Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
Plot: In the end of the Nineteenth Century, in London, Robert Angier, his beloved wife Julia McCullough and Alfred Borden are friends and assistants of a magician. When Julia accidentally dies during a performance, Robert blames Alfred for her death and they become enemies. Both become famous and rival magicians, sabotaging the performance of the other on the stage. When Alfred performs a successful trick, Robert becomes obsessed trying to disclose the secret of his competitor with tragic consequences.
Chung Ling Soo was a stage character created by a Caucasian American man, William Ellsworth Robinson, who disguised himself as a Chinese man to cash in on audiences' enthusiasm for the exotic. Robinson lived as Chung, never breaking character while in public. He died in March 1918 when a bullet catch trick went wrong. "My God, I've been shot" were both his last words and the first English he had spoken on stage in nineteen years.
Borden's infant is played by one of director Christopher Nolan's children.
The word "prestige" originally meant a trick, from the Latin "praestigium," meaning "illusion."
Ricky Jay, who played a magician in the film, coached Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale in their sleight-of-hand techniques.
Josh Hartnett was considered for the part of Robert Angier.
Sarah's line, "I know what you are," was not in the script. Rebecca Hall said that she felt terrible right after she said it, thinking she had given away the ending.
Early on in the movie, Sarah's nephew asks of the bird, "Where's his brother?" It is a clear foreshadowing of the fact that Borden has a twin brother. Borden compliments the child for realizing that it was not the same bird.
When Nikola Tesla's machines are being exhibited in the Royal Albert Hall, a man in the audience protests that Tesla's electrical current is unstable. Later in the movie, the same man appears in Colorado Springs as one of Thomas A. Edison's henchmen, thus hinting that he was hired by Edison to discredit Tesla's invention.
Nikola Tesla [1856-1943] was a Serbian scientist and inventor who is often called "the father of physics" for his major contributions in the fields of electricity and electromagnetism. However, his eccentric personality and his bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments also earned him the title of "mad scientist," and he died impoverished at the age of 86. Tesla's later years saw him pursuing more and more unusual applications of technology, with many rumored goals including anti-gravity, death rays, and teleportation. None of these pursuits, however, were ever actualized.
Based 1995 novel of the same name by British writer Christopher Priest