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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » The Other War Magician (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Anatole
While we're waiting for Tom Cruise to develop _The War Magician_ movie based on Jasper Maskelyne's role as a consultant for the British Army during World War II, I thought I'd stir up some more historic discussion (and maybe some controversy) by bringing up "The Other War Magician"--Clayton Hutton (full name: Christopher William Clayton Hutton).

At the GENII MagicPedia we read:
Christopher Clayton Hutton (1893-1965) was a British magic buff and journalist that developed escape-and-evasion gadgets for MI9 during World War II....

...he was responsible for a variety of escape aids including uniforms that could be converted easily to look like civilian dress and powerful torches concealed inside bicycle pumps...

Some of his other escape aids included:

Collar-stud compasses
Tooth-frame compass
Magnetized pencil clip
Compasses concealed in shaving brush,spool of thread and dice
Compass and map in razor
Compass and map in pencil
Cigarette-holder telescope
Saws in lead pencils
Compass and watch in stopper
'Gigli' saw in flying-boot laces
Secret compartment in heel of boot
Compass in pencil-stub
Maps in deck of playing cards
Maps in games box
Reversible uniform
Pocket-gun with dart

So... if Tom Cruise's "The War Magician" is stuck in development Hell, maybe some other film mogul could suggest a competing film about Clayton Hutton. Hutton's story was actually told as "Escape--Parts I and II" way back in 1963 on the anthology series "G.E. True":

From what I remember, some magic historians question whether Maskelyne's role in WWII was really as substantial as _The War Magician_ suggests. Does anyone have any opinion about whether Hutton's contribution may have actually been more helpful in the war effort than Maskelyne's?

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Dick Oslund
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Profile of Dick Oslund
Hi Sonny! I read the Maskelynne book, and, found it fascinating. I hadn't heard of Hutton. Hutton "sounds" even more interesting than Maskelynne.
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Winter Park Florida
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Profile of deaton
I agree with Dick. 007 would be proud.
Original Old Town Magic Shop owner near Walt Disney World. Former Bozo the Clown in S.W. Ohio TV market. Was the founder and artistic director of Pinocchio's Maroionette Theater in Central Florida. Actor, writer, director, magic and spook show enthusiast.
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Profile of rjs
Yes, Anatole, Clutton 's wartime work came before Jasper's.

Clutton eventually published Official Secret his memoirs in 1960 after long legal delays.

He wrote an earlier pamphlet -Escaping on a Shoestring - after WW2, but as the Cold War intensified, his more detailed manuscript on POW Escape Aids was confiscated
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