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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
2,497 ( 284)

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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 ... 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

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

Although the film is set in Austria, it was filmed mostly in the Czech Republic. See more »

Goofs

Duchess Sophie von Teschen reveals to Eduard that Crown Prince Leopold intends to win over the Hungarians by aligning himself with her family. In reality, the Duchy of Teschen was part of the Austrian half of the Empire, so even if the Crown Prince had married her, it would not have had that much of a impact on the Empire's Hungarian citizens. 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 Side by Side (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Awesome and handsome film set in early 1900's Vienna about a magician , his lover and a nasty prince
12 January 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Imaginative and intriguing flick set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, where takes place a crash of wits between a famous magician , a price and and a Police Inspector . This enjoyable and fresh story about intense rivalry among an ambitious , easy-going magician named Eisenheim (Edward Norton who did many of his own magic tricks, with the coaching of James Freedman) who becomes a prestigious illusionist and get mutual envy , a Police chief (Paul Giamatti) and the heir prince (Rufus Sewel) ; being set in turn-of-the last century , Vienna (although the film is set in Austria, it was filmed mostly in the Czech Republic) . Their escalating cat and mouse feud is played out in palaces , theaters and Vienna streets . Eisenheim (his character is closely based on the magician and supposed clairvoyant Erik Jan Hanussen, who was famous in Vienna in the early part of the 20th century and was murdered by Nazi soldiers in 1933) delivers the most spectacular version of a teleportation trick that calls for something like real magic . The stage illusionist falls in love with a woman well above his social standing . He will use his abilities to secure the love of a gorgeous girl (Jessica Biel replaced Liv Tyler, who dropped out of the film just as filming was about to begin) far above his social standing as the magician use his powers to combat his enemies . The Duchess Von Teschen 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 .

This splendid movie is stunning in many aspects and blends appropriately various genres : the lush romantic period piece during nineteenth century Victorian Era , mystery thriller and fantasy . The picture gets it all : suspense , mystery drama , star crossed lovers , plot twists , murders ,tragedy , exquisite costumes and supernatural illusions . It inhabits a world between reality and illusion as when Inspector's investigation develops , it's amazingly unclear whether the illusionist is the performer of unbelievably excellent tricks or genuine supernatural acts . Explicitly modelled on the pattern of a magic trick , it's also bound by the rules of the mystery thriller genre . And in devoting so much room to romantic subplot , the picture ends up breaking the magician's cardinal rules . Featuring an excellent casting, as main actors, Edward Norton , Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti as well as eclectic secondaries , Rufus Sewel , Jake Wood and Eddie Marsan .Although the story is fictional, some of the details are based on the life of Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf, only son of Emperor Franz Josef. The painting of the emperor which Eisenheim creates is an actual portrait of Franz Josef ; the bodies of Rudolf and his mistress, the Baroness Mary Vetsera, were found at his hunting lodge Mayerling on January 30, 1889 in what is now known as the "Mayerling Incident". This was initially covered up by the Imperial Family, creating controversy and mystery. Luxurious attention to period detail in brilliant costumes and spectacular production design . Beautifully and mesmerizing cinematography by Dick Pope ; too marvelously photographed in a red sepia palette flashed with colorful images . Intriguing as well as evocative musical score by Philip Glass . The motion picture was perfectly directed by innovator director Neal Burger , a filmmaker who has filmed notorious movies such as ¨The lucky ones¨ , ¨Interview with the assassin¨ and his most successful , ¨Limitless¨ . At the same time was made another film (2006) with similar theme about magicians titled ¨The prestige¨ (2006) by Christopher Nolan with Hugh Jackman , Christian Bale and Michael Caine . 'The illusionist' results to be a magnificent picture which achieved much success . Rating : Above average, it was throughly amusing and exciting , and no as predictable as you would think . The film turns out to be a complete pleasure to watch these actors at this work , it's highly recommended and keep you guessing until final

.


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