An Honest Liar

Synopsis: AN HONEST LIAR is a feature documentary about the world-famous magician, escape artist, and world-renowned enemy of deception, James 'The Amazing' Randi. The film brings to life Randi's intricate investigations that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers, and con-artists with quasi-religious fervor. A master deceiver who came out of the closet at the age of 81, Randi created fictional characters, fake psychics, and even turned his partner of 25 years, the artist Jose Alvarez, into a sham guru named Carlos. But when a shocking revelation in Randi's personal life is discovered, it isn't clear whether Randi is still the deceiver - or the deceived.
Production: Abramorama
  6 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

Some people cannot believe that a magician can fool them

in such a way that they can't figure it out.

But magicians can and magicians do.

Swindlers do, conmen do all the time.

They're not magicians, they're fakes.

They are lying to us, they're deceiving us.

It's OK to fool people, as long as you're doing that

to teach them a lesson which will better their knowledge

of how the real world works.

No matter how smart or well-educated you are,

you can be deceived.

Hello, how are you doing today?

Very well, thank you.

- Can I bring you something to...?

- Coffee!

Oh, yes, please. For me, coffee.

- I'll get you coffee in a minute, OK?

- OK.

Oh, my heart just started again, that's good. Always a good sign.

See, I've always had my battle with the psychics, the so-called -

and I use that word in quotations all the time, remember that!

People who are stealing money from the public,

cheating them and misinforming them.

That's the kind of thing that I've been fighting all my life.

Magicians are the most honest people in the world,

they tell you they are going to fool you, and then they do it.

Wait a minute, I have to worship here.



- James Randi is the author of The Faith Healers

and he's best known as an investigator of psychic

and miraculous claims.

Would you welcome, please, The Amazing Randi.

- Here he is! The Amazing Randi!


- What did you...would you tell us who you are?

- The Amazing Randi. Ta-da!

I was born at an early age in a log cabin I helped my father build.

By the time I was seven I was eleven. I grew up very fast.

I am a magician, I always have been a magician...

A conjurer, prestidigitator, legerdemainist...liar, cheat,

- charlatan and fake.


You're a master magician.

Some people have said that you're about the greatest escape artist since Houdini.

Randi has a real deep natural affection

for magic and this love of deception.

A good magician needs to be a little bit of a conman, I think.

He needs to be sort of a criminal type,

but not have enough guts to actually rob banks.

He loves magic. He spent his whole life as a performer, as a magician.

So he really resents anyone applying the techniques of magic

for any purpose other than entertainment.

Especially to convince people that

there is something psychic going on here, he thinks that an abomination.

Tonight on this stage you are going to meet a man

who claims he can move physical objects using the powers of his mind.


Now, you have been touring our country,

- debunking psychics, haven't you?

- I have indeed.

And I think that the solution is rather simple.

Now, what I have here is particles of a white plastic

which will rather conclusively show that Mr Hydrick

is merely blowing on both the page and on the pencil.

- James?

- Ready.

Randi says the public is being fleeced via trickery.

"I am going to tell you what's happening and more to the point,

"this is going to be a crusade to try and change the world."

If there is something to the paranormal,

let's find out what it is, if anything.

And on the other hand let's not be taken in by the claptrap

that is being offered us, and at our expense.

I just ingested six-and-a-half-days' worth of homeopathic sleeping pills.

- Why don't they affect me?


People say, what's the harm? Why do you care about this?

Then I saw Randi's answer, which was,

bad ideas can cause you serious damage or death.

The psychic surgeons, they operate with their bare hands

and profess to remove tumours,

malignant tissue, without any marks at all.

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Tyler Measom

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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