Friday, 24 April 2015

Well, There's A Surprise...

This week I watched a thriller called Key Witness (1960). It was a random choice based on discovering that Jeffrey Hunter was the lead. Apart from the original series of Star Trek and the film King of Kings, I hadn't seen him in anything else. And so curiosity called and I watched the film. 

While not a great film, it is nevertheless a thriller worth seeing once. However, while watching the movie I noticed something that I definitely had to check afterwards.  One of the villains was nicknamed Magician. Another villain was nicknamed something that sounded like Muggles. Were my ears deceiving me, I wondered. 

As it turns out, no they weren't; the character is indeed named Muggles.

I had only ever heard of the word in connection with the Harry Potter novels/films. A little research made my jaw drop. 

In the movie Key Witness, Muggles gets very upset about Magician having stolen his 'ciggiepoos' as he calls them, more upset than would be expected regarding ordinary cigarettes - are you seeing where this is going? From about the 1920s onwards, Muggles was a nicknames for pot-smokers. 

I shall leave it to you to make up your own Harry Potter jokes about Wizards and Muggles.

Meanwhile, here is the less than enthralling trailer for the film Key Witness:


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Beckmann on Jugglers

John Beckmann's book, The History of Inventions and Discoveries, has a chapter on jugglers (magicians).  For those who are interested, there is a PDF of an 18th century English translation of that chapter which can be downloaded HERE.