5