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Copperfield: Tornado of Fire (2001)

TV Special | 90 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

This is the 17th and last CBS Copperfield TV special, introduced by the host Carson Daly and produced six years after the 16th and penultimate one, The Magic of David Copperfield XVI: Unexplained Forces. It is the only TV special with a ...See moreThis is the 17th and last CBS Copperfield TV special, introduced by the host Carson Daly and produced six years after the 16th and penultimate one, The Magic of David Copperfield XVI: Unexplained Forces. It is the only TV special with a feat broadcasted live (in USA only) from New York City (the place where both David Copperfield and Carson Daly are present) at the end of the broadcast of a free show performed, filmed and edited three months earlier, in January in a theater in Memphis, Tennessee. The TV special is officially titled "COPPERFIELD - TORNADO OF FIRE", but is better known as "The Magic of David Copperfield XVII: Tornado of Fire", in which "Tornado of Fire" is a reference to such feat, which is not an illusion or escape but a test of courage and endurance, filmed in long take and no more repeated. Before the beginning of the pre-recorded show, that is the only one filmed in a surrounded stage, Copperfield explains the reason of this stunt, saying that when he was six years old he and his family escaped a fire that destroyed his uncle's house, and ever since then he started having nightmares of dying in a fire. Then he realized that the best way to overcome his fears is to deal with them. He will perform this stunt after months of testing with dummies, positioning them at the center of an artificial tornado of fire of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (or 1,093 degrees Celsius). The tornado was generated to be an F2 on the Fujita scale. This TV special is actually constituted by a double climax: the other one is the last illusion of the pre-recorded show and during the show itself there are several phases of preparation of it. In fact, Copperfield talks about it since the beginning, before the first illusion, describing it as an instant travel to the "perfect place". This illusion is called "The Disappearance" or "Portal", and to perform it, he invites a boy from the audience to climb with him a thin platform present on the stage which will be raised during the illusion to prevent anyone from getting on or off without being seen. Then they hide themselves with a sheet and after a few seconds disappear from the theater in Tennessee, to appear a few seconds later in the "perfect place", which in this specific case is the shore of the beach in the Hawaii island, where the boy finds his father and reunites with him, and where an assistant is present with a camera to show live the place to the audience through a big monitor placed on the stage. At the end of this illusion the boy remains in the beach, while Copperfield alone disappears from it to reappear in the theater. There are two versions of this 17th TV special: one for USA only broadcasting (60 minutes) and the other one for international only broadcasting (90 minutes). In the first Copperfield performs nine illusions: "One", "Thumbs", "Laser", "Panty Swap", "Uncle Morty & Aunt Ida", "Tides", "Voyeur", "The Disappearance" (aka "Portal") and then "Tornado Of Fire". In the second he performs six extra illusions, shown after "Voyeur" and before "The Disappearance": "Slo-Mo Duck", "Magic In Your Hands", "Thirteen", "Moon Rise" , "Test Condition" and "Perfect Place Cards"(aka "Moon Interactive"). "Test Condition" is an illusion co-conducted by Whoopi Goldberg, connected to the stage via a monitor. Before "Uncle Morty & Aunt Ida", Copperfield's parents, Hyman Kotkin and Rebecca Kotkin, make in this special their second and last appearance among the audience members, but unlike the first appearance, in 1984, this time they are not presented. Written by Lorenz-pictures See less
Read more: Plot summary
Producers
Maurice Keizer | Jim Moroney (as Jim 'Mo' Moroney)
Editors
Production Designer
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Dec 21, 2014

Release date
Apr 3, 2001 (United States)

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Cast

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5 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
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Carson Daly
Himself - Host Himself - Host   See fewer
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Hyman Kotkin
Himself - David's Father (uncredited) Himself - David's Father (uncredited)   See fewer
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Rebecca Kotkin
Herself - David's Mother (uncredited) Herself - David's Mother (uncredited)   See fewer
Members only
Homer Liwag
Crystal (uncredited) Crystal (uncredited)   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

7.7 / 10 | 44 votes