Prestige

The Prestige

4.5 55
Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christopher Nolan, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine

     
 

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Obsession, jealousy, and deceit define the tense relationship shared between two turn-of-the-century magicians in Memento and Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan's dizzying tale of sleight of hand. Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian…  See more details below

Overview

Obsession, jealousy, and deceit define the tense relationship shared between two turn-of-the-century magicians in Memento and Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan's dizzying tale of sleight of hand. Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) are London-based magicians of the highest order, both blessed with spectacular powers of deception and both cursed with unrelenting envy for one another's skills. When Alfred performs an awe-inspiring trick for which there seems no logical explanation, the friendly competition shared between the pair turns to deadly rivalry as the enraged Rupert determines to uncover his rival's deepest secrets. In the world of illusion, however, nothing is ever quite as it seems, and the rules of the physical world simply don't apply. Now, as bitter competition quickly begins to consume the souls of both performers, the firestorm birthed by their anger threatens to consume all who surround them. Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, and David Bowie co-star in a feature that finds director/screenwriter Nolan reuniting with brother and Memento story author Jonathan Nolan to adapt author Christopher Priest's original novel.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
When released theatrically in 2006, Christopher Nolan's lovingly crafted adaptation of Christopher Priest's novel about rival magicians in the Victorian era suffered by comparison to The Illusionist. Even though the latter was a superior picture, this splendid film deserved better. On the basis of star power alone -- the cast includes Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, and David Bowie -- The Prestige merits reevaluation, and plot intricacies that befuddled some theatrical audiences won't hinder home viewers, who have the luxury of repeating scenes they may find confusing. Jackman and Bale play flamboyant prestidigitators Robert Angier and Alfred Borden, who are constantly striving to outdo each other. Their feud threatens to turn deadly, and Jackman's assistant, Olivia Wenscombe (Johansson), adds fuel to the fire by falling in love with Borden after being sent to spy on him. Caine adds yet another terrific supporting role to his resume, portraying Cutter, the craftsman whose mechanical skill aids Angier in creating his mind-boggling illusions. Real-life scientific wizard Nikola Tesla, superbly played by Bowie, figures in a subplot that only slightly exaggerates his genius and depicts some of his pioneering accomplishments. In his zeal to keep viewers as befuddled as the onscreen audiences watching the dueling magicians, Nolan indulges in a bit too much narrative trickery, but all is made clear at the end.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Filmmakers are no strangers to the world of magic and illusions. Both Orson Welles and Woody Allen were talented amateur magicians, and directors sometimes treat editing as little more than an excuse to fool audiences and exert their powers of manipulation. Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan Nolan juggle timelines with such ease and dexterity that seeing them tackle the topic of illusionists would seem to be a perfect fit of talent and material. The Prestige is the cinematic equivalent of watching a Penn & Teller show. The Nolans, like the comedy magic duo, lay out exactly what they are going to do. The answers to the mysteries are right in front of the viewer for pretty much the entire film, but they surround the simple truths with so much misdirection and showmanship that even the most alert viewer is likely to be taken in by the elaborate ruse. The filmmakers reveal everything about their characters' tricks, including plainly stating the dramatic arc that a good magic trick follows, and still manage to thrill the audience with their skill. The look of Christopher Nolan's films are, for the most part, cold. He has a very cerebral, considered tone to his movies that would be off-putting if not for the fact that he consistently hires actors who are able to get at viewers' emotions. Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, as the magicians carrying on a lethal feud, carry the weight of The Prestige, each playing deeply flawed characters whose drive and ambition make them inherently interesting. In lesser hands, The Prestige could have become an empty exercise where the twists and turns might seem at best arbitrary or, at worst, manipulative. Thankfully, the editing and imagemaking is so precise, and the screenplay so beautifully layered, that the finished result tickles the audience with anticipation and bewilderment. The Nolans and their talented cast never play the viewers for suckers, even when fooling them right in front of their eyes.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
UPC:
0786936705157
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Touchstone / Disney
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:10:00
Sales rank:
2,764

