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A tongue-in-cheek adventure film starring unorthodox magicians Penn & Teller. The duo appear as the propietors of a magic shop who also book second-rate magicians. When a young patron arrives with his birthday money, Penn, in used-car salesman style, helps him spend it on hokey packaged magic tricks. The boy becomes incensed, however, when the pair sell him something called "Invisible Thread." After paying for it, the youngster learns that it doesn't really exist, but Penn insists that learning the secret of the thread is the key to showmanship. Later, two government agents arrive looking for Teller and bring the pair to the Pentagon for a special hearing, the details of which the agents will not reveal. Penn & Teller arrive to find a large group of celebrities, including Andy Warhol, Joe Franklin, and Lydia Lunch, waiting to be summoned by the mysterious Sgt. Rambo (G. Gordon Liddy). Each person has a number, and one by one they are taken in, never to return. The nervous magicians attempt to find out the reason they have been waylaid, in one instance attempting to bribe the receptionist with the inside scoop on how television magus David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. At last Sgt. Rambo summons Penn & Teller and informs them that he has called in 230 of the smartest, most unusual people alive to help him save the world, but that all of them have failed and fled crying. It is now up to Penn & Teller to save the human race from a surprise visitor, and it's just possible that the Invisible Thread might come in handy.


  • NETWORK: Showtime
  • DATE: 1986
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:41:15
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:32553
  • GENRE: Comedy
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Comedy; Magic and magicians


  • Timothy Marx … Producer
  • Amy Kaufman … Associate Producer
  • Bob Balaban … Director
  • Penn Jillette … Writer
  • Teller … Writer
  • Van Tieghem, David … Music by
  • Penn Jillette … Cast
  • Teller … Cast
  • Donald Acree … Cast, Wally
  • Evan Handler … Cast, Agent No. 1
  • Geoff Ewing … Cast, Agent No. 2
  • Florence Stanley … Cast, the Receptionist
  • James Randy … Cast, Dr. Zwicki
  • G. Gordon Liddy … Cast, Sgt. Rambo
  • Deborah Rush … Cast, Dr. Norris
  • Nicholas Saunders … Cast, the General
  • Isao Sato … Cast, the Scientist
  • Dick Cavett … Cast, Special Appearance by
  • Andy Warhol … Cast, Special Appearance by
  • Joe Franklin … Cast, Special Appearance by
  • Peter Wolf … Cast, Special Appearance by
  • Lydia Lunch … Cast, Special Appearance by
  • Whodini … Special Appearance by
  • The Residents … Special Appearance by
  • Penn & Teller
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