The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar follows a rich man who, for the first time in his life, dedicates himself to learning an extraordinary skill in order to cheat at gambling.
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is an adaptation of the 1977 short story of the same name by popular British author Roald Dahl. In the film, the rich Henry Sugar, like his wealthy friends, seeks to increase his fortune and doesn’t shy away from cheating.
Henry Sugar’s life changes when he comes across a book by Dr. Z.Z. Chatterjee, in which Dr. Chatterjee has interviewed a man named Imdad Khan, who can see without his eyes, a skill he has attained after years of focusing on the power of concentration.
Out of the whole interview, Henry only notices that Imdad Khan is able to read a playing card from the reverse side using this skill he has mastered. Henry then genuinely spends time mastering this skill in order to cheat at gambling and grow his wealth.
How true is Henry Sugar’s story?
The Netflix Original and its characters, such as Henry, and Roald Dahl himself, in the film, claim that the story isn’t fictional and that a man like Henry did exist, but under a different name. However, that’s not true.
Only Imdad Khan from the film is a character based on a real-life figure. The rest of the characters and the story itself are fictional.
Kuda Bux, born Khudah Bukhsh, a mystic and magician known for performing stunts while blindfolded and firewalking, serves as an inspiration for Imdad Khan.
Much like Imdad Khan, Kuda Bux also had to cover his eyes with soft dough balls and wrap his whole head with a cloth to prove that he could still see without his eyes. While blindfolded, Bux would shoot at cans placed on children’s heads with a gun, read the fine print on paper, and much more.
Kuda Bux also learned his skills from a yogi named Banerjee. He was highly popular during the first half of the twentieth century and had his own CBS show called Kuda Bux, Hindu Mystic.
Roald Dahl wrote an article on the magician in Argosy magazine in 1952, and, years later, in 1977, Kuda Box became the character Imhrat Khan in Roald Dahl’s short story.