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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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Popularity
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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 ... 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

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

Although the story is fictional, some details are based on the life of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, only son of Emperor Franz Josef. The painting 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 became known as the "Mayerling Incident". The Imperial Family covered it up at first, 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 Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Episode #3.6 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth the price of tickets
3 July 2006 | by maddie_brooksSee all my reviews

The Illusionist is a very entertaining movie. The beginning of the movie sets an awesome foundation for the rest of the film to work with, without making the rest of the movie predictable and pointless. Although the basic story of boy gets girl, boy loses girl may not be original, the way the plot is presented with the excellent magical imagery keeps one interested in Edward Norton's character. My only complaint would be that the movie needs a little editing towards the end as the creators seem to show basically the same scene over and over in an attempt to drive home Norton's character's emotional distress. Unfortunately, this gets a little monotonous for viewers. Still, Norton, Sewell, Giamatti (and surprisingly Biel) provide excellent performances that, along with the beautiful cinematography, make a great movie.


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