|Played by:||Christian Bale|
|Appeared in:||The Prestige|
- "Secrets are my life."
Alfred Borden was a magician's assistant, and later a stage magician under the name "The Professor". Although not a great showman, he was one of the greatest technical magicians in the world, certainly in London. Borden was very quick and insightful, as he could spot and work out other magicians tricks with relative ease. His fundamental belief in magic was that the boundaries should constantly be pushed forward, onto new heights.
Borden worked as an assistant to Milton, along with Robert Angier and his wife Julia McCullough. Borden always knew that to pull off a great trick, you had to live your act 24 hours a day. He mentioned this to Angier when they saw Chung Ling Soo perform his stage show and carry on limping after the performance. To this end, Borden concealed the fact he had an identical twin, Freddy, and the two lived identical lives.
During the performance of a water cell trick, Angier's wife drowned as she couldn't untie the rope around her wrist. Angier blamed Borden for using the wrong type of knot, although he claimed not to remember which knot he had used. Milton's career ended and Borden started his own show, with both him and Freddy swapping roles between himself and ingénieur Bernard Fallon. Borden met Sarah, who he fell in love with and married.
Angier tried to sabotage Borden's acts, shooting him with a real bullet during a "bullet catch" trick. This resulted in Borden losing two fingers, and in order to preserve cover he cut two fingers off Freddy. To get Angier back, he ruined a disappearing bird trick of his. Borden then decided to launch his career defining trick at The Strand Theatre, "The Transported Man", using himself and Freddy.
Olivia Wenscombe then came to work as Borden's assistant, and she ended up falling in love with Freddy. The two had to juggle their lives to see each other's lovers, and realised she was initially sent by Angier to steal their secret. She gave his diary to Angier, who then captured Freddy (dressed as Fallon) and traded his life for the key to the encryption. He got drunk to celebrate Fallon's return, but this caused more strain on his relationship with Sarah. Not knowing her husband was played by both Alfred, her real husband, and his twin, Freddy, she took up drinking because of the dishonesty in the relationship. Sarah knew at times he was her loving husband, and at other times he didn't love her at all, but that's what made the relationship more painful. She ended up hanging herself in his study.
Angier then returned to London with "The Real Transported Man", using technology he had got from Nikola Tesla. Curious as to how it worked, Alfred sent Freddy to investigate backstage. Freddy was arrested for murdering Angier, who has set it up to frame Freddy. He was sent to prison and executed, while Alfred visited him dressed as Fallon. He then tracked down the real Angier who was disguised as Lord Caldlow, and shot him. He revealed his secret, before burning Angier's machine and all the corpses it had created.
- Alfred Borden: Of 'Borden' and Angier, Alfred is the most sympathetic. He is caring, and has a strong moral code. He loves his wife and daughter, and only wishes to advance stage magic. He is also quiet and unassuming, and a terrific magician.
- Freddy Borden: Freddy is Alfred's twin brother, and much darker. He is selfish, obssessed with besting Angier, and quite uncaring in regard to his brother's needs. In addition, he appears to be less skilled than his brother, more of a hanger on, required for certain tricks. That said, Freddy has noble qualities. He is deeply sorry and regretful for the damage he caused to Alfred's marriage, and his daughter. When he finds Angier drowning, he immediately rushes to his rescue, calling for him to hold on despite their past rivalry. In other words, a grey character.