The Last Trick
(1964) (0:11:30)

Mr. Edgar and Mr. Scharwzenwald

The Last Trick stars two actors in big paper mache heads as "Mr. Edgar" and "Mr. Schwarzenwald", two magicians trying to outdo each other. Of course, their competition starts out politely but escalates into war.

Both do tricks which mostly involve making objects appear and move by themselves, all set to music... both have hollow heads which have pictures inside of what they like to think about, and, of course, a live beetle.

One "trick" involves animating this "horse" from various objects
The format is, one does a trick, the other gives a congratulatory handshake, the other does a trick, etc., until the tricks get good enough that they won't shake without harming the other. Finally, they shake each other apart.

Their heads open up. The beetle is dead.

The Last Trick is Svankmajer's first film, and it shows. It tries too hard to be surreal, and ends up as rather lifeless slapstick.

Still, the decorative head innards are nice, and give a hint at the quality that was to come from Jan.

Check out the Svankmajer pages that I have completed; these include stills and many quicktime movies:

This page was created 7/14/96.
All content compiled/edited by Tim Fitzpatrick, except where noted.