the end. Lance Burton is doing a version with an American Indian theme.

Another one I like is Franz Hararys Aqua. Its an impossible looking walking through a woman effect. I saw him perform it at the Castle and its a good thing: if I had seen it on the TV I would have sworn it was a camera trick.

And David Copperfield does this little thing where he makes the middle of his arm disappear. I dont know what its called, but I think it might be the best illusion he does and its just a short hunk done between the big productions.

I have no idea how this or Aqua is done, and I dont think I want to know. Seeing them gives me that feeling I had all those years ago when I saw Henning. And I love that feeling!

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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/13/06 11:31 AM

Blackstone Jr. Doing the floating light bulb. Jack Gwynne doing the Blade Box or the stack of fish bowls. Billy Bishop an Ann doing the rope tie or the canvas covered box escape. Don Alan doing the big nut in the hat. Virgil and Julie doing the spirit cabinet. Dai Vernon doing the wand spin.

Just some thoughts.
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