Paul Draper was going to shoot his interview in his office at UNLV but the week before shooting they found a large amount of asbestos in the walls and they moved the shoot to the special collections library. See more »
A pretty much straight forward documentary, telling the story of Houdini's life, from his poor upbringing, to world renowned superstar. It features some interesting interviews by family of Houdini himself, the last living assistant who helped perform some of his tricks, as well as famous magicians like David Copperfield and Teller (from Penn & Teller) praising Houdini's influence on the world of magic. The whole thing is inter-cut with shots from an auction where some of Houdini's possessions are sold for startling amounts, before going into back story about why the items are considered valuable. Especially the later parts of the documentary is interesting, in that it tells Houdini's personal crusade on spiritualists who prey on the grief of those who have lost someone they held dearly. There are a couple of rather strange segments, like the fact that a group of magicians keep on holding séances to contact the spirit of Houdini to this day, when the man was so outspoken against such things, and that Teller wanted to have his face blacked out by shadows for some interviews, while still being credited as himself, so that everyone knows who he is. Maybe it's part of his whole "nobody shall ever see me talk" mystique, I don't know. But overall an interesting and insightful film.
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