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George McBride - The Classics

Produced by:

Big Blind Media © 2007

Running Time:

1 hour 37 minutes

DVD format:

DVD Video

DVD submitted by:

Outline from the makers:

BigBlindMedia proudly presents George McBride THE CLASSICS!

Legendary Scottish magician George McBride has put down on film his very favourite handlings for some of magic’s best loved plots. Covering cards and coins, this is a veritable masterclass in magical excellence.

The DVD features nine routines and a false cut:

1. Slow Motion Aces
The four aces are dealt to the table. Three indifferent cards are added to each ace. One by one the Aces leap from their individual packets to join the ‘leader’ Ace on the first packet. Ok - you might be familiar with this plot, but George’s handling is a veritable FEAST of magic. You are learning sooooo much more than a routine. Master this and you’ll be learning multiple palming, second dealing, the push off double deal, the push off move and the gamblers cop!!
2. Purse Frame Coin Production
A ‘bagless’ purse frame reveals itself it to be home to four coins. This routine will teach you move after move and is the PERFECT lead in to any four coin routine!
3. Coins Across
One at a time four coins mysteriously travel from one hand to other. As the fourth coin appears to jump over, your audience will be left shell shocked when it transpires that the other three have rejoined their erstwhile colleague!
4. 2 Card Transpo
An impromptu masterpiece. A borrowed, shuffled deck is taken and the top card displayed. It is cleanly cut, face-up, into the centre of the deck. The bottom card is now shown. With nary a move the original top card is shown to be on the bottom of the deck, and the original bottom card is now face up in the centre of the pack.
5. Spellbound
A copper coin repeatedly turns silver and then back to copper. This is a beautiful routine, carried out at the fingertips, which ends clean and will leave your audience slack-jawed!
6. The Bounce Change
A copper coin, displayed at the fingertips, is cleanly bounced from hand to hand. Apparently in mid-air it transforms into a silver coin!! This looks like REAL MAGIC!
7. Coins to Glass
Four coins and a glass are displayed. One at a time the coins leap impossibly into the glass. This is pure visual magic and a masterclass in routining.
8. Thinking of Koran
A genuinely unknown card is ‘oh-so-fairly’ lost in the deck. The magician can have NO IDEA what it is or where it is. Yet after simply weighing the deck for a second, he announces a number – the position the thought of card lies at in the deck. This is in the miracle class!
9. Merlins Lost Ace Trick
The four aces and twelve indifferent cards are cleanly displayed. The aces are dealt face down onto the table, and the spectator adds three indifferent cards to each ace. The spectator then chooses one of the packets. In a flash all four aces have jumped to the selected packet.
10. George’s Favourite False Cut
An amazing, full deck control false cut. It’s easy, it’s beautiful, and it will go straight into your repertoire.

But let’s make this clear – if you’re watching George McBride The Classics, you’re not just learning nine fantastic routines. You’re getting expert tuition on moves and sleights like:

Second Dealing
Push off Double Deal
Multiple Palming
Gamblers Cop
ER-Aced (Vernon)
Top Card Cover Pass
Ovette/Kelly Master Move
Double Deal (Merlin)

Multiple Coin Vanishes & Moves
Pinch Steal (Baker)
Coin Pass (Vernon)

MagicWeek Comments:

Straight in (and I have to be frank here) this is one of the most frustrating Magic DVDs I've ever watched. A lot of the magic is ruined by the irritating camera work and poor lighting. I guess that the producers are trying to add atmosphere and mood, but it really doesn't work. If I want atmosphere I'll put on Blade Runner: The Final Cut. When I sit down to watch a magic DVD I want to be able to see magic at its very best. I don't want moody back-lighting, shadows all over the performance area, redundant wide shots showing a projected image on a brick wall or anything else. George McBride presents some excellent magic and some so-so magic, crediting along the way, but I think he has been let down here.


In the "Purse Frame Coin Production" (first clip above) problems are compounded when we hear the clink of two coins when only a single coin is returned to the pocket. Moments later two coins are produced. Then, the coin that was earlier placed into the pocket is removed, for no logical reason. The routining is poor.


In another coin routine (Bounce Change) when a single coin turned into a different coin I heard a clink again - although this time I think it was the clink of one of the coins touching George's finger ring. Sounded like two coins though, which is no good. If you are performing coin sleights don't wear a finger ring. This is basic stuff.


At the beginning I said that this is one of the most frustrating Magic DVDs I've ever watched... frustrating because it had all the potential to be excellent. The last disc from the Big Blind Media stable hit all the right spots and this one does feature some great routines, but for me the confused production values let things down, and some sequences (single coins that clink!) should simply have been re-shot.


My advice would be to buy the disc by all means, and then follow up the credits and track down the original books that most of the routines came from.


Duncan Trillo - MagicWeek - 12.1.08

MagicWeek Rating: