The Prestige

Corrected entry: When Robert Angiers (The Great Danton) meets Nikola Tesla for the first time at the laboratory in Colorado Springs, Tesla makes his grand entrance by walking straight through the crackling electrical discharge arcs of a full-size, fully-powered Tesla Coil. This is impossible, given that Tesla is not protected in any way from the multi-million-volt arcs of electricity and radio-frequency energy. In reality, an unprotected human being would suffer instant heart failure from the high-voltage discharge, and internal organs would literally cook from the extreme radio-frequencies. Oddly enough, the myth that an unprotected human being could survive within the Tesla Coil's discharge field was inadvertently started by Tesla himself, in real life, when he posed for double-exposure publicity photos that appear to show Tesla casually sitting and reading a book within the active discharge field.

Charles Austin Miller

Correction: Nikola Tesla, in this movie, is building a machine that uses electrical discharges for teleportation/duplication. The electrical currents he passes through are from the machine and not a fully powered Tesla coil, or magnifying transmitter. Next to that, at radio frequency the damage to the skin can be decreased by having a small metal object with you to deter the current and evenly disperse it over the body. Doing it just this once to show the effects is dangerous but not directly harmful. Since Tesla is an expert at the field he knows what frequencies are harmful and how to take precautions. He of course teaches those to the Great Danton who later on passes into electrical arcs himself for the trick.


The original submission is 100% correct as a factual error. The fictional correction might serve to explain a plot hole, but a fictional explanation does not negate the fact that a human being would die almost immediately within such a discharge field in real life.

Charles Austin Miller

Except it's not "such" a discharge field. It's the same type of arc that Danton passes through himself every night in his show. Like I said, in the movie it's not a fully powered tesla coil but a fictional device, thus any real life errors are irrelevant.


Corrected entry: When Angier and Cutter show the machine to Ackerman in the abandoned theater, it is shown that, after Angier enters the machine, he completely disappears. No duplicate is left behind. Since it is not a completed scenario, there is no trap door for a duplicate to fall in. He is seen disappearing, leaving none behind, and appearing at the other side of the theater to Ackerman's surprise. However, in the end of the movie it is revealed that this machine never disappeared anybody, it just created duplicates at a certain distance. So why didn't a duplicate remain in the machine when they showed it to Ackerman? And if the reason is that they could fix it, so a duplicate wouldn't remain, then why would they still create duplicates for the rest of the film? This little scene breaks all the logic of the film. (01:37:10)

Correction: It would not be unusual for magicians to ask theater owners for time to setup their trick beforehand so they don't give away their secrets. It's likely they had a previous off screen meeting with Ackerman where they set up the meeting we see and the trick is shown to him.

ctown28 Premium member

Corrected entry: Olivia brings Angier the notebook of Borden and Angier realizes, that it is encoded. "Even with the keyword it would take months to decode it." Furthermore, he admits to Allie in the Colorado Springs restaurant that the cypher changes with each day and is "time consuming to translate". However, after Angier received the keyword ("TESLA"), he can be seen several times reading the notebook casually as if he already decoded the whole book. Nevertheless he reacts surprised as if he has never seen the entries when he should have, namely WHILE DECODING the book. Particularly, in the last entry, Borden directly addresses Angier, telling him directly that he lured him to America on a wild goose chase. The moment Angier would have deciphered this, he would have the reaction he shows and not only after setting all the entries in a context whatsoever. The book he reads is actually the original notebook from Borden, not the one he uses to transcribe the translation, which is smaller. (00:33:05 - 01:22:45)


Correction: One was a notebook and one was a diary. Two separate "books"? Or at least different sections entirely. One wouldn't read all the the diary entries if they were desperately obsessed with reading the trick formula first. That would usually to an average man be the second place to look for information. Indeed there was probably two diaries or books. One that was "stolen" by Olivia and then a new one with current entries in it.

There is no evidence to support that Angier received two notebooks from Borden. We can only see the one book that Olivia brought him. Enrypting all the sections about magic tricks, but leaving at least the section in clear text where Angier is directly taunted, would have immediately crashed Borden's plan to send Angier half around the world, if Angier would have only once flipped through the pages for other clues that might help him decipher the book (like he did the moment he got the book from Olivia). Borden's whole plan was to send Angier to Colorado, but Angier only embarked on that journey after Borden told him the secret "Tesla" after Angier exhausted all his available options. It would also be uncharacteriscally arrogant for the Borden's who meticulously planned literally their whole life and not taking risks.