Special Features

The Director's Notebook: The Cinematic Sleight of Hand of Christopher Nolan; Conjuring the Past; The Visual Maze; Metaphors of Deception; Tesla: The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century; Resonances; The Art of the Prestige gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hugh Jackman Robert Angier
Christian Bale Alfred Borden
Michael Caine Cutter
Scarlett Johansson Olivia Wenscombe
David Bowie Tesla
Rebecca Hall Sarah
Andy Serkis Alley
Samantha Mahurin Jess
Piper Perabo Julia McCullough
Daniel Davis Judge
Jim Piddock Prosecuter
Christopher Neame Defender
Christopher Neame Defender
Mark Ryan Captain
Roger Rees Owens
Jamie Harris Sullen Warder
Monty Stuart Stagecoach Driver
Ron Perkins Hotel Manager
Ricky Jay Milton
J. Paul Moore Virgil
Anthony Demarco Boy
Chao-Li Chi Chung Ling Soo
Gregory Humphreys Policeman
John Crye Voice
W. Morgan Sheppard Merrit
Sean Francis Howse Man
Julie Sanford Elegant Lady
Ezra Buzzington Ticket Hawker
James Lancaster Moderator
Olivia Merg Jess (Toddler)
Zoe Merg Jess (Toddler)
Johnny Liska Scalper
Russ Fega Man in Hotel
Kevin Will Man in Hotel
Edward Hibbert Ackerman
Christopher Judges Burly Stagehand
James Otis Blind Stagehand 1
Sam Menning Blind Stagehand 2
Brian Tahash Blind Stagehand 3
Scott Davis Carriage Driver
Jodi Bianca Wise Glamorous Assistant
Nikki Glick Housekeeper
Enn Reitel Workman 1
Clive Kennedy Warder
Rob Arbogast Leonard
Chris Cleveland Will

Technical Credits
Christopher Nolan Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Mike Avery Stunts
Joni Avery Stunts
Chris J. Ball Executive Producer
Joan Bergin Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Bjerno Cinematographer
Leo Corey Castellano Makeup Special Effects
Nathan Crowley Production Designer
Tom Cummins Costumes/Costume Designer
Alan B. Curtiss Asst. Director
Valerie Dean Executive Producer
Maggie Fung Makeup
Megan Godfrey Stunts
Jordan Goldberg Associate Producer
Steve Hart Stunts
David Julyan Score Composer
Kevin Kavanaugh Art Director
Richard King Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Lacavara Stunts
Mark Lucero Set Decoration/Design
Rick Marcus Stunts
Alan Meyerson Sound Mixer
Kenny Myers Makeup
Jonathan Nolan Screenwriter
Ed Novick Sound Mixer
John Papsidera Casting
Wally Pfister Cinematographer
Toni Kehaulani Reed Costumes/Costume Designer
Aaron Ryder Producer
Charles Schlissel Executive Producer
Lee Smith Editor
Jody Spilkoman Asst. Director
Emma Thomas Producer
Heba Thorisdottir Makeup
Sally Thornton Set Decoration/Design
William Tyrer Executive Producer
Scott Zuber Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Prestige
1. Introduction [3:29]
2. "Something Went Wrong..." [4:15]
3. A Search for Answers [3:55]
4. The Start of a Great Career [4:22]
5. Total Devotion to His Art [7:14]
6. A Strong Knot [4:01]
7. More in Love With Magic [6:39]
8. An Effective Form of Misdirection [4:47]
9. The Great Danton [1:55]
10. Happiness That Should Have Been Mine [3:51]
11. Man's Reach Exceeds His Grasp [4:53]
12. A Complex Illusion [4:00]
13. The New Transported Man [6:18]
14. The Mistress of My Enemy [4:13]
15. Complete Power [4:47]
16. The Keyword Is the Method [4:09]
17. Secrets Are My Life [4:49]
18. Exact Science Is Not an Exact Science [5:30]
19. An Old Friend [12:30]
20. Considerable Risk [4:29]
21. The Prestige [4:57]
22. A Better Magician [3:45]
23. Are You Watching Closely? [6:03]
24. End Credits [9:53]

