Top 100 Quotes From The Prestige

- I hope that whatever you were doing with my money was more worthwhile...
- ...Mr. Tesla.

- If you understand an obsession, then you know you won't change my mind.
- So be it.
- Will you build it?
- I have already begun to build it,
- Mr. Angier.
- I hope you enjoy the mountain air.
- This will take some time.

- Are either of you two gentlemen sailors?
- No.
- I'm sure you can both tie a strong knot.

Robert: But here, at the turn, I must leave you Borden. Yes, you, Borden, sitting there in your cell, awaiting your death. For my murder.

- He's a no-talent magician, and they're calling him...
- ...the bloody best in England. Why?
- Fifty yards in a second. In a second!
- And all that we know is he uses a trap door.
- Brilliant. What is going on under that stage? Huh?
- Why can't you outthink him?

Robert: [to Borden] You always were the better magician. We both know that. Whatever your secret was, you have to agree, mine is better.

Cutter: Obsession is a young man's game

[Borden shoots Angier in the waist, picking up the red rubber ball, when the two reveal their prestige to one another]
Robert: A brother... a twin. You were Fallon... the whole time?
Alfred: No. We were both Fallon. And we were both Borden.
Robert: [panting] Were you - were you the one who went into the box or the one who came back out?
Alfred: We took turns. The trick is where we would swap.
[we see the flashback of both twins performing The Transported Man]
Robert: [breathing heavily] Cutter knew. Cutter knew. But I told him it was too simple, too easy.
Alfred: No... simple, maybe, but not easy. There's nothing easy about two men sharing one life.
[we see the flashback showing one of the twins cutting the other twins' fingers off]
Robert: Wh-What about Olivia? And your wife?
Alfred: We each loved one of them.
[we see the flashback of both lovers]
Alfred: I loved Sarah. He loved Olivia. We each had half a full life, really, which was enough for us. Just... but not for them. You see, sacrifice, Robert - that's the price of a good trick. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?
Robert: [labored breathing] I've - I've made sacrifices.
[wheezing]
Robert: Yes.
Alfred: It takes nothing to steal another man's work.
Robert: It takes everything.
[we see the flashback of Angier killing the clone of himself while doing The Real Transported Man trick]
Robert: It took courage... it took courage to climb into that machine every night... not knowing... if I'd be the man in the box... or the prestige. Do you want - want to see. What it cost me? Y-you didn't see where you are, did you? Look. Look
Alfred: Look here... you went halfway around the world. You spent a fortune. You did terrible things... really terrible things, Robert. And all for nothing.
Robert: For nothing?
Alfred: Yeah.
Robert: You never understood... why we did this? The audience knows the truth - the world is simple... and miserable... solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder. And then you... then you got to see something very special. You really don't know? It was... it was the look on their faces.
[Angier wheezes and exhales, collapsing dead, and Borden walks out of the theatre alone]

- I told you, John...
- ...I don't want you backstage on this one.
- ANGIER: I would like to invite you to come up on-stage now...
- ...so that you can examine the machine for yourselves.
- Hey, where do you think you're going?
- I'm part of the bloody act, you fool.
- Who was that?

- I'm sorry. I need this to heal so I can go back to work.
- Alfred, face things. What tricks can you perform with this kind of injury?
- I can do card pulls.
- I can do some prop tricks.
- I can still do that. And I can do the trick that I've been telling you about.
- The one that they're gonna remember me for.
- Come on.

Nikola: I apologize for leaving without saying goodbye, but I seem to have outstayed my welcome in Colorado. The truly extraordinary is not permitted in science and industry. Perhaps you'll find more luck in your field, where people are happy to be mystified. You will find what you are looking for in this box. Alley has written you a thorough set of instructions. I add only one suggestion on using the machine: destroy it. Drop it to the bottom of the deepest ocean. Such a thing will bring you only misery.

