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Houdini (1953)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 2 July 1953 (USA)
The spectacular but tragically short career of magician and illusionist Harry Houdini whose tricks defied explanation and safety.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Otto
Angela Clarke ...
Harry's Mother
...
German Prosecuting Attorney
...
Malue
...
Schultz
...
Dooley
Connie Gilchrist ...
Mrs. Shultz
Malcolm Lee Beggs ...
British Jail Warden
...
Mr. Hunter
Barry Bernard ...
Insp. Marlick
Douglas Spencer ...
Simms
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His feats of magic were GREAT! The magic of their love was GREATER!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran Houdini  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Houdini didn't die onstage at a Halloween performance, as this film would have you believe, he did, indeed, die on Halloween, 1926, several weeks after his last stage performance. To this day, in Houdini's memory, October 31rd is celebrated as International Magic Day. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when Bess is in the empty theatre, begging Harry not to do the trick, she is clapping. You can hear the loud claps, although she is wearing gloves on both hands. You would never hear the claps, only muted thuds. See more »

Quotes

Harry Houdini: It'll be the most dangerous thing I've ever done.
Bess Houdini: And the most dangerous!
Harry Houdini: Bess, people aren't going to stand in line and watch me pull rabbits out of a hat.
Bess Houdini: Why? Why must every act you do be flirting with death?
Harry Houdini: Because it's the only act that'll hold an audience spellbound. People fall asleep at the opera, but they stay wide awake at the bullfights because ther's one man defying death down in that arena. You take this out of my act and I'm nothing!
Bess Houdini: You keep it in and we're both nothing!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the film is in color, the Paramount logo and both the beginning and end of the film is in black-and-white. See more »

Connections

Edited into Magic with the Stars (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Künstlerleben, Op. 316 (Artist's Life)
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Houdini performs his milk trick
See more »

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User Reviews

Tony Curtis as the great performer, in a fine film for everyone...
27 October 1998 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

..since he is and has been an amateur magician, Curtis was perfect to portray Houdini, the master magician and above all.. the master escape artist! A beautiful technicolor film that has the atmosphere of vaudeville and showbiz of the day, it invokes the mystery of the great showman's lifestyle and his unusual death on Halloween. Janet Leigh,as Houdini's wife, Bess, adds to the fun... and for those that love magic and magicians, this will satisfy you. The early life, the escapes from ropes, chains and jail cells the world-over, from the icy waters of rivers and lakes, it is all here. Slicked up naturally not so much to educate us, but to entertain.. ...!


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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