About half way through The Prestige the court magistrate meets with John Cutter in Angier's warehouse. Cutter tells the magistrate that he can't let Lord Cawdlow take Robert's machine, that it is too dangerous. He says that it wasn't built by a magician but by a wizard and that there was no trick behind it.

During the show Robert Angier went to great lengths to conceal the method from Cutter and indeed later when they meet he seems shocked that Angier is still alive.

So how did Cutter know that the machine was dangerous?

  • 2
    I think Cutter just assumed it was really a teleportation machine, likely by having been told so by Angier, in conjunction with running by the same assumption that Tesla could and did actually build such a thing. But he of course didn't know it was actually a cloning machine.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 11, 2015 at 22:45

2 Answers 2


Cutter can't know that the machine is a clone and a teleporting machine, he only knows that it teleports. If he did know that it clones, he wouldn't have testified against Borden, and also wouldn't be surprised that Cadlow was "Angier". He knows that the machine is dangerous because he believes that Borden must have done something to it when Cutter saw him below the stage. Otherwise it doesn't make since. Any other ideas?


As we clearly see in the movie it just took seconds for Cutter to find Borden's transportation magic. I think, though Angier kept Cutter out of the back stage, he was managing the things left by him. So he could have easily found the trick behind the magic which was real science. It's the curiosity of a magician.

  • 8
    Yet I don't think he actually knew it was a duplication machine, because he was quite surprised about Angier's "survival". He probably just thought it was a transportation machine.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Aug 18, 2015 at 10:41

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