- Drop it to the bottom of the deepest ocean.
- Such a thing will bring you only misery.
- ANGIER: Tesla's warning is as unheeded as he knew it would be.
- Today, I tested the machine...
- ...taking precautions in case Tesla hadn't ironed out the kinks in its operation.
- I mean, if it went wrong,
- I would not wanna live like that for long.

Judge: What a way to kill someone.
Cutter: They're magicians, your honor. Men who live by dressing up plain and simple truths to shock, to amaze.
Judge: Even without an audience?
Cutter: There was an audience. You see, this water tank was of particular significance to these two men. Particularly dreadful significance.

- Look...
- ...I'll go to his workshop and stage a break-in.
- He'll know you took it.
- Yes, me. Not you.
- Understand?

Robert: It was the greatest magic trick I've ever seen.

- You see, this water tank...
- ...was of particular significance to these two men.
- Particularly awful significance.
Milton: Which of you brave souls is willing to bind this lovely young woman?
- If you would tie her wrists.
- Bind her feet around the ankle.

[last lines]
Cutter: Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

- ...you will meet your end.
- No one cares about the man in the box.
- Cutter?
- Cutter?
- WARDEN: Do you have anything to say?
- Abracadabra.

- I'm trying, Olivia.
- I'll get dressed.
- Yeah.
- I saw Fallon hanging around again.
- There's something about that man I don't trust.
- You trust me? Then trust Fallon.
- He protects the things that I care about.

- Thank you.
- Who's got a bloody key?
- ANGIER: February 8th, 1899.
- Today, finally a breakthrough.
- Tesla's agreed to see me.
- It's perfectly safe.

Nikola: You're familiar with the phrase "man's reach exceeds his grasp"? It's a lie: man's grasp exceeds his nerve.

- The Great Danton.
- Do you like it?
- But it's sophisticated.
- It's French.
- ANGIER: Borden writes as if no one but he understood the true nature of magic.
- But what does he know of self-sacrifice?
- You bloody fool.

- Not long now.
- Our equipment requires a great deal of current.
- Tesla electrified the whole town...
- ...in exchange for using the generators when we need to.
- We do our tests when the townspeople are asleep.
- Mr. Tesla doesn't wanna scare anyone.

- Who threw that?
- I did!
- MAN 2: Get out your gun.
- You're gonna need it.
- MAN 2: Get a gun.
- It's what you came for, is it?
- So who wants to volunteer?
- MAN 3: Me! Me!

- Not today.
- What?
- Well, on some days it's not true, and today you don't mean it.
- Maybe today you're more in love with magic than me.
- I like being able to tell the difference.
- It makes the days it is true mean something.
- All right.

[In reference to a bird from a trick]
Alfred: See? He's fine!
Boy: But where's his brother?

Robert: Would I be the man in the box or the prestige?

- Alfred. It's Alfred.
- Alfred.
- So I could use a cup of tea.
- I'd scandalize the landlord. I think not.
- You think that's...?
- Is that enough to keep me out?
- I think so.
- So I'll see you again?

Alfred: So... we go alone now. Both of us. Only I don't have as far to go as you. Go. You were right, I should have left him to his damn trick. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for a lot of things. I'm sorry about Sarah. I didn't mean to hurt her... I didn't. You go and live your life in full now, all right? You live for both of us.
Fallon: Goodbye.

- ...describes a show at the Orpheum Theater.
- That was just days after he first met me.
- BORDEN: We were two young men at the start of a great career.
- Two young men devoted to an illusion.
- Two young men who never intended to hurt anyone.
Milton: Which of you brave souls is willing to bind this lovely young woman?

Nikola: Mr. Angier, have you considered the cost of such a machine?
Robert: Price is not an object.
Nikola: Perhaps not, but have you considered the *cost*?
Robert: I'm not sure I follow.
Nikola: Go home. Forget this thing. I can recognize an obsession, no good will come of it.
Robert: Why, haven't good come of your obsessions?
Nikola: Well, at first. But I followed them too long. I'm their slave... and one day they'll choose to destroy me.
Robert: If you understand an obsession, then you know you won't change my mind.

