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 mysterious escape from a locked safe under the frozen Detroit River to dramatic one from a locked cell in Scotland Yard, he never failed to please his audience. Although Houdini's tricks are achieved through a marvelous physical dexterity and innate sleight-of-hand, he courted death with the hazardous illusions he performed and his compulsive quest to contact the spirit world. Written by
Billy Bletcher's, Oliver Blake's, and Michael Pate's voices are dubbed. See more »
There's a revealing jump cut in the authentic sawing-woman-in-half act. See more »
It'll be the most dangerous thing I've ever done.
And the most dangerous!
Bess, people aren't going to stand in line and watch me pull rabbits out of a hat.
Why? Why must every act you do be flirting with death?
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!
You keep it in and we're both nothing!
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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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