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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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story "Eisenheim the Illusionist")
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1,615 ( 209)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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...
...
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Josef Fischer (as Edward Marsan)
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Jurka
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Willigut
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Young Eisenheim (as Aaron Johnson)
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...
Doctor / Old Man
...
Loschek
...
Herr Doebler
Philip McGough ...
Dr. Hofzinser
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Count Rainer
...
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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El ilusionista  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

So that the crew would not have to use CGI to "fake" the magical illusions seen, Norton received intensive training in sleight of hand and other stage magic techniques from British magician James Freedman and American magician Ricky Jay. 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

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.184 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Norton is mesmerizing
9 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

I am a long time fan of the old theatre magicians and have been fascinated by the wave of spiritualism that swept both continents around the turn of the last century. This movie plays off those real life happenings, with the added twist of court and political intrigue. The movie is lush - as a period piece should be - with terrific performances from a true ensemble cast. Edward Norton has the charismatic gaze that makes you believe in every thing he does. Jennifer Biel is tragic and compelling as a woman trapped by society and dubious duty. Paul Giamatti - who seems to be in every other movie these days - is wonderful as a conflicted man unsure of whom he serves. Rufus Sewell, as the Crown Prince Leopold, is that man, and he embodies the boo-hiss villain. Vain and driven, he is larger than life and not one to cross, as the illusionist comes to find out. The music of Philip Glass fits the scenes and add just the right amount of tension. Plus the horses are very old world with large hooves and a heck of a lot of presence. A compelling and beautiful film.


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