Alley: Which he will not.
- ...his presentation.
- But I've been told he refuses to appear under any such restrictions.
- Clear the hall!
- This thing is gonna blow!
- Clear the hall!
- Ladies and gentlemen, please!
- Where's the switch?
- This is all perfectly safe.

- If I don't get that back to him tomorrow, he'll know I took it.
- Leave him.
- I can't. He knows where I live.
- This is his diary, Olivia.
- All of his secrets are right here in my hands.
- Won't bring your wife back.
- I don't care about my wife,
- I care about his secret.

- Take a minute to consider your achievement.
- I once told you about a sailor who described drowning to me.
- Yes, he said it was like going home.
- I was lying. He said it was agony.

Olivia: You married her. You had a child with her.
Alfred: Yes. Part of me did. But the other part... the other part didn't. The part that found you, the part that's sitting here right now.
Olivia: You could be in some other cafe saying the same thing about me right now. It's inhuman to be so cold.

- ...but I had a similar trick in my act, and I used a double.
- Oh. I see. Very good.
- Well, it was, and then it went bad.
- What I didn't count on, was that when
- I incorporated this bloke into my act...
- ...he had complete power over me.
- Complete power, you say.

- ...for no trickery is employed.
- Merely a technique familiar to certain citizens of the Orient...
- ...and various holy men of the Himalayas.
- Indeed, many of you may be familiar with this technique...
- ...but for those of you who aren't, do not be alarmed...
- ...what you're about to see is considered safe.

- But if you could fool them, even for a second...
- ...then you could make them wonder.
- And then you...
- Then you got to see something very special.
- You really don't know?
- It was... It was the look on their faces.

- You all right?
- I'm alive.
- Saves me cutting you an air hole.

- But you wouldn't clap yet...
- ...because making something disappear isn't enough.
- You have to bring it back.
- That's why every magic trick has a third act.
- The hardest part.
- The part we call the Prestige.

Cutter: Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"."

Alfred: Simple maybe, but not easy.

Alfred: The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

Alfred: Does he enjoy taking his bows under the stage?

- Look. See?
- He's all right. He's fine.
- Look at him.
- But where's his brother?
- He's a sharp lad, your son.
- Oh, he's my nephew.
- Oh.
- You're the lucky one today.

- ...I will require the assistance of two volunteers.
- Mr. Merrit, if you would oblige me?
Cutter: Yeah. Okay. Bring your hand around.
- Under?
- Under, yeah.
- There. I put it around its foot.
- ANGIER: Careful.
- He's all right, ain't he?

[after showing a little boy how to do a coin trick]
Alfred: Never show anyone. They'll beg you and they'll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up... you'll be nothing to them.

Robert: Man's reach exceeds his imagination!

- We tried the damn thing a dozen times.
- The hat went nowhere.
Tesla: We need to try different material.
- It may provoke a different result.
Alley: Copernicus, come on.
- You are responsible for whatever happens to this animal, doctor.

Nikola: Nothing is impossible, Mr. Angier. What you want is simply expensive.

- Well, thank you.
- Yes, thank you for the warning.
- Cheers.
- I cannot claim this next feat as illusion.
- What you're about to see is considered safe.
- Ah!

- I'm sorry for a lot of things.
- I'm sorry about Sarah.
- I didn't mean to hurt her.
- I didn't.
- You go live your life in full now, all right?
- You live for both of us.

Alfred: [realizes Fallon's buried after trading him back] Alive?
Robert: How fast can you dig?

Sarah: Alfred, I can't live like this!
Alfred: Well, what do you want from me?
Sarah: I want... I want you to be honest with me. No tricks, no lies, no secrets.
[pause]
Sarah: Do you... do you love me?
Alfred: Not today. No.

Sarah: No more lies. No more secrets.
Alfred: Secrets are my life.

