American Masters is an ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Consisting of more than 250 hours of programming to date, American Masters is a growing film library documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.

American Masters: Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice
Premieres Friday, Jan. 23, at 9pm on WGBH 2
 

For the first time in the series’ 29-year history, American Masters profiles a magician: the inimitable Ricky Jay, one of the world’s greatest conjurers, a best-selling author, historian, actor, and leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts. Journey through the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand through new interviews with Jay, his friends, and collaborators, including writer/director David Mamet.

Tracing the story of Jay’s achievement, beginning at age four as apprentice to his grandfather Max Katz, an accomplished amateur magician, the documentary features rare footage of some of the most influential magicians of the 20th century: Cardini, Slydini, Al Flosso, Dai Vernon, and Charles Miller. Narrated by Dick Cavett, the film also features rare performance footage from Jay’s one-man shows and classic TV appearances, among them a hilarious turn with Steve Martin on Dinah Shore’s 1970s program. Filmmakers Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein explore the arduous demands of the magician’s craft, the use of language, and storytelling central to the art, and this ancient tradition’s future.

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Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

American Masters

The Season 29 premiere profiles magician Ricky Jay.

60 min.

Bing Crosby Rediscovered

Bing Crosby Rediscovered

American Masters

Discover the life and legend of the entertainer through never-before-seen footage and interviews.

The Boomer List

The Boomer List

American Masters

Take a comprehensive look at 19 iconic baby boomers — one born each year of the boom, 1946-1964. In intimate interviews by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the film’s subjects illuminate the important movements and changes that shaped the world during the baby boom years.

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

American Masters

Through Lange’s granddaughter’s eyes, explore the life story of the influential “Migrant Mother” photographer. 

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter - Preview

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter - Preview

American Masters

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

American Masters

Profiling George Plimpton (1927-2003).

90 min.

Schedule

Monday
1/26/15 3:00 PM
WGBH World
Friday
1/30/15 3:00 AM
WGBX 44
Friday
2/6/15 7:00 PM
WGBH World
Saturday
2/7/15 12:00 AM
WGBH World
Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice Bill T. Jones: A Good Man Bill T. Jones: A Good Man

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