Magic awards we missed: Facebook fans make their nominations

February 25th, 2011 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

When we released our list of award-winning magic movies, we knew we left several good contenders out, and you guys filled in the blanks awesomely. So well that we made a Facebook contest out of it, in fact.

Facebook fans were asked to give their magic awards. They were asked to submit the name of the award, who wins it and why. And we got some great responses.

Most of them, including our winner, involved either “The Illusionist” or “The Shade.” We got some other great magic-related suggestions and a few surprising ones. (“Back to the Future”? “My Cousin Vinny”?) But our winner pointed out a great thought about what a magician should be. Without further ado, here is our winner and some honorable mentions:

Winner: Eric Rodriguez

Best Magician of the Century: Edward Norton, “The Illusionist.”
This is raw talent at it’s best. He shows the psychological aspect of a mentalist, the showmanship of Criss Angel and the adaptation of a magician, if that makes sense. He illustrates the true characteristics of a true magician.
He doesn’t reveal his secret, not even to the inspector. He has everyone believing in his magic, which is what we as magicians of this era should strive for. Instead of performing tricks, we should perform MAGIC for our spectators.

Honorable mentions

Dragias George
Best Supernatural Romantic Thriller: “Death Defying Acts.”

It shows how magic and love can bemuse the mind..”some say love is magic, but sometimes, magic is illusion.”

Frank Jiruska
Funniest Movie to Feature One Magic Trick: “My Cousin Vinny.”
At one point, Billy is about to fire his cousin, and Vinny does a magic trick to prove he is the best man for the job. Seeing Vinny do a magic trick (and blast apart the show of famous magician “Alakazam”) is a highlight of the movie.

Jason Pompeus, Wally Wonka
Best Killer Trick: The Joker’s disappearing pen, “Batman: The Dark Knight.”

Not to be found on any instructional DVD or in the pages of any magic book, the Joker raised the bar for street-proof, geek/shock magic with an impromptu, instantly resetting classic.

Gerardo Sanchez
Best Moment of True Astonishment: “The Prestige.”

When Angier walks away from Tesla’s workshop and found the hats and the cats, this single moment, that split second, when his mind figures out what’s going on, that is whats real magic its about, true astonishment, this is what all us must achieve in our perfomance, the real magic does not happend over a table, happend in the spectator mind.

Christopher Matthew Zvodar
Most Inspirational Carny: Todd Robbins, “American Carney: True Tales from the Circus Sideshow”

Todd is an amazing performer, and truly inspires many, myself included. He performs and stretches the mind of his audience. Causing people to really wonder what is possible. He is not a magician, but a man. A man that takes what people think cannot be done, and shows them that there is more to this world and the human body then initially thought.

Gavan Keamy
Best Blockbusterization of a classic trick: “The A-Team.”

Taking a cup and ball routine, displaying the small scale version, then upping the scale to use people and shipping containers. Add to that the fact the whole thing is one giant piece of misdirection & you have blockbuster magic.

Sean McAvoy
Best Large Scale Misdirection: “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

Pierce Brosnan as Thomas Crown steals a painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then, in a museum-spanning flash mob of men dressed as Magritte’s “The Son of Man”, fools the cops and Renée Russo. Crown uses the misdirect to set off smoke alarms, which cause fire doors to shut over the paintings, only the painting he himself donated in lieu of the stolen one has a frame that’s too large for the doors. The subsequent sprinklers activate and wash off the layers of paint on the donated work to reveal the stolen painting underneath, safely returned. All set to Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman.” Classic.

Jamie Skelton
Most Magical and Inspiring Movie: “Back to the Future.”

I feel that magic shouldn’t just be a simple card trick in a film. Magic is that one impossible moment that we create for our spectators, that stays in their head for years to come … This film shows us that anything is possible, and if we try hard enough, we can accomplish anything and that is what real magic is.

Josh Janousky
Best Film Featuring a Magic Opening: “Shade.”

This film is a film made for magicians by magicians. Directed and written by Magic Castle Member Damian Nieman, Shade has by far one the coolest intros out there. The beginning of the movie is a gambling demo by the best of the best. R. Paul Wilson, Jason England, and Damien Nieman himself execute a variety of color changes, vanishes, mucks, false shuffles, switches, false deals, and more all as the credits are still showing. If that was not enough for you, the film is FILLED with magical references with character names such as Scarne, Vernon, The Professor, Marlo, Jennings, and much, much more!

Joe Moravec
Best Use of Cards as Weapons: Taylor Kitsch, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”

In a brief cameo Kitsch plays the infamous Gambit, whose ability to charge explosive amounts of kinetic energy into objects (primarily cards) … and performs a devastating card spring to launch Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) through a brick wall.

Jon R. Lanenga
Best Silent Movie with Magic: “The Man From Beyond.”

Harry Houdini stars in this movie and he performs some of his most famous tricks. It’s an oldie, but a classic!

Daniel Lee
Best Comedic Magic: “Magicians.”

Starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. We need a comedy category and I think this one fits hilariously. Especially with this line, “Do you mind that I chopped my last assistant’s head off?”


  1. @Eric Rodriguez on:

    I like your award. However, I disagree that magicians should be trying to get people to believe in magic. That kind of thinking leads to things like powerbands and and psychic readings. I think the job of the magician is first to entertain and second to remind us all of something we lose along the way. The fact that we can be fooled.