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The Illusionist (2006)

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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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Writers:

(screenplay), (short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Josef Fischer (as Edward Marsan)
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Jurka
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Willigut
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Young Eisenheim (as Aaron Johnson)
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...
Doctor / Old Man
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Loschek
...
Herr Doebler
Philip McGough ...
Dr. Hofzinser
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Count Rainer
...
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:

El ilusionista  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

TRL 247,193 (Turkey) (20 August 2006)

Gross:

$39,868,642 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Eisenheim is performing at the Hofburg, he places the Crown Prince's sword upright on the stage. The first officer who attempts to lift it is unable. The second person to try, to whom the Crown Prince says "Not so eager, cousin", is also unable. That second person was probably meant to be Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, who succeeded "Crown Prince Leopold's" father, Franz Josef, as Emperor in 1916. See more »

Goofs

Choreographer Marleen Pennison, Movement Coach for the film, is incorrectly credited as "Maureen Pennison". 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

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.91 (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Norton is mesmerizing
9 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a long time fan of the old theatre magicians and have been fascinated by the wave of spiritualism that swept both continents around the turn of the last century. This movie plays off those real life happenings, with the added twist of court and political intrigue. The movie is lush - as a period piece should be - with terrific performances from a true ensemble cast. Edward Norton has the charismatic gaze that makes you believe in every thing he does. Jennifer Biel is tragic and compelling as a woman trapped by society and dubious duty. Paul Giamatti - who seems to be in every other movie these days - is wonderful as a conflicted man unsure of whom he serves. Rufus Sewell, as the Crown Prince Leopold, is that man, and he embodies the boo-hiss villain. Vain and driven, he is larger than life and not one to cross, as the illusionist comes to find out. The music of Philip Glass fits the scenes and add just the right amount of tension. Plus the horses are very old world with large hooves and a heck of a lot of presence. A compelling and beautiful film.


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