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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
Frank Orth ...
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

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 »

Goofs

(incorrectly regarded as goof) Otto says the Torture Tank contains "two tons of water." While this is obviously false, he is clearly deliberately fibbing to jack up the audience's excitement. 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

Referenced in Mau Mau Sex Sex (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Houdini performs the rope and saw stunt
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just in case
29 February 2004 | by (Budapest, Hungary) – See all my reviews

What an odd coincidence, just in case you didn't know it: Harry Houdini was born in Budapest, his real name was Weisz Erik (Eric Weisz). Tony Curtis was born to parents both born in Budapest, his real name is Bernard Schwartz. Tony Curtis, nearing his eighties, still speaks Hungarian fluently.

Budapest & Budapest ... Weisz and Schwartz - White and Black.

Though this movie is pure romantic fiction, rather than a biopic, it is thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to Ms. Leigh and Mr. Curtis. (i.e. Houdini wasn't born on Halloween's day but on 24. March in 1874, and he had escaped from the Chinese Torture Chamber a lot of times, and as such, he didn't die the way depicted in this movie - he was killed by a punch on his stomach, a trick he wasn't prepared to)

Still, see this picture if you get a chance: it is colorful and exciting.


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