A docu-drama (dramatized documentary) on the identity of the mystery author of a classic book on sleight-of-hand with cards.
The best magicians of the 21st century set out on a journey to search for the lost author of the most legendary book about the art of sleight of hand. S.W. Erdnase is the pseudonym of the man thought to be the most notorious card shark of the 19th century. His book The Expert at the Card Table is now considered the card conjurer's bible, making it compulsory reading for any magician. It took more than 30 years after its publication for the true value of the book to be appreciated. His true identity remains a great mystery to many, leaving even the best illusionists in the dark. In our film the greatest magicians of our time go in search of the long-lost genius. They talk about the rumors of his supposed suicide and other stories that will chill you to the bone. No proof of the many legends appears to exist, but in searching for him we learn about the true significance of his book. Along the way, we are given valuable insights into the history of deception through the ages and the origin of some of the best-kept secrets of the contemporary world of magic. This Film also includes an exciting 'Making Of' as bonus material.
This film is a docu-drama where certain episodes of some of the people who have been suggested as possible Erdnase are re-enacted in a largely fictionalized form because very little evidence is available about Erdnase's life. Interspersed are interviews and opinions of various domain experts, such as Jason England, Richard Turner, Paul Wilson, Richard Hatch, Guy Hollingworth, Laura London, Bill Mullins, and Chris Wasshuber.
A well-done and enjoyable introduction to the question: Who was Erdnase?
1st edition 2022, runtime 84 minutes.