- ...your paths were to cross...
- ...I can't stop you speaking your mind.
- Thank you.
- GUARD: Still here, Borden?
- For now.
- Got a visitor.
- Lord Caldlow.
- With a little girl.

- You blind bastard, listen to me!
- If he's alive, I'm not guilty!
- GUARD: Guards!
- I'm not guilty!
- I don't care! Get hold of him!
- ANGIER: Goodbye, Professor.
- Angier!
- Run along now.
- Sir. There's a gentleman waiting.

- MAN 4: Me.
- MAN 5: Watch it, cowboy.

[last lines]
Cutter: Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called the turn, the magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn't clap yet, because making something disappear isn't enough. You have to bring it BACK. Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

Robert: Which hat is mine?
Nikola: They are all your hat, Mr. Angier.

- Where are the wires?
- Exactly.

- For as long as it takes.
- I'll need a coach tomorrow to take me up the mountain.
- Well, the peak is closed, sir, for scientific experimentation.
- Yes, I know. That's why I'm here.
- Whoa, whoa.
- You'll have to walk the rest,
- I'm afraid, sir.

[first lines]
Alfred: Are you watching closely?

Olivia: [referring to Angier] He wants me to come work for you and steal your secrets.
Alfred: What does he need my secrets for? His trick is top-notch. He vanishes, and then he reappears instantly on the other side of the stage - mute, overweight, and unless I'm mistaken, very drunk. It's astonishing, how does he do it?

Robert: The man stole my life. I steal his trick.

Robert: He's a dreadful magician.
Cutter: No, he's a wonderful magician. He's a dreadful showman.

- BORDEN: Good evening.
- WOMAN 1: Professor.
- MAN 1: Professor.
- BORDEN: I, uh...
- WOMAN 2: Could I get your autograph?
- I'm walking tonight.
- Let him come. I don't care.
- MAN 2: Professor.
- MAN 3: Professor.

- My wife for a couple of his fingers?
- He has a family now, right?
- And he's performing again.
- Borden is living his life just as he always intended, as if nothing had happened.
- And look at... Look at me, all right?
- I'm alone and no theater will touch me.
- Us.
- You're going to need a better disguise.

- Well, I don't trust him.
- He's a natural magician.
- Of course you can't trust him.
- I think he's all right.
- You think everyone's all right.
- Even you.
- Watch your sightlines. If I can see you kissing your wife's leg every night...
- ...so can the blokes at the ends of row three and four.

- I have a couple of methods to try out.
- And then we need a new angle on the presentation.
- Oh, and if you need some inspiration...
- ...there's a technical exposition at the Albert Hall this week.
- Engineers, scientists, you know?
- That sort of thing captures a public's imagination.

Nikola: Exact science, Mr Angier, is not an exact science.

Alfred: Everything's going to be alright, because I love you very much.
Sarah: Say it again.
Alfred: I love you.
Sarah: Not today.
Alfred: 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.

Robert: I thought you said I'd have to get my hands dirty.
Cutter: Maybe someday you will; I just needed to know that you could.

- Why should I worry? if your tricks don't get them in, somebody else's will.
- Maybe somebody willing to do a bullet catch or a water escape?
- Cheap thrills, Mr. Merrit.
- People hoping for an accident, likely to see one too.
- What would that do for your business?
- You got a week, John.
- Thank you, Mr. Merrit.

Robert: Where are the wires?
Alley: Exactly.

Alfred: We both had half of a full life, which was somehow enough for us. But not for them.

- The little lady wants to go to the zoo, so I thought you could take her.
- Yeah? I mean,
- I can do it tomorrow if not.
- And Sarah, she knows.
- She... I mean, at least she knows that something's not right...
- ...so if you can just do whatever you can to help me with her.
- Talk to her. Just convince her that I do love her.

- Robert!
- No! No! No!
- Julia. Julia.
- Julia! Julia!

Cutter: Take a minute to consider your achievement. I once told you about a sailor who drowned.
Robert: Yes, he said it was like going home.
Cutter: I lied. He said it was agony.

