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Houdini
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Houdini (1953) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow) Videos
Houdini -- Tony Curtis gives a winning performance as the great Houdini, the struggling circus performer who emerged as the world's most captivating magician and escape artist.

Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   2,081 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Philip Yordan (screenplay)
Harold Kellock (book)
Contact:
View company contact information for Houdini on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 July 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
The spectacular but tragically short career of magician and illusionist Harry Houdini whose tricks defied explanation and safety. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
It led me to being tied up, handcuffed, and put in a strait jacket See more (30 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tony Curtis ... Harry Houdini

Janet Leigh ... Bess Houdini
Torin Thatcher ... Otto
Angela Clarke ... Harry's Mother

Stefan Schnabel ... German Prosecuting Attorney

Ian Wolfe ... Malue
Sig Ruman ... Schultz

Michael Pate ... Dooley
Connie Gilchrist ... Mrs. Shultz
Malcolm Lee Beggs ... British Jail Warden
Frank Orth ... Mr. Hunter
Barry Bernard ... Insp. Marlick
Douglas Spencer ... Simms
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eric Alden ... Sailor (uncredited)
Fred Aldrich ... Waiter / Bouncer (uncredited)
Elsie Ames ... Entertainer (uncredited)
Jan Arden ... Shimmy Dancer (uncredited)
Nick Arno ... Entertainer (uncredited)
Peter Baldwin ... Fred - Bess' Escort (uncredited)

Bobby Barber ... Comic Piano Player (uncredited)

Oliver Blake ... Coney Island Barker (uncredited)

Billy Bletcher ... Italian Basso (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Barker (uncredited)
Edward Clark ... Doorman (uncredited)
Jim Davies ... Heckler (uncredited)
Louise De Carlo ... Dance Girl (uncredited)
Daniel De Jonghe ... Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Marion Dempsey ... Sword Swallower (uncredited)
Don Dunning ... Heckler (uncredited)
Norma Jean Eckart ... Girl in Astor Guillotine Act (uncredited)
Fred Essler ... Officious Man (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Extra at Halloween Magician's Ball (uncredited)
Esther Garber ... Esther's Girlfriend (uncredited)
Jon Gardner ... Boy (uncredited)
Maxine Gates ... Heavy Blonde Woman (uncredited)
Bill Gentry ... Fred's Friend (uncredited)
Joanne Gilbert ... Girl (uncredited)
Jody Gilbert ... Fat Girl (uncredited)
Arthur Gould-Porter ... Alhambra Manager (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... 'Spirit' at Seance (uncredited)
Henry Guttman ... Master of Ceremonies, Berlin Nightclub (uncredited)
Alec Harford ... Assistant (uncredited)
Grace Hayle ... Woman Who Screams (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... Barker (uncredited)
Jerry James ... Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Jaquet ... Mr. Brown - Foreman (uncredited)
Tor Johnson ... Strongman (uncredited)
Frank Kreig ... Stagehand (uncredited)
William W. Larsen ... Guillotine Act (uncredited)
Lyle Latell ... Calcott (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Bell Captain (uncredited)
Lewis Martin ... Editor (uncredited)
William Meader ... Reporter (uncredited)
Torben Meyer ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Mary Murphy ... Girl (uncredited)
Hal Neiman ... Barker (uncredited)
Tudor Owen ... Blacksmith (uncredited)
Mabel Paige ... Medium (uncredited)
Ralph Peters ... Prisoner (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Man in Audience Throwing Tomato (uncredited)
Luce Potter ... Little Woman (uncredited)
A.J. Buster Resmondo ... Little Man (uncredited)
Lawrence Ryle ... German Judge (uncredited)
Richard Shannon ... Miner (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ... Stagehand (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Maitre d' - Hotel Astor (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Audience Extra (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Audience Spectator (uncredited)
Ernö Verebes ... Prof. Allegari (uncredited)

Anthony Warde ... Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
Gil Warren ... Fire Chief (uncredited)
Audrey Washburn ... Contortionist (uncredited)
Betty Yeaton ... Contortionist (uncredited)

Directed by
George Marshall 
 
Writing credits
Philip Yordan (screenplay)

Harold Kellock (book)

Produced by
Frank Freeman Jr. .... associate producer
George Pal .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Laszlo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Tomasini 
 
Art Direction by
Albert Nozaki  (as Al Nozaki)
Hal Pereira 
 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Ray Moyer 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
 
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
C. Kenneth Deland .... production manager (uncredited)
Andrew J. Durkus .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael D. Moore .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Robert Goodstein .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gene Garvin .... sound recordist
Harry D. Mills .... sound recordist (as Harry Mills)
 
Visual Effects by
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Guy Bennett .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Loomis Dean .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Van Cleave .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Joseph Dunninger .... technical advisor (as Dunninger)
Richard Mueller .... technicolor color consultant
George L. Boston .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:

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:
Revealing mistakes: When Houdini is doing the "levitation" trick on the stage, watch as Tony Curtis passes the hoop around Janet Leigh's body: twice you can see the split in the hoop "catch" on the lifting frame behind her body.See more »
Quotes:
Bess Houdini:[to Houdini] Audiences are never satisfied. They love you for th moment you please them.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in "Ta diodia: Episode #1.3" (1988)See more »
Soundtrack:
Meet Me Tonight in DreamlandSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
It led me to being tied up, handcuffed, and put in a strait jacket, 12 January 2007
Author: rich-826 from United States

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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