Corrected entry: When Angier asks Nikola Tesla to make him a machine for his magic act, Tesla makes a machine that can exactly duplicate human beings, down to their memories. Why would Nikola Tesla sell this machine to a lowly magician when it could be sold to his government for colossal amounts of money?

Correction: How is this a mistake? Tesla's motivations are his own - just because YOU feel that he should sell it to the government, it doesn't make it a mistake that he chooses to honour his deal with Angier, who, as we see in the film, is considerably more than just a lowly magician and undoubtedly compensated Tesla very well for his work.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: When Robert performs his 100 shows with his magic trick, he (or his clone) dies in the water tank and the other shows himself to the public above the audience. But when Alfred is backstage and tries to save Robert, the 'other Robert' does not show himself to the public. How does this person know there were troubles backstage? When the trick goes correctly, he shows up within seconds. At that point there wouldn't be enough of a commotion from backstage to tell him their plan had been carried out.

Correction: The "original" Angier sees Borden come up on the stage to examine the machine up close. He then assumes, correctly, that Borden will be sneaking behind the stage to find out more about how the trick works. He then knows that this is the night to put his plan into action (this is, after all, what he's been waiting for, that Borden would try to steal his secrets). When the clone Angier is created, he has exactly the same memories as the original, so he knows about Borden's spying and that the water tank is in place. He then hides away, leaving only one dead magician and one murder suspect.


Corrected entry: When Angier is shocked by Tesla's fence and falls down, his watch falls out of his pocket, but in the next shot it's back in.

Correction: Not true. The next time we see him, his watch is lying on his stomach. As he rolls over and gets to his knees, it falls off and dangles from the watch chain. We then see Andy Serkis for several seconds, in which time Angier has plenty of time to rise to his feet and tuck his watch back in its pocket.


Corrected entry: During the first trial scene Cutter states that he witnessed Borden simply "watching Mr. Angier drown". It is clear, however, that Cutter witnessed Borden trying to save Angier from drowning as he is seen in the background when Borden is attempting to smash the glass tank.

Correction: Borden didn't react immediately when he saw Angier drowning - he was shocked and took a few seconds before reaching for the axe. Cutter might think Borden reacted only after noticing him.


Corrected entry: If Alfred's twin was produced by Tesla's machine, Alfred would have understood Danton's trick immediately and had no need to sneak back stage and fall for the set up.

Correction: Alfred's twin was never produced by the Tesla's machine, he was his real biological twin. Alfred never actually had Tesla build any kind of machine for him, it was all a ruse to throw Danton off track.


Corrected entry: The use of Angier and Borden as plants for the water tank trick at the beginning makes no sense; they never wear any kind of disguise (except changing their clothes), so all it would take for the technique of the trick to become known would be for someone to see the show more than once, which would doubtless happen at some point.

Correction: They didn't wear any disguise that time, but that doesn't mean they always do so.


Corrected entry: Cutter knows about Angier drowning his clones and even helps him with the 'trick' by preventing Borden from smashing the tank. Why, then, is Cutter so shocked to see Angier alive after he comes home from the jail?

Correction: Cutter does not know about Angier drowning the duplicates. Angier makes sure Cutter doesn't know by telling him he needs his help "out front" to keep him away from the backstage area when his duplicates are drowned. Cutter honestly thought Borden had set the tank up to drown Angier and, upon seeing Angier already dead, Cutter stopped Borden from making a huge mess.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: Robert Angier's real surname is Caldlow, but he's married publicly to his wife Julia under his surname of Angier. Later on in the film after Julia's death, when Angier meets up with Cutter and Cutter explains why he can't get any work, Cutter says that nobody wants to hire the man "who killed Julia MacMillan on stage". Wouldn't she have been Julia Angier at that point?

Correction: Since Cutter and Angier were audience plants during those shows, it's not unlikely that Julia would've went by 'MacMillan' - either her maiden name or a stage name - to dissociate herself from her husband while performing.


Corrected entry: The box used to drown Angier's clone has glass sides, but they serve no purpose, other than to reveal for the camera what is happening inside.

Correction: Not so - there are numerous possibilities - a magician ordering multiples of that box wouldn't raise suspicion; he needed to confirm the clone died (he thought drowning was a merciful death); he kept the glass cases uncovered as a reminder to himself of the price he was paying. Not a plot hole. It is also the tank used earlier for each performance, which is hauled offstage and below, so no suspicion is raised with it being there.


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