The Prestige

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.


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.


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.



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.

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.


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.


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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Alfred Borden: Everything's going to be all right, because I love you very much.
Sarah: Say it again.
Alfred Borden: I love you.
Sarah: Not today.
Alfred Borden: What do you mean?
Sarah: Well some days it's not true. Maybe today you're more in love with magic. I like being able to tell the difference, it makes the days it is true mean something.



Julia dies in the underwater escape trick tank because the axe couldn't get her out in time. However, if she was able to open the lid from inside the tank, get up, over, and down, then close the lid (all quickly, silently, and without assistance) when the trick goes properly, then there is no reason that the four men standing around could not have simply lifted the lid, either acting a key in the fake padlock to preserve the trick, or using a key if it's real. At this point she could have gotten her head above water and draped her hands over the side of the tank to stay up. That done, the crisis is over, and she must only wait to calm down enough to get herself down, or be assisted. Cutter built the tank, so he knew how strong the glass was. The only explanation for using the axe was to allow Julia's death, thus advancing the plot.



During Borden's performance which ends with Angier shooting him, on at least two occasions the bill for the show can be seen off to one side. About halfway down is the name "Harry Dresden", the name of the wizard protagonist from the Dresden Files book series by Jim Butcher.