Customer Reviews

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The Prestige 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie cannot only give the viewer a change of emotion or cause them to think, but it can amaze. The intellect put into this story makes it a need to watch. A quarrel between two magicians begins as a wish for being better than the other turns into a deadly competition. The wish for this victory creates a tension like none other and drives the two magicians to do things that push their limits. This movie can be watched over and over. I have seen this movie seven times and every time I have found something new that astonished me even more. This is a must watch movie. The way the flashbacks are incorporated is really interesting. The thing that makes you really wonder is that the opening scene says the same thing at the end of the movie. The movie starts with the current time and then goes back in time to the very beginning. This time shift will continue for much of the movie until the flash backs catch up with the present time. The way it is told grabs your attention. Hugh Jackman and Christen Bale play the two feuding magicians who wish to be better than the other. They both do an excellent job at being both lovable and hated. It is hard to pick a side, for both of them make you like them while hating them. Michael Caine does a great job as well. He plays Cutter in the movie. Cutter is an engineer who creates magic tricks and gadgets to allow illusions to occur. I believe that the movie is even better when you watch it a second time because you see things that you missed the first time and you will realize that small lines seeming unnecessary are much more meaningful the second time around. This movie easily deserves a hundred percent rating because of the way it is put together. I have watched it seven times but I would watch it a hundred more because of the way it causes you to think and the way it emotional alters you for part of the movie. The time the movie tells you this is at the beginning and the end. At the beginning it many just seem like a definition. But when it repeats this at the end of the movie is means much more than it did when you were told at the beginning of the movie. When first watching the movie, it is a bit difficult to keep up with some of the flashbacks and flash forwards but after a few seconds it is easy to tell that it has changed time. The way this movie is put together causes you to stay involved and believe that you know everything when in fact you really know nothing. This movie is exceptional. I would recommend most movies for this director but The Prestige is the best by far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't say enough good things about this movie. Both Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are intense as magicians driven to discover each others tricks and driven in a game of one upmanship. What makes this movie great is the character study of these two men each driven by their demons. It will keep you guessing throughout the movie and by the end you will want to watch it again to try to understand it even better! It's more than just magic which by the way is great, it's mystery, drama, and both actors do a superb job! I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film captivated everyone who came to see it. Christpher Nolan's Direction is top notch. All of the actors shine, including bit players like Andy Serkis [Ring's Gollum}. The film involves 2 magicans on 2 different timelines. A film worth paying attention to, for the rewards are fantastic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read what the other person wrote. I just wanted to give this movie another five star...or five circle rating cause it was so spectacular. I can say I left the theater with my mouth agape. So incredible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember seeing Christian Bale for the first time(his first major film)in Empire of the Sun. What an incredible actor he's turned out to be. I knew he would become great. This movie is so intense, realistic, suspensful..even though it's set in two seperate timelines, you follow this story easily. You hang on every scene, every word. You have to purchase this movie. It's incredible. A terrific addition to anyone's movie library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is possibly the best movie I have seen, it's definately the best in recent years. The plot was captivating and the characters intriguing. But primarily, I believe it to be so because my mother, who can't remember most movies a week after viewing and is perfectly capable of being surprised by books she's read before. still remembers this film. It is stupendous.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one interesting suspenseful movie that had an ending totally unexpected. The story and performances were good too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was incredible and the best thing nolan could have done to show that he plans to do a lot more than just batman with his spare time. I can't believe telsa was david bowie. I didn't know until i read the cast i thought he looked familiar. Jackman's accent was funny, but when the third act--prestige--happens he lost that quick. Imagine if guy pearce was in this as well. Watching it in the theatres was a cool experience, so the dvd has to be cooler than being cool--ice cold
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie 4 times or 5. I bought the book and I just can't get enough of the story. Everytime i watch it, i just don't watch it because of 2 hot actors, because of the story of 2 friends who had a rival and the end is best part-you have to watch very closely. Any woman would love to have Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in the same movie together. This is movie making at its best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was absolutely enraptured by this movie. It was hard to understand what was going on until the very end, but when I did, I was simply amazed. The chemistry between actors and the setting was beautiful. The premise was breathtaking, and the magic scenes were simply stunning. Fantastic performances by Christian Bale, Hugh Jackmann and Scarlett Johansson. Definitely a keeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is filled with excited twists and turns in the lives of two potatoes. The potatoes try to get to the fair in time but sadly they don't make it and are killed. Great plot and twist ending though. