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Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic (I/II) by Choices Select

(c. 2002) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Effect: Explore the rich, fascinating culture and history of magic through this six-part series, which takes you inside an alluring and enchanting world. It’s all here, from the mechanical automata of Robert-Houdin to the elaborate illusions of Penn and Teller, from the death-defying escapes of Houdini to the bizarre and tragic feats of the sideshow performers. Come backstage and see what’s behind the curtain.

Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic Part One. Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin the celebrated French conjurer and namesake of Houdini, has gone down in magic history as “The Father of Modern Magic.” Beginning in 1845, Robert Houdin threw away the robes and conical caps of conjurers past and donned the now familiar magicians’ evening clothes, bringing magic into the modern age. Part scientist and part wizard, Robert Houdin amazed his audiences, whether it be through suspending his young son in mid-air, exercising his “Second Sight”, or demonstrating his mechanical automaton marvels “Antonio Diavolo: The Trapeze Artist” and “The Fantastic Orange Tree.” This episode is the story of those glorious years in Paris. And a mission to Algeria in the service of his country to do magical battle with the warring Marabout priests.

Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic Part Two. The next six episodes continue to take you inside the alluring and enchanted world of magic: from the kings of magic, the Blackstones, to the supreme innovators, the Maskelynes, from the legendary performers known as the Royal Dynasty to the women pioneers of today. Watch the sleight-of-hand artistry of Dai Vernon and the mind-bending feats of the mentalists. Come backstage and see what’s behind the curtain!

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Approx. Price: $44.00 (2003) ***

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