The secrets behind some simple magic tricks involving cigarettes, matchsticks and matchboxes.
One of a series showing the secrets of magic tricks.
C/U of magician Alan Alan with a cigarette in his mouth. He takes a handkerchief from his top jacket pocket, unfolds it and starts to wrap a coin (half a crown) in the centre of it. C/Us of AA taking the cigarette out of his mouth and the handkerchief wrapped round the coin. He then holds the lighted cigarette end against the wrapped coin, removing it to brush away some loose ash and show that it hasn't burnt a hole, then repeats the process. The commentator says "The linen doesn't smoulder because the coin behind absorbs the heat - naturally you're not supposed to show the coin". AA unwraps the handkerchief to show the undamaged coin. C/U of Maria Lennard, his assistant (or pupil?) smiling and looking impressed.
C/U of set up for the next trick: two matchsticks leaning against each other at the ignition end, on top of a matchbox, the matchstick on the right has a sixpence beneath it. The trick is to remove the sixpence without touching anything, achieved by lighting the two match ends, making the match on the right lift up from the sixpence, now removed by AA. C/U of ML looking up and smiling.
C/Us of AA lighting a cigarette and taking a puff, then his hands holding the cigarette and bending it completely in half whilst still lit without breaking it. M/S of AA demonstrating what the commentator calls "The mystery of the hypnotised matchbox". He opens it to show there are no strings attached then places it on the back of his hand. C/U of the box on the back of his hand as it moves forward, seemingly by itself, towards his fingers, stands upright, then opens to display a full box of matches - unfortunately we do not get to see how this one is done! C/U of AA smiling to camera.