The Illusionist

The illusionist who gave himself the artistic name Eisenheim was born the son of a carpenter. In his childhood he met a magician who taught him a few tricks and influenced his whole life. As a young boy he met Duchess Sophie and they fell in love. Due to the different backgrounds of the two young people, their love was not favored and Eisenheim ran away from home to save his life. After about fifteen years of supporting himself as a highly successful illusionist, he returned to Vienna from his travels around the world. There is great interest in his performances and one evening Crown Prince Leopold and his fiancée Sophie von Teschen attend. Sophie volunteers and takes the stage with Eisenheim. She later learns that Prince Leopold is not exactly gentlemanly with his girlfriends and is rumored to have even killed one of them. However, the Prince is so impressed by the performance that he invites Eisenheim to perform at his private party. Eisenheim doesn't like the prince's behavior and so publicly humiliates him. In such a clever way, of course, that it's not directly objectionable. Nevertheless, the Prince takes offense and does everything he can to have Eisenheim banned from further performances in Vienna. Sophie and Eisenheim meet and Eisenheim asks her to leave with him. Sophie is afraid to do this for fear of Leopold's revenge and reveals that Leopold is planning a coup against her father, Emperor Franz Joseph I. Despite her fears, Sophie decides to end her relationship with Leopold. The prince is not used to resistance and reacts very inappropriately. After a few days, the Duchess is found dead. It is obvious that it is murder. The prince is suspected, but there is no evidence, and in addition another man confesses to the murder. Eisenheim despairs at Sophie's death. He buys a theatre and invokes the ghosts of the dead and Sophie's ghost. At one of the performances, Leopold arrives in disguise and Sophie's ghost says that her murderer is among the audience, while the man who confessed to her murder is in prison. The performance upsets Leopold greatly and he pressures Police Inspector Uhl to arrest Eisenheim for fraud, but Eisenheim gets off the hook because he publicly admits that it was only an illusion, it was not the real souls of the dead. He is released, but Uhl warns him he will not escape jail if he continues with this spectacle. However, Eisenheim summons Sophie's ghost again and then disappears to the amazement of all present. It's as if he's vanished...

The Illusionist
Země původu / 2006
Czechia, USA 2006
Délka (min)
110 min.
  • English
  • Czech
  • Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Eddie Marsan, Tom Fisher

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