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    Home Page > Movies & DVD > The Prestige


    (Released for the very first time at the Roma Film Festival on October 17th, 2006. Released in movie theatres in the U.S.A on October 20th, 2006; in the U.K. on October 29th, 2006 and Italy on December 22nd, 2006).

    (The Prestige,USA/UK 2006; drama/fantasy/thriller; 130’; Produz.: Newmarket Productions; Distribuz.: for U.S.A. Touchstone Pictures; for U.K. Buena Vista; for Italy Warner Bros.

    Locandina italiana The Prestige

    Rating by
    Celluloid Portraits:


    Titolo in italiano: The Prestige

    Titolo in lingua originale: The Prestige

    Anno di produzione: 2006

    Anno di uscita: 2006

    Regia: Christopher Nolan

    Sceneggiatura: Christopher e Jonathan Nolan

    Soggetto: Based on the novel “The Prestige” by Christopher Priest.

    Cast: Hugh Jackman (Robert Angier)
    Christian Bale (Alfred Borden)
    Michael Caine (Mr. Cutter)
    Piper Perabo (Julia McCullough)
    Rebecca Hall (Sarah)
    Scarlett Johansson (Olivia Wenscombe)
    David Bowie (Tesla)
    Andy Serkis (Alley)
    Samantha Mahurin (Jess)

    Musica: David Julyan

    Costumi: Joan Bergin Cox

    Scenografia: Nathan Crowley Ayers

    Fotografia: Wally Pfister

    Scheda film aggiornata al: 25 Novembre 2012


    British director Christopher Nolan's (BATMAN BEGINS) eclectic resume gains another interesting entry with THE PRESTIGE. The basic plot, which concerns the rivalry between two magicians in early 20th-century London. In Nolan's film, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale bring the characters of Robert Angier and Alfred Bordon to life. Robert and Alfred were young magician apprentices together, but became bitter rivals as their careers began to shape their adult lives and a terrible accident claimed the life of Robert's wife. In the subsequent years Robert has become wildly jealous of Alfred's superior talents, so in a last ditch attempt to steal some artistic ground he sends his assistant, Olivia (Scarlett Johansson), to infiltrate his rival's lair and steal the secret to a spectacular trick called "The Transported Man.". Nolan's film twists and turns down a number of unexpected avenues as it flits back and forth between numerous time periods, creating a movie that needs to be watched as closely as the tricks his leading characters perform. Bale and Jackman perfectly execute their roles, winding up the tension to an unbearable degree as they wilfully enter into some dangerously competitive patterns of behaviour. Michael Caine makes his second appearance in a Nolan film, almost reprising his role of Alfred in BATMAN BEGINS by playing Cutter, Jackman's mentor; and Johansson pouts and flounces across the elaborate sets like a classic Hollywood screen siren.

    Commento critico (a cura di MARTA SBRANA, Canada)

    If you think this is the usual move about a biography of a dead magician, you have to think again. There’s nothing usual about this film, not even the beginning which actually is almost the end. It’s an absolutely well planned plot: three different time line carried out by the different narrations: two by the reading of the diaries written by the main character Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Bordon (Christian Bale). There’s not a moment which the public can breathe easily, it’s a constant twist, a never ending pass by one turn of events to another until the end when everything is explained. But is really everything clear now or there’s more? There’s the magic, the real magic. The feeling that you need to watch this movie over and over again. The cast is simply spectacular: Jackman is perfect in play Angier, he’s elegant and classy; calm and

    driven by a mysterious rebellion at the same time; Bale is as secret as he can been, until the end his acting doesn’t let anything leak away. But the one who steal the scene is obviously David Bowie, this character suits hem perfectly: the mad genius, ahead for his time, hunted by his passion. The setting is dark, gloomy just enough to give the public the feeling of unease, menace that filled the film; not even too much bright light even in the scene shot outdoor there’re always cloudy, grey days. Even the colours of the costumes blend and fade away in the scenes. The scenes with greater thrill the camera fells vanished and the audience has the feeling to be in the front row to watch the story. A movie really from out of this world.


    Nikola Tesla, played by David Bowie, is the only real character

    in this movie. He is a world-renowned inventor, physicist, and engineer. He did in fact at one point in time have a lab in Colorado Springs where he conducted electrical experiments. Besides being a brilliant scientist, he was also known for his eccentric behaviour.

    Commenti del regista

    About the challenge of shooting “The Prestige”:

    "… And the real paradox, which is the paradox of magic, but this is to me what's interesting about the subject, is that much as the audience wants to know the secret, the secret ultimately will be disappointing. That's the nature of magic. And that's, to me, the key thing which I'm trying to do in the film…".

