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The Escape Artist (1982) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Teenager Danny Masters, the son of the late Harry Masters, considered the second best escape artist in history, wants to follow in his father's footsteps, he already a skilled but untested magician. As far as Danny knows, his father died in a dangerous escape routine. Escaping from under his grandmother's roof, Danny, in a step to achieve his goal as they have all his father's old professional paraphernalia, reunites with his Aunt Sibyl and Uncle Burke in the town of Harding where they have a mind-reading act, she who actually can read minds but which only impinges on the smoke and mirrors they've developed with the act itself. In his wanderings around Harding, Danny gets involved with corrupt Stu Quiñones, and indirectly with Stu's equally corrupt father, the town's mayor, Leon Quiñones. This father/son pair no longer associate with each other as although Stu aspires to be as corrupt as his father, Stu's activities are a little too brazen and public for a politician with which to deal. In those dealings, Danny devises what is largely seen as a publicity stunt in reality to get the one up on the Quiñoneses, but in which he will have to show his true mettle as a great escape artist. In the process, Danny may also provide some justice for his father, the true nature of his death which Danny learns along the way.

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  • The young and self-confident Danny bluffs at the local police-station that he will escape out of prison within one hour. What follows is a flashback about his childhood with his uncle and aunt, which are 'vaudeville'-artists themselves. We also follow the problems of Danny with the corrupt son of the mayor.

  • Danny Masters, teen-aged son of the late Harry Masters, the "greatest escape artist except for Houdini," leaves home to join Uncle Burke and Aunt Sibyl (formerly called Louise) in their magic/mentalist act. Sibyl welcomes him; Burke is unenthusiastic. Danny is himself an accomplished magician and escape artist. He soon finds himself embroiled with Stu Quinones, over-the-edge son of Mayor Leon Quinones. The quest for a missing wallet with "hot" bills inside (pocket-picked by Danny) leads to the comeuppance of the crooked mayor and -- separately -- of his vindictive and out-of-control son. Along the way, Danny comes to terms with the death of his father, the circumstances of which he did not previously know.


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