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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.



(screenplay), (book)

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


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


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


Biography | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran Houdini  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis had appeared together in five films: Houdini (1953), The Black Shield of Falworth (1954), The Vikings (1958), The Perfect Furlough (1958), and Who Was That Lady? (1960). See more »


As Harry and Bess are hurriedly leaving after meeting Harry's mother, a photographic flash can be seen as they reach the door. See more »


Harry Houdini: I hadn't prepared anything for tonight, but perhaps I have something that will amuse you. So if you'll get a couple of broomsticks, I'll get my wife - and we'll see what we can do.
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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 »


Referenced in The Rosemary Clooney Show: Episode #1.3 (1956) See more »


Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland
Music by Leo Friedman
Played during the opening credits
Played often in the score as the love theme
See more »

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User Reviews

Who cares if it isn't accurate, it sure is fun!!
17 October 2004 | by (Morgans Point Resort, TX) – See all my reviews

If it wasn't for the movies and the books on Harry Houdini's life he would fall into a category of un-interesting performers who only could do one thing perform

He lived in a time where his talents were in great demand and despite the fact that this film is not accurate it is lovingly presented by Paramount a **Color Film** in a time where Black and White films were still commonplace, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh at the peak of their building careers and George Marshall a veteran director of close to 120 films

They knew what they were doing when the movie partially fictionalized Houdini's life possibly because he was a one note person, a magician, an escape artist, a performer

The movie is excellent!! and that is all that matters, if I am not mistaken almost every remake has fictionalized his life in one way or another, this movie is a true gem!!

14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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