Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) -- and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences. DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces Jay's achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay's inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees. (c) Kino Lorber

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Critic Reviews for Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (21)

  • The film offers all manner of mind-blowing tricks, as well as a colorful history of the evolution of magic and illusions, especially through the 20th century.

    Jul 25, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Jay's own personality and intellect steer the film, and he's such a finely honed performer that he easily carries it off...What we get here, simply, is time spent with Ricky Jay, and that's time well spent.

    Jul 5, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein's film works first and foremost as a showcase of Jay's skills, but he's also an ideal interview subject ...

    Jul 5, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A documentary portrait of the magician, author and actor who is known as one of today's preeminent practitioners of close-up magic.

    Jun 27, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • For heaven's sake! Another documentary I didn't know I was waiting for-and am equally glad to see.

    Jun 14, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The magic in this documentary portrait of actor and stage illusionist Ricky Jay comes mainly from his fond recollections of old performers.

    Jun 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

Similar to Penn and Teller, Ricky Jay has established his own style as a magician based on the influences of his childhood. This is partially a film about Jay but also a great tribute to the lesser known old masters who were well known in New York City but did not achieve wider fame.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Great access to the man with a lot of historical figures and footage. But after seeing the film, I don't feel I have any greater appreciation for the man than before I saw it.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


First became aware of Ricky Jay 25 years in Mamet's House of Games and have been fascinated by the man and his talents ever since. Deceptive Practice takes us into his world of magic and sleight-of-hand and is one of the best 88 minutes you can spend in the dark this year. (7-27-13)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer

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