    About Christian Bale:

    "I think that the most accurate thing to be said about Christian, and one of the reasons he's terrific to work with, is he takes what he does very, very seriously, but he doesn't take himself very seriously. He just has a very grounded approach to life and has a sense of humour about himself, but takes his work very seriously. It's a hard line to straddle. It's a very hard attitude to strike, but it's one that really benefits the work greatly. I've been fortunate to work with several actors like him".

    About Hugh Jackman:

    "What Hugh has in spades, really, is he's a terrific movie actor, a terrific film actor, but he's also a wonderful stage performer. This role requires an actor who can convey a comfort level and a power in his relationship with an audience that transcends his abilities as a magician. It's a very difficult thing to put across visually. He absolutely manages to do it, and I think that his stage experience is a big part of that. Christian, on the other hand, is able to convey, quite marvellously I think, the idea of somebody who's tremendously gifted as a magician, but has no understanding of what an audience needs from him to appreciate what he's doing".

    Commenti dei protagonisti:


    "… I met a lot of magicians, saw a lot of acts and I read a lot. I was actually reading about Houdini, just coincidentally, when the script came. I was interested in that era, which is such a fascinating time, where magic was believed. In America, at that time, spiritualism was a greater religion than Christianity, so magicians who could do séances and things were beyond just tricksters. They were, somehow, medians with the other world and they held this fascination for adults…. but I think the roles of Christian and I were tailor made. My character is a very good magician, but Christian's is a great one. My character elevates himself as a magician by his natural ability on stage, and I've had a lot of experience on stage, so that's something that comes easily to me. The character, at the beginning of the film, is fairly optimistic, enjoys his life and is excited by the possibilities. There's a tragedy that happens early on, in his personal life, and then, somehow, he's fuelled by this ambition and the anger over what happened, and it turns him into being much darker, more intense and, ultimately, very dangerous person. I wouldn't say that's me, but I think the transformation was a lot of fun for me to play. In terms of the character at the beginning of the film, I think it's fairly similar to me…".


    "… they would never teach me the entire trick. You know? And I respected this very much in them that they recognize, as my character says in the movie, ‘The value of magic is in the mystery.’ You tell people how it’s done and that’s it. It’s not only not interesting anymore; it’s bloody annoying once you find out how it’s done. The only different kind of trick, I would say, is slight of hand. Because, that, I found it even more stunning when they showed me how they were doing it. There are a few things like that I had to learn, which we didn’t end up using in the movie anyway. But, I admired that immensely. Just the hours, the commitment, basically a lifetime of commitment these guys devote to it…".


    Sito ufficiale:

    Italian website:


    • Christopher Nolan (Regista)

    • Christian Bale

    • Scarlett Johansson

    • Rebecca Hall

    • Hugh Jackman

    • Michael Caine

    • Andy Serkis

    • Piper Perabo


    Galleria Video:

    Il giudizio della critica

    The Best of Review

    International Press

    Peter Travers, “The Rolling Stone” Oct. 20, 06

    "… Jackman and Bale make a mind-bending team. Special props to Bale, whose award-bait tour de force will spin your head around…".

    For "The FlickFilosopher. com" MaryAnn Johanson, Oct 20, 06

    "The first question, obviously, is: How much like The Illusionist is The Prestige? And the answer is: quite a bit, and not at all. Thematically both films cover much the same ground -- how we make ourselves willing fools in the name of entertainment, whether we’re looking to be deceived by stage magicians or, in the meta, by the conjurings of filmmakers -- but the very nature of those themes make The Prestige impossible to resist even if you’ve already been happily fooled by The Illusionist. If you get an enormous tickle out of being tricked by a movie -- and more than that: if you are thrilled by the very act of trying to figure out how a movie is trying to trick you -- then The Prestige is a must-see…".

    Italian Press

    Alberto Pezzotta, “Ciak”:

    " … Nolan goes back to the twist as in “Memento” and behind the game there’s lots of meaning. The classical themes (ambition, revenge, absolute) and the solutions, dreadful, they investigate the darkness of the human soul. Awesome cast, Caine should get an Oscar".

    Dario Zonta, “L’Unita” (...)

    "A lot of turn of events (...). The theme is the illusionism and the movie plays on the reaction of the audience, it wants to deceives them to reveile everything at the end. Beat it, if you can, in time".

    Maurizio Porro, “Il corriere della sera” (...)

    "... it looks a lot a like to a play written by Eduardo De Filippo, called “La grande magia” (…)..(…) it’s entertaining but is not free (…)…(…) the movie, elegantly complicated always between a dream and a nightmare, it spurs wide discussions between science (exact? Never!) and brain, between art and illusion, and it makes it easy with a crescendo of special effects (…)".

    Mariarosa Mancuso, “Il foglio” (…)

    "we understand all the references, and even the narcissism. We got bored anyway".

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