- The magician takes the ordinary something...
- ...and makes it into something extraordinary.
- But you wouldn't clap yet...
- ...because making something disappear isn't enough.
- You have to bring it back.
- Hey.

- You, sir.
- Just a rubber ball, yes? Thank you.
- Just a rubber ball, no.
- Not normal. Not a normal rubber ball.
- It's magic.
- He had a new trick.

- We each of us have our vices.
- Sarah, whatever you may think...
- ...your only competition for my affections is our little girl.
- I love you. I will always love you and you alone.
- You mean it today.
- Absolutely.
- Which makes it so much harder when you don't.

Nikola: Society tolerates only one change at a time.

- Indeed, many of you may be familiar with this technique.
- But for those of you who aren't, do not be alarmed...
- ...what you're about to see is considered safe.
- And who are you?
- I am a humble admirer and a fellow practitioner.
- Hm. Very good.

Alfred: You went half way around the world, you spent a fortune, you did terrible things - really terrible things, Robert, and all for nothing.
Robert: For nothing?
Alfred: Yeah
Robert: You never understood why we did this. The audience knows the truth: the world is simple. It's miserable, solid all the way through. But if you could fool them, even for a second, then you can make them wonder, and then you... then you got to see something really special. You really don't know? It was... it was the look on their faces...

- Are you man enough, sir?
- Yes.

- Hm?
- Good girl.
- You must be curious to see what so much money has bought you, Mr. Angier.
- It's fitting you should be here for maiden voyage.
- Your hat.
- You might wanna stand back.

- Anyone in the audience who would be irrevocably damaged...
- ...by seeing a man drown should leave now.
- For when I tell you the young lady who taught me this illusion...
- ...actually died performing it...
- ...you will understand the seriousness of the dangers involved.
- Let's begin.

Gerald: Did you think you were unique, Mr Angier? I've been Caesar. I've played Faust. How hard could it possibly be to play the Great Danton?

Alfred: I love you.
Sarah: You mean it today.
Alfred: Of course.
Sarah: It just makes it so much harder when you don't.

- How can we know that the tank wasn't some part of the trick that went wrong?
- Mr. Cutter, I see your predicament...
- ...but Alfred Borden's life hangs in the balance.
- If you were prepared to disclose the details to me in private...
- ...I might be able to judge their relevance to the case.
- Might this be an acceptable compromise?

- A search. A search for answers.
- Even if Colorado is the end of my journey...
- ...it'll take much longer to unravel the rest of Borden's secrets.
- See, the cipher in his notebook is unlocked by a single word...
- ...but it will still take months to translate his writing and to know his mind.
- Well, my passion is equal to the task.

Nikola: Things don't always go as planned, Mr. Angier. That's the beauty of science.

- You've never seen anything like it in your lives.
- Your eyes will not believe what they're witnessing.
- The miracle of Nikola Tesla, ladies and gentlemen.
- Free, clean power.
- Would you like to know the future?
- The man speaking now is going to change the world.
- Ladies and gentlemen, come one, come all. Immediate seating, no waiting.

- Robert.
- I have fallen in love with him.
- Then I know how hard this has been for you.
- Notebook?
- Then he's just getting started.

Robert: No one cares about the man in the box, the man who disappears.

- ...does Root go up through there?
- Yep.
- It's going to be amazing, Robert.
- Well, it has to be.
- Borden's trick is getting noticed.
- The place was packed today.
- You went and saw his show again.
- Ready to meet yourself, Mr. Angier?

- What you're about to witness is not magic.
- It is purely science.
- I would like to invite you to come up on-stage now...
- ...so that you can examine the machine for yourselves.

Alfred: See, sacrifice, Robert. That's the price of a good trick. But you wouldn't know anything about that, would you?

Cutter: I knew a sailor once, got tangled in the rigging. We pulled him out, but it took him five minutes to cough. He said it was like going home.