Chung Ling Soo was a stage character created by William Ellsworth Robinson, a white man 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.
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 Edison's associates, thus proving that magicians are not the only ones who hide within their rivals' audiences.
Nikola Tesla was a world-renowned inventor, physicist, and engineer. For a while, he conducted electrical experiments at his lab in Colorado Springs, where he was also known for his eccentric behavior.
The word "prestige" originally meant a trick, from the Latin "praestigium", meaning "illusion".
The editing includes one hundred forty-six time jump cuts, in which the next shot either flashes back or skips ahead to another time period of the storyline. This averages to almost one timeline jump per minute of movie.
Sam Mendes wanted to do this movie as his follow-up to American Beauty (1999), which had just been nominated for seven Academy Awards. Another offer came from Newmarket Films on behalf of Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan, of whom Author Christopher Priest had never heard. Priest was prepared to close the deal with Mendes, when a VHS copy of Nolan's Following (1998) was delivered to his house by motorcycle (Memento (2000) was still in post-production). Priest was impressed, and chose Nolan (in part to also support a new filmmaker over an established one).
Alfred Borden's (Christian Bale's) infant was played by one of Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan's children.
This is one of three 2006 movies to feature magic and magicians as main characters. The other two are The Illusionist (2006) and Scoop (2006) (which also starred Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson).
Ricky Jay, who played a magician in this movie, coached Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale in their sleight-of-hand techniques.
The main characters' initials spell "ABRA" (Alfred Borden Robert Angier), as in abracadabra, a common word used by magicians.
When Alley (Andy Serkis) is introduced, he makes a reference to a magic trick in which one person guesses the item in a person's pocket. The same trick fooled Serkis' character Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
The in-the-hands vanishing bird cage was developed and performed successfully for many years by Harry Blackstone, Sr. His son, Harry Blackstone, Jr. also performed the trick successfully for many years.
Alfred Borden takes on the stage name of "The Professor". This is the nickname that was given to many magicians at this time (Professor Hoffman, Professor Otto Hermann Professor Tucan) Dai Vernon. Most notably, Dai Vernon bore the nickname, the man many consider to be the best modern-day sleight-of-hand magician.
In the bullet-catching scene, Harry Dresden is on the list of performers under "The Professor". Dresden is a fictional wizard in "The Dresden Files", a series of books by Jim Butcher, and the basis of The Dresden Files (2007).
Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
This was Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan's lowest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes, at seventy-six percent. It has since been surpassed by Interstellar (2014), at seventy-one percent.
In the novel, Borden and Angier's rivalry began when Borden wrecks a fake seance Angier is conducting. Injuring, but not killing, his wife in the process.
Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall appeared in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is one of two Christopher Nolan movies, in which a character has a two-headed coin. The other one was The Dark Knight (2008), in which Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face used one to decide his fate, or the fate of his victims.
Six of this movie's stars played roles in several comic book movies. Christian Bale and Sir Michael Caine appeared as Batman and Alfred respectively in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy. Hugh Jackman played Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise. Scarlett Johansson played Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rebecca Hall appeared as Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3 (2013). Andy Serkis played Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin (2011), as well as Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Black Panther (2018).
When Alfred is in prison, his inmate number is D-23. The movie was released by Touchstone Pictures, a Disney subsidiary. D-23 is the official Disney Fanclub; 23 refers to 1923, the year Walt Disney opened the studio.
The cast includes two Oscar winners, Christian Bale and Sir Michael Caine, and two Oscar nominees, Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson.
When Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) arrives in Colorado Springs, he is actually arriving at the Darien Ranch in the Colorado town of Marble, where the scene was filmed.
One of two movies released in the fall of 2006 that featured Hugh Jackman and Andy Serkis. The other being Flushed Away (2006).
This the only non-Batman movie to date, on which Christian Bale worked with Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan.
Christian Bale's character is named Alfred. In The Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale's butler, played by Sir Michael Caine, was named Alfred.
When Hugh Jackman' s character arrives in Colorado Springs he is actually arriving at the Darien Ranch in the town of Marble in western Colorado where the Prestige was filmed. Colorado Springs is located in eastern Colorado. The main ranch house and barns were digitally erased and train tracks added. There are no railroad tracks located there.