The amazing career of master magician Harry Houdini is presented from his beginnings with a carnival "wild man" act to his emergence as an internationally-acclaimed illusionist, From his dramatic escape from a locked safe under the frozen Detroit River to an even more improbable one from a locked cell in Scotland Yard, he never failed to please and astound his audiences. Although Houdini's tricks are achieved through his marvelous physical dexterity and innate sleight-of-hand, he courted death with the hazardous illusions he performed and his compulsive quest to make contact with the spirit world. Written by
The movie contains several factual errors, the most telling of which is the dramatization of Harry Houdini's death. In the film he almost drowns in the torture tank trick and dies on the stage in the arms of his wife. In real life he was punched in the stomach by a college student who had heard that Houdini could withstand any blow without harm. This did, indeed, rupture his appendix. He later collapsed on stage, was taken to the hospital and died there. See more »
There's a revealing jump cut in the authentic sawing-woman-in-half act. See more »
Audiences are never satisfied. They love you for th moment you please them.
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It led me to being tied up, handcuffed, and put in a strait jacket
A very enjoyable movie, though full of enough holes to occasionally provoke a snicker or two. Tony Curtis and his wife Janet Leigh performed all of the escapes in the movie, coached by professional magicians and escape artists. When I saw this movie as a kid, I got interested in escape routines-- I had my brothers tie me to a chair, which I escaped from two out of three times (I would have escaped from it the third time, but my mom saw me struggling to escape from her antique dining room chair and untied me). I bought 'escape' handcuffs, and then learned how to pick the lock in a pair of cheap handcuffs. When I was older, a magician friend of mine showed me two different types of strait jackets-- the magicians and a real one. He could escape from either-- I contented myself with the magician's version, which was no easy trick. I wonder which version Tony Curtis used in the movie?
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