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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
1,537 ( 142)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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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

Filmed in 46 days. See more »

Goofs

Wires are visible overhead at the railroad station. They're part of an overhead line system, which powers electric locomotives. Austria didn't have electric trains at the time. 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

 
One Of The Classiest Films You'll See All Year
15 January 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

First of all, let me say this was a beautifully-filmed movie, just gorgeous from first to last frame. That gets big points with me. Just as impressive was the story, a fantasy-mystery- romance-drama combination set in Vienna, Austria, around the turn of the 20th century.

It is a story that should keep most viewers intrigued all the way and perhaps surprised quite a bit at the end. Edward Norton does his normal job of making you fascinated with whatever character he's playing, this time a magician with almost supernatural powers: "Herr Eisenheim." The character he plays, and the tone of the movie in general, is pretty low-key with next to nothing in (on screen) violence or profanity.

It's simply a classy film and a modern-day one that older folks would very much enjoy as well as younger adults. Paul Giamatti also is very interesting as the police inspector, torn between his allegiance to the villain crown prince and to the truth and what is the right thing to do. The movie, however, belongs to Norton.

In a nutshell: good stuff, classy film. I haven't talked to anybody yet who watched this and didn't like it.


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