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The Illusionist (2006)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 227,806 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 626 user | 232 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

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(screenplay), (short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Josef Fischer (as Edward Marsan)
...
Jurka
Tom Fisher ...
Willigut
...
Young Eisenheim (as Aaron Johnson)
...
...
Doctor / Old Man
Vincent Franklin ...
Loschek
...
Herr Doebler
Philip McGough ...
Dr. Hofzinser
...
Count Rainer
Michael Carter ...
Von Thurnburg
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Storyline

In late nineteenth century Vienna, renowned illusionist Eisenheim is reunited with the Duchess von Teschen when she is volunteered from the audience to participate in an illusion during one of his performances. Despite having not seen each other in fifteen years when they were teenagers, they almost immediately recognize each other as Eduard Abramovich and Sophie von Teschen, they who had a doomed romance at that time due to their class differences. The Duchess is soon to be wed to the Crown Prince Leopold in what would be for him a marriage solely in pursuit of power: overthrowing his father, the Emperor Leopold, as well as overtaking the Hungarian side of the empire. The Crown Prince is known to use violence against women if it suits his needs or purposes. As such, the Duchess, who realizes that she still loves Eisenheim and he her, can never leave the Crown Prince without it jeopardizing her life. After Eisenheim humiliates the Crown Prince at a private show which results in an ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing is what it seems


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Illusionist  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£675,293 (UK) (2 March 2007)

Gross:

£161,900 (UK) (20 August 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the story is fictional, some of the details are based on the life of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, only son of Emperor Franz Josef. The painting of the emperor which Eisenheim creates is an actual portrait of Franz Josef. The bodies of Rudolf and his mistress, the Baroness Mary Vetsera, were found at his hunting lodge Mayerling on January 30, 1889 in what is now known as the "Mayerling Incident". This was initially covered up by the Imperial Family, creating controversy and mystery. See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Uhl is investigating Eisenheim's latest illusion of summoning spirits, one of his aides shows an early turn-of-the-century movie projector portraying a color/sepia-based image of a person. Turn-of-the-century film was often hand-colorized using stencil methods. Georges Méliès's fantasy shorts used that method. Several genuine color film technologies were also in use by the early 1920's. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
woman in audience: It's her. I know it's her! She wants to tell us something.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.184 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Illusionist
(uncredited)
Composed by Philip Glass
Performed by Michael Riesman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Must see mystery!
30 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just saw this wonderful film at the San Francisco Film Festival as a surprise entry. Beautifully shot and realized, it keeps you guessing until the end as to the true outcome. It was throughly entertaining and innovative. This movie has it all: romance, suspense, star crossed lovers and supernatural illusions. Edward Norton is perfectly cast as Eisenheim The Illusionist. His accent flowed seamlessly and he simply disappeared into the role. The real revelation to me was none other than Paul Giamatti. Paul's richly accented role was not altogether unlike Tommy Lee Jones' role in The Fugitive. I found his scenes with Norton full of respect and begrudging admiration. It was an absolute joy to see these two pros at work. I will definitely be paying to see this one again when it's released theatrically.


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Did anybody else was impressed by Rufus Sewell's performance? Reachthesilence
7.7 - WTF! rogermccarthy
Destruction of irreplaceable antiques for this movie morganseer
Who else solved the movie's twist, Before the film ended?? steph_vp88
Illusions performed in this film are historically accurate! kjs-2
The 'twist' could be anticipated mid-way katochnr
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