The Illusionist

Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) finds a gem from Prince Leopold's (Rufus Sewell) sword and Sophie's (Jessica Biel) necklace at the stable. With this evidence, he's convinced that the prince murdered Sophie. He confronts the prince and he says that it's all Eisenheim's (Edward Norton) doing and that it's all a trick. Uhl mentions that he wrote to the prince's father, the Emperor, telling him what's happened and just as the Emperor's guards are approaching, the prince shoots himself. Eisenheim, in disguise, heads to the train station. A little boy gives to inspector Uhl the instructions to the orange tree illusion and he suddenly realizes that Eisenheim's acts really are illusions and are not real. He heads to the train station, hoping to catch Eisenheim and he figures it all out. The "physician" that inspected Sophie's "corpse" is really a friend of Eisenheim (he appears when Uhl is following and eavesdropping on Eisenheim before he reports to the prince that he saw Sophie with Eisenheim). Sophie faked her death and took some kind of drug so that she would look dead, Eisenheim took a gem from the prince's sword on the night that he did the "sword in the stone" trick. Sophie drugged the wine before being "murdered" and she put blood on the horse. Uhl smiles now that he's realized that Eisenheim fooled everyone. The last scene is Eisenheim and Sophie happily reunited...


Visible crew/equipment: Near the end of the film, Chief Inspector Uhl is in Prince Leopold's office. In the close-up shot when the two argue, you can view the boom mic, going from one character to the other, in the reflection on the brass table lamp.

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Eisenheim: I thought we might end this evening with a discussion of the soul. All of the greatest religions speak of the soul's endurance before the end of life. So what then does it mean to die?

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Trivia: The girl playing young Sophie was only 13 when they filmed Eisenheim and her kissing. The kisses filmed were her first and second kisses. (00:09:50)

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Question: How does he do the sword trick?

Answer: The trick is done with electromagnets under the stage holding the sword upright and stuck to the floor (switched off when Leopold takes the sword). Audiences at the time would have been unfamiliar with such a technique.

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