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The Immigrant (2013)

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1921. An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.


James Gray


James Gray, Ric Menello (as Richard Menello)
4,087 ( 366)
15 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Marion Cotillard ... Ewa Cybulska
Joaquin Phoenix ... Bruno Weiss
Jeremy Renner ... Orlando the Magician / Emil
Dagmara Dominczyk ... Belva
Jicky Schnee ... Clara
Elena Solovey ... Rosie Hertz (as Yelena Solovey)
Maja Wampuszyc ... Edyta Bistricky
Ilia Volok ... Wojtek Bistricky
Angela Sarafyan ... Magda Cybulska
Antoni Corone ... Customs Officer Thomas MacNally
Patrick Husted ... Priest
Patrick Holden O'Neill ... Leo Straub (as Patrick O'Neill)
Sam Tsoutsouvas Sam Tsoutsouvas ... Oskar Straub
Robert Clohessy ... Immigration Official
Adam Rothenberg ... Officer DeKeiffer


1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulska and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno's cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself. Written by Wild Bunch

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Polish | Latin

Release Date:

23 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nightingale See more »


Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,064, 16 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,013,456, 2 July 2014

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,867,686, 29 June 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | Datasat



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Marion Cotillard was cast after she met director James Gray during a dinner at a French fish restaurant where Gray and her boyfriend Guillaume Canet were talking about the script of Blood Ties (2013). Gray and Cotillard proceeded to get into an argument about an actor. "She threw bread at my head and she mentioned that she thought I was a jerk. And of course as consequence I immediately loved her." Gray told he had never seen Cotillard in anything before, but was instantly drawn to her. "I thought she had a great face, and not just physically beautiful because she is, but a haunted quality, almost like a silent film actress. I've talked about this, but she reminded me of Maria Falconetti in the Carl Theodor Dreyer film [The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)]; able to convey depth of emotion without dialogue specifically. I watched every film of hers I could get my hands on. And then I knew I had to write something for her. So that's the genesis of this thing [The Immigrant]. I wrote the movie for her and Joaquin Phoenix, and if they hadn't wanted to do the movie, I'm not sure I would have made it", he told. See more »


When at the church, Ewa makes the "sign of the cross" with the left hand several times. See more »


[first lines]
Ewa Cybulska: [standing in line at Ellis Island speaking Polish] We're almost there.
Magda Cybulska: [coughing]
Ewa Cybulska: The doctors are looking, try to hold it in. You're just nervous. That brings it on. Try to close your ears and say a prayer, to the Mother of God.
Magda Cybulska: I will.
Ewa Cybulska: We'll find Aunt Edyta soon, and we'll be safe. We'll be together. We'll make our own families, have lots of children.
See more »


Featured in Huffpost Live: Marion Cotillard LIVE (2015) See more »


La Rondine - Act III
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Joseph Calleja
Joseph Calleja Appears Courtesy of Decca Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

...great period piece movie with underdeveloped characters
22 March 2014 | by bcheng93See all my reviews

i cannot believe this movie got no Oscar consideration this year. both Joaquin phoenix and Marion cottilard deserved Oscar nominations for best actor and actress. i like this movie over " American hustle " and Joaquin's performance was brutally good, especially the last few moments of the movie where it was not sappy but i wanted to cry anyway. it is a f*ucked-up world we live in an its very hard not to desensitize ourselves, which to a degree everybody does.

OK, this movie probably had a lot of production problems, like one of the reviewers said that he caught the 95 min. version and i actually watched the 2 hr. version and that was to short of a running time. this has the feel of an epic movie and the actors and actresses were superb in this movie. i think someone needs to hang or shoot the scriptwriter cause everything else about the movie was awesome.

the basic story is set in early 1920's new york city,and its about 2 sisters from Poland( how good is Marion's polish? ) immigrating to America and arriving on Ellis island. her younger sister is sick and quarantine and waiting to recover and be deported. she is about to be deported also because her sponsors( aunt and uncle )never arrived to pick them up. in swoops Joaquin phoenix to rescue the day and get her out of Ellis island and to downtown Manhattan. oh...BTW, did i mention that he is a pimp and hustler and finds a lot of the girls fresh of the boat who are in dire situations by bribing the guards.

...that is as far as i want to go with the story, it really is a must see movie but make sure you get the longest version possible not the 95 min. one. this movie dwells on the darker side of immigrant life and that America is not the utopia everybody makes it out to be. the streets ain't paved with gold and life was often very hard.

i want to give a shout-out for jeremy renner, he looks very debonaire and suave with the short-cut and the pencil moustache. he played the lovable loser cousin of phoenix and was a delight.

why no Oscar consideration for this movie this year??????. this movie had 3 a-list actors who gave very good performances, set production was gorgeous( everything looked dreary and old like its suppose to ). i don't know if there was cgi involved for the Ellis island scenes, but it was very well done and even new york city in the 1920's was well done.

the last scene between Marion and Joaquin is worth the price of admission alone and i just wish this bittersweet movie was at least a 1/2 hr. longer.

maybe it'll make next years Oscars as it has not officially been released here in the states yet and they can fix it up before then, it just needs a little touching-up here and there thats all.

wanna watch a really good movie? well this is one of the best of the year in my opinion. enjoy!

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