The Prestige

New this month Factual error: 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.

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Charles Austin Miller
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New this month Suggested 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.

lionhead

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

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Quotes

Alfred Borden: Everything's going to be all right, because I love you very much.
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Mistakes

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.

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Trivia

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.

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