After a tragic accident, two stage magicians engage in a battle to create the ultimate illusion while sacrificing everything they have to outwit each other.

Director:

Christopher Nolan

Writers:

Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
230 ( 21)
Top Rated Movies #47 | Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Jackman ... Robert Angier
Christian Bale ... Alfred Borden
Michael Caine ... Cutter
Piper Perabo ... Julia McCullough
Rebecca Hall ... Sarah
Scarlett Johansson ... Olivia Wenscombe
Samantha Mahurin Samantha Mahurin ... Jess
David Bowie ... Tesla
Andy Serkis ... Alley
Daniel Davis ... Judge
Jim Piddock ... Prosecutor
Christopher Neame ... Defender
Mark Ryan ... Captain
Roger Rees ... Owens
Jamie Harris ... Sullen Warder
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Storyline

In the end of the nineteenth century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough, and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death, and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Friendship That Became a Rivalry. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Mendes wanted to do this movie as his follow-up to American Beauty (1999), which had just been nominated for seven Academy Awards. Another offer came from Newmarket Films on behalf of writer, producer, and director Christopher Nolan, of whom author Christopher Priest had never heard. Priest was prepared to close the deal with Mendes when a VHS copy of Nolan's Following (1998) was delivered to his house by motorcycle (Memento (2000) was still in post-production). Priest was impressed, and chose Nolan (in part to also support a new filmmaker over an established one). See more »

Goofs

The spider web shaped cracks that appear in the glass boxes when characters attempt to smash them indicate they are made of laminated safety glass, a material held intact by a thin layer of flexible vinyl sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Laminated safety glass was discovered by accident in 1903 and patented in 1909, well after the time line of the movie. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alfred Borden: Are you watching closely?
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 20 Movie Reveals No One Saw Coming (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Butterfly Etude
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Arranged & Performed by Stephen Edwards (as Stephen James Edwards)
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

One of the best movies EVER
19 October 2006 | by UrbanFilmCriticSee all my reviews

What makes this movie so incredible is that while it is indeed a movie about magicians (or illusionists) it is also a complex character study about how self destructive obsessions are with a sideline love story and a sci-fi twist. A unique plot with an amazing cast--any of whom could believably garner an Oscar nomination. Christian Bale was amazing in one of his rare cockney performances. We already know from Kate and Leopold how well Hugh Jackman plays a distinguished English gent. He's absolutely priceless. Is there any point in discussing Sir Michael Caine? He brings polish to the movie.

This is the kind of flick that you can discuss for weeks after. The plot is so detailed and complete and open to interpretation. My friend and I have been discussing various nuances of this film for the past 3 weeks. It definitely stays with you.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Prestige See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,801,808, 22 October 2006

Gross USA:

$53,089,891

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$109,676,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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