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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

1:44 | Trailer
A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting.


Terry Gilliam
3,256 ( 19)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Garfield ... Anton
Christopher Plummer ... Doctor Parnassus
Richard Riddell Richard Riddell ... Martin
Katie Lyons ... Martin's Girlfriend
Richard Shanks ... Friend of Martin
Lily Cole ... Valentina
Verne Troyer ... Percy
Bruce Crawford ... Face Changed Martin
Johnny Harris ... Policeman
Lorraine Cheshire Lorraine Cheshire ... Mum
Mark Benton ... Dad
Lewis Gott Lewis Gott ... Diego
Sian Scott Sian Scott ... Linda
Simon Day Simon Day ... Uncle Bob (as Simon Daye)
Moya Brady Moya Brady ... Aunty Flo


In London, the sideshow troupe of Doctor Parnassus promises the audience a journey to the "Imaginarium", an imaginary world commanded by the mind of Doctor Parnassus, where dreams come true. In the stories that Doctor Parnassus tells to his daughter Valentina, the midget Percy, and his assistant Anton, he claims to have lived for more than one thousand years; However, when he fell in love with a mortal woman, he made a deal with the devil (Mr. Nick), trading his immortality for youth. As part of the bargain, he promised his son or daughter to Mr. Nick on their sixteenth birthday. Valentina is now almost to the doomed age and Doctor Parnassus makes a new bet with Mr. Nick, whoever seduces five souls in the Imaginarium will have Valentina as a prize. Meanwhile the troupe rescues Tony, a young man that was hanged on a bridge by the Russians. Tony was chased until he finds and joins the group. Tony and Valentina fall in love with each other and the jealous Anton discovers that his ... Written by RubyRed, Seattle, Washington USA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The man who tried to cheat the devil.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent images, some sensuality, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


After the death of Heath Ledger, production was shut down for a few months. Then it was re-started when Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell agreed to complete Ledger's role. The film's fantasy premise, and some clever re-writes, let the actors play a man whose appearance changes as he travels between imaginary worlds. See more »


When Dr. Parnassus is following Valentina through the concourse, two young school girls in uniform pass him. Moments later, when he's outside, the same two girls can be seen entering into the concourse in the background. See more »


[first lines]
Anton: Ladies and Gentlemen, step up. Step up! I am Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, and invite you, invite you, sir, for one night, one night only, here at this venue to enter the mind, the very great mind, huh, of Doctor Parnassus. Dr. Parnassus!
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Crazy Credits

The credits begin with "A Film from Heath Ledger & Friends", which is tribute to Ledger who passed away during filming, and a nod to his real life friends (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law), who stepped in to finish his uncompleted scenes. See more »


Yours Forever
Written by Dave Laudat, Paul Moran and André Jacquemin (as Andre Jacquemin)
Performed by Natalie Broekman
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User Reviews

Film's Existence is Admirable
27 June 2019 | by truemythmediaSee all my reviews

It is impossible to write about this entry into Terry Gilliam's oeuvre without acknowledging the tragic death of Heath Ledger. Cast as the film's inciting character, Heath Ledger's untimely death spawned and air of sadness that blankets the film, especially considering the tragic nature of his character.

Of course, as they say, the show must go on, so "The Imaginarium" did as well. in an outpouring of cinematic industry kinship, Johnny Depp ("Fear and Loathing"), Colin Farrell ("In Bruges"), Jude Law ("A.I.") stepped in to play Heath Ledger's character, Tony's, alter ego when he is in the mirror world. What this film would have looked like had Ledger not departed can never be known. How much film had to be scrapped, how many scenes were restructured, what funding fell through as a result, I do not know.

For these reasons, the film, in all of its imperfection, seems to get a pass from me, as I find myself wondering how a film production would recover from such a blow. The only even somewhat similar circumstances I can think of off the top of my head is Brandon Lee's death during the filming of "The Crow," and the massive reshoot efforts undertaken to remove Kevin Spacey from the film "All the Money in the World," coincidentally played by Christopher Plummer ("The New World") who co starred with Ledger ("A Knight's Tale") in "Imaginarium."

So those are my caveats for a film plagued by problems. I watch this film with a wave of sad forgiveness and dream of its original intentions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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UK | France | Canada


English | Russian | French

Release Date:

8 January 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus See more »

Filming Locations:

City of London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$415,233, 27 December 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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