The Illusionist

September 1st, 2006

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The Illusionist

Still of Paul Giamatti in The IllusionistStill of Rufus Sewell in The IllusionistPaul Giamatti at event of The IllusionistStill of Edward Norton and Jessica Biel in The IllusionistStill of Edward Norton in The IllusionistStill of Jessica Biel in The Illusionist

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.6/10 (138,166 voted)

Critic's Score: 68/100

Director: Neil Burger

Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti

Eisenheim is a magician in early 1900's Vienna, who falls in love with a woman well above his social standing. When she becomes engaged to a Crown Prince, Eisenheim uses his powers to free her and undermine the stability of the royal house of Vienna.

Writers: Neil Burger, Steven Millhauser

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 Johnson - Young Eisenheim
Eleanor Tomlinson - Young Sophie
Karl Johnson - Doctor / Old Man
Vincent Franklin - Loschek
Nicholas Blane - Herr Doebler
Philip McGough - Dr. Hofzinser
Erich Redman - Count Rainer
Michael Carter - Von Thurnburg

Taglines: Nothing is what it seems

Release Date: 1 September 2006

Filming Locations: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Box Office Details

Budget: $16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $927,956 (USA) (20 August 2006) (51 Screens)

Gross: $84,276,175 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

When Prince Leopold is approached by Inspector Uhl, while hunting, to inform him of Eisenheim and Sophie's meetings, the Prince asks what they were seen doing together. The line about if they were seen "fornicating" was originally filmed as him saying "fucking" instead. They dubbed in the word "fornicating" to avoid an R-Rating in compliance with the MPAA's policy that the f-word not be used in reference to intercourse in a PG-13 film.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Inspector Uhl finds Leopold to tell him of Sophie and Eisenheim's relationship, Leopold asks "What where they doing? Touching? Kissing? Fornicating?" His face is only shown when he says "fornicating", but he mouths a completely different word. (see Trivia)

[first lines]
woman in audience: It's her. I know it's her! She wants to tell us something.

User Review

Brilliant movie, exceptional all around

Rating: 10/10

This movie was stunning in many aspects. Visually in terms of locations, inside and out, there was great consistency and a nothing seemed strained. The story weaved fluidly through these locations and seemed to make the locales a vital part of the story. Ed Norton was mesmerizing, a superb performance that allowed the story to unfold seemingly at his discretion. Jess Biel was very believable and stunningly beautiful. Paul Giamatti (sp) played an admirable role and took the viewer by surprise in many elements of the story. The story was fresh and imaginative, very intriguing. Not as predictable as you would think. We saw this at a Sundance screening and the entire theater of 500+ seats was full and when the movie was over all you could hear was excited and happy chatter, lots of applause as well. Director came out for a Q&A after and was very amiable in answering questions. Highly recommended!!!

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