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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
2,180 ( 54)

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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 character of Sofie was not in the original short story. Neither was the Crown Prince. See more »

Goofs

At around the 20:17 mark, When Inspector Uhl is inspecting the props backstage, Eisenheim has his arms at his side during their conversation. Then suddenly he is facing the inspector at a different angle and his arms are crossed. 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 Jessica Biel on the Illusionist (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If this were a beer it'd be called Prestige Light.
25 January 2007 | by kreamykonez97See all my reviews

THE ILLUSIONIST 2006 (EDWARD NORTON, JESSICA BIEL, PAUL GIAMIATTI) DIRECTED BY: NEIL BURGER ~ THE RUNDOWN: A well acted, nicely polished piece of entertainment, but made with little passion and little drama. ~ It's hard to say exactly what this movie's missing; the performances are fun to watch, especially that freaky Rufus Sewell guy, and, as always, Edward Norton is amazing as well as Giamatti; it is entertaining in an old-fashioned, mystery type of way; and it's beautifully shot, but I think that's part of the problem - it's too beautiful...too old-fashioned...too much like a movie that tries too hard to impress us with its image and not engage us enough with its story. To compare it with 2006's The Prestige, a film about the same subject, the Prestige simply crushes the Illusionist when it comes to "movie magic", relying very little on CGI and reaching our hearts through an amazing script about humanity...the strive for success, the need to be loved and at the same time showing us how magic really exists in our modern world. The Illusionist, on the other hand, is simply more superficial in nature and would work better as like a thirty-minute TV show. The big twist at the end would be very satisfying for avid TV watchers just after a commercial break, but, seriously, when your making a movie around it you shouldn't just have the viewer sit and wait with little to no hints just to fill up time and then hit them with it and expect a big hooray. ~ Overall, this actually is worth watching because it is indeed entertaining, well acted and interesting, but don't feel bad either if you decide to skip it.


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