The Mad Magician

Synopsis: Don Gallico is a master at designing magical illusions which are sold by his employer, Mr. Ormond, to famous magicians such as Rinaldi. He is also a master of disguise and realistic mask design. When Don embarks upon his own career as Gallico the Great, showcasing his own masterful illusions, his dreams are shattered by Ormond and he turns to murder to vent his frustrations.
Director(s): John Brahm
Production: Columbia Pictures
72 min


Now at this point you

bring the music up, up...

up, up, up to a crescendo.


There now. This is where

i make my entrance.

Now, from here on, pianissimo,

keep it under while I talk.

Softly, softly, softly. That's right.

Ladies and gentlemen,

magic is the science of illusion,

the art of misdirecting thought.

So if you will try and keep your thoughts

on what I am doing, l'll...

There. That's fine, fine.

Sorry, sir. They're rehearsing inside.

No visitors.

But this is something special.

I have a lady friend in the show.

No smoking.

Oh, I'm sorry. I promised her

I'd be here for the opening

- miss Karen Lee?

- Miss Lee? Oh, yeah, yeah.

The little one with the legs.

Don't tell me you've never noticed them.

She's cute. Miss Lee!

Miss Lee. A gentleman to see you.

Alan. You got here after all.

You didn't think I'd miss your opening.

How's it going?

Like they always go with a new show.

Oh, I want you to meet Mr. gallico.

No, no, look,

i don't want to bother him now.

Oh, it'll do him good.

Make him forget his nervousness.

You'll like him.

Gus. Be sure that entrance is kept clear

for the buzz saw trick.

- Remember, it's got to be rolled

on in the dark. - Mr. gallico?

I'd like you to meet lieutenant Bruce

of the New York detective bureau.

- How are you? - He came all the way

from New York to see our opening show.

I can see how busy you are,

all this excitement.

Yes. Lt's especially exciting

for me, lieutenant,

since this is my first appearance

on any stage.

But Mr. gallico knows more about magic

than all the other magicians put together.

For years I've been inventing illusions

for big-name magicians

and watching them take all the bows.

Well, I finally caught the fever myself.

L'm like the playwright who wants

to get in there and read his own lines.

- I guess I'm just a ham at heart.

- Who isn't?

So I put this show together,

and if our luck holds out,

we're headed for Broadway.

Pardon me, please.

Mr. gallico, we're ready to rehearse

the buzz saw illusion.

L've sent out everybody

who doesn't have a part in it.

Good. Pull that curtain down,

and be sure the stage door is kept locked.


That trick is

the secret of our show.

You see, lieutenant, no magician considers

it a crime to steal from a competitor,

so we carefully guard all our new ideas.

This buzz saw trick of mine

is a prize shocker,

and I'm taking no chances.

We don't even trust the police.

She doesn't mean you, lieutenant.

You don't have to go.

I think I'd better. I'll be rooting

for you tonight. Good luck.

Thanks so much.

All right, now be sure

that stage door is locked.

All right.

This trick can put us over on Broadway.

It all depends on how it's done.

- L've made it as foolproof as possible,

but that saw is dangerous. -

it can rip its way through

anything short of steel.

All right, boys, take it from where

we place Karen on the table.

Excuse me, Mr.-

I didn't recognize you, Mr. gallico.

Is it really that good?

Do I look like Rinaldi?

Like his twin.

I don't know. This is the first time

any magician has ever attempted

an impersonation of one of his rivals.

Holy smoke! That's the end of their act.

Mr. gallico, you're on.

L'm ready.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Mr. gallico, who is a talented mimic,

will now present several

of his own illusions

as they would be done

by other famous magicians.

First, the great Rinaldi.

Ah, how cooling it is.

This is one convenience

we do not have in my place.

Let us have some more, please.

He not only looks like Rinaldi,

but he sounds like him.

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Crane Wilbur

Crane Wilbur (November 17, 1886 – October 18, 1973) was an American writer, actor and director for stage, radio and screen. He was born in Athens, New York. Wilbur is best remembered for playing Harry Marvin in The Perils of Pauline. He died in Toluca Lake, California.He was a prolific writer and director of at least 67 films from the silent era into the sound era, but it was as an actor that he found lasting recognition, particularly playing opposite Pearl White in the iconoclastic serial The Perils of Pauline. He brought to the first motion pictures merry eyes, a great, thick crop of wavy, black hair and an athlete's interest in swimming and horseback riding. Twelve years of stage experience prepared him for his venture into the new art of silent motion pictures. He was one of the first to explore the techniques required to communicate through the wordless shadows of the movies. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Mad Magician" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 May 2021. <>.

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