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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.

Director:

Neil Burger

Writers:

Neil Burger (screenplay), Steven Millhauser (short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Norton ... Eisenheim
Paul Giamatti ... Inspector Uhl
Jessica Biel ... Sophie
Rufus Sewell ... Crown Prince Leopold
Eddie Marsan ... Josef Fischer (as Edward Marsan)
Jake Wood ... Jurka
Tom Fisher Tom Fisher ... Willigut
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Young Eisenheim (as Aaron Johnson)
Eleanor Tomlinson ... Young Sophie
Karl Johnson ... Doctor / Old Man
Vincent Franklin ... Loschek
Nicholas Blane ... Herr Doebler
Philip McGough Philip McGough ... Dr. Hofzinser
Erich Redman ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | Czech Republic

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El ilusionista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$927,956, 20 August 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,868,642

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,892,388
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The love scene was entirely lit by kerosene lamps. By the end of each take, the small room was so filled with smoke that it was hard to see. See more »

Goofs

At the train station, the green trains have large, white, bold lettering in Helvetica, a font invented in 1957. 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 Making of 'The Illusionist' (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

This movie is ridiculous
14 October 2006 | by califkidSee all my reviews

Eisenheim is a consummate professional. He leaves nothing to chance in his tricks. They are well-thought out and cannot be figured out. That's why his plan to save Sophie is so ridiculous. What if the Crown Prince doesn't follow her out to the barn? What if the Crown Prince kills her in the main house? What if the drug that Sophie gives him works too soon and he collapses in front of the guard outside the barn? You mean to tell me that a drug is so precise that they know he will pass out as soon as he gets in the barn, assuming he even follows her? What if the Crown Prince doesn't kill himself in the end? In all instances, the illusion would come to a quick end. Does this sound like a plan that a genius like Eisenheim would come up with? A script that builds a plan based on several unlikely events happening is a bad script. Plain and simple. You people are suffering from The Halo Effect. Just because Norton is a great actor and the cinematography is good, doesn't mean that the underlying story is good. And from a structural standpoint, this script repeats itself every ten minutes in Act 2. I was bored during the movie, and when the great 'reveal' was made, I was just disgusted that the writer/director assumed that so many people would suspend their common sense. However, he was right.


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