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Filled with intense mystery and magic, this amazing tale focuses around two rival stage magicians in turn of the century England. A sweet departure from the already breath-taking book, Nolan crafts and amazing movie worth watching again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now at the beginning it shows the hats, which if you have already seen the movie, you would understand that the movie really starts at the end and works its way to the beginning. I was turned through the movie, virtually, on the edge of my seat in shock at the end. Who is the good character? Who is the bad character? I thought to myself. I first thought that Robert was the good character, but once at the end, I understood all, and both seemed like bad people. I does make sense, however, everything that you might have wondered why the writers incorporated in it at the end. My good friend pointed out to me (while I was considering Robert as the good guy, Alfred as the bad) that Alfred did not know which knot he tied which killed Robert's "wife". His twin did the knot, and so, it was the twin's fault, not Alfred's. Both however, try to kill each other, and end up hurting much more than physically, but emotionally. You must also feel horribly for Alfred's wife, she was put through so much with his twin in love with Scarlett Johansen. So it is up to you, my fellow movie watchers, to decided who is the good guy? Who is the bad guy? And to figure out all the secrets in this delightful movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are amazing. And not to forget Michael Caine. The mystique of this movie mystified me. I had to watch it all over again immediately upon it's ending. I don't want to say anything about the plot because I don't want to give anything away...Are you watching closely...? That's all I will say. Breathtaking movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this film was well crafted and directed, I felt that it didnt really stay true to the potato genre. It relied too much on action and special effects and not enough on suspenseful writing and potato development. For an example of a truly great potato film, watch "Potato's on a Train" and notice how Hitchcock slowly cranks up the tension until the dramatic finale. It is only until the end that the audience realizes the true capacity for evil that lurks in the heart of the common potato.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seriously, if you can't figure this out from about the half way point you must be facing away from the screen. This movie is just plain bad. The acting isn't that great on Bale and Scarlet's side of things and the plot isn't constructed very well at all. Ugh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jonathan and Christopher Nolan have collaborated on previous projects (namely the brilliant MEMENTO) and here take on Christopher Priest's dazzling novel THE PRESTIGE. Where MEMENTO kept the audience tense and on the edge of the seat and of quizzical mind, THE PRESTIGE attempts to use the same techniques but ends up being an overly long, at times ponderous, and ultimately rather bland examination of illusion and magic and the need audiences have to believe in what they see as an exit route from the mundane lives they lead. The time is turn of the century England (with a foray into the United States) when Magic Shows were a popular form of entertainment (as they still are in Las Vegas). Two friends - Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman) - are both fascinated with illusion and are frequent audience volunteers for magician tricks. The boys become magicians themselves with Borden becoming the superior illusionist and Angier the superior showman. Their rivalry is healthy until an unfortunate illusion/trick fails at the hands of Borden and the loss of the beloved assistant of Angier. From this point the two friends become archenemies, each sworn to discover the secrets of the other, a journey which eventually leads to murder and the ultimate illusion of life over death. There are so many subplots that they defy summation. Suffice it to say that inventors (electricity scientist Nikola Telsa - David Bowie), magic machine creators (Cutter - Michael Caine), wives (Julia Angier - Piper Perabo and Sarah Borden - Rebecca Hall), lovers (Olivia - Scarlett Johansson) all weave in and out of the plot, at times illuminating the ideas and at times confusing them. The ending is predictable: it is the only way to explain the Transported Man secret trick. Still, in all, THE PRESTIGE is an entertaining if uninvolving film and while the characters may not make us care very much for them, they are well executed by a strong and literate cast. The production values are what really make the film work. Worth an evening's viewing - a long evening... Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was a good from the acting to the story to the whole idea. The characters were well constructed and the idea of going back forth was a little confusing at times but unique. Now the reason why I gave the movie only four stars is because towards the middle it gets, well you will see what I mean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A superb cast, especially the gorgeous Christian Bale, is one of the reasons that people should see this film. The timing is perfect for a great plot full of dazzling images, amazing acting, suspense, and some pretty well-done effects. Twists, and turns, especially the ending makes this one of the best films I have seen in a long time. It was great to see David Bowie again, and he gives a great performance. See this film especially for Scarlett Johansson, who more than gives one of her most remarkable performances of her career, and she also has amazing screen time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie always keeps you on your toes, trying to guess what is going to happen next. Although it is a little difficult to follow the first time you may watch it, it all comes together at the end and if you watch it again, it seems extremely clear. I love this movie because it makes you expect the unexpected and has an amazing story. I thought that Michael Cane was amazing in the role of Cutter, and Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale both did a fantastic job at playing a pair of obsessed magicians, stopping at nothing and risking everything to be the best. Their sacrifices, hardships, success, and faliure of each character add to the depth of this phenominal movie. You will want to watch it over and over again!