6.9/10
2,336
31 user 18 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An international car rally across Europe is complicated by smuggling, cheating, love at first sight, etc. etc.

Directors: Ken Annakin, Sam Itzkovitch
Stars: Bourvil, Lando Buzzanca, Walter Chiari
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In order to get back into the good graces with his wife with whom he has had a misunderstanding, a young chemistry professor concocts a wild story that he is an undercover FBI agent. To ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Tony Curtis, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 13th-century Tangiers, regent Mustapha hires a paid assassin to kill baby Prince Hussein in order to usurp his throne but the assassin has second thoughts and steals the baby for himself.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Everett Sloane
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on a true story, a bright young man who hasn't the patience for the normal way of advancement finds that people rarely question you if your papers are in order. He becomes a marine, a... See full summary »

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Karl Malden, Edmond O'Brien
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Technicolor and tights. In the days of King Henry IV, stalwart young Myles of Crisby Dale, and his sister Meg, have been raised as peasants, without any knowledge of their father's true ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, David Farrar
Fantasy | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Kashma Baba, the son of the famed Baghdad thief Ali Baba is a cadet in a medieval Persian military academy where he runs afoul of his rival Hussein, the evil Caliph's son.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Susan Cabot
Forbidden (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Eddie Darrow, seeking a mobster's widow in Macao, gets involved in a casino owner's affairs.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Joanne Dru, Lyle Bettger
Trapeze (1956)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A crippled circus acrobat is torn emotionally between two ambitious young trapeze artists, one a talented young American and a less-gifted but beautiful Italian.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Shot by a jealous husband, Charley falls out a porthole and is lost at sea only to find himself returned as an attractive blond woman. His best friend is staying at his house as he puts ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Boone
Beachhead (1954)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1943, in the wake of the Allied amphibious landing on the Japanese held Bougainville Island, four Marines are sent to scout the location of Japanese minefields.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Tony Curtis, Frank Lovejoy, Mary Murphy
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To pacify 104 sex-starved male soldiers building an Arctic radar base, Army psychologist Vicki Loren suggests choosing one by lot to have a "perfect furlough" as selected by the men: three ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn
The Rat Race (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tender romantic comedy about an aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame & fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Oakie
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Otto
Angela Clarke ...
...
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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Bletcher's, Oliver Blake's, and Michael Pate's voices are dubbed. 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: 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.
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

Featured in Ta diodia: Episode #1.3 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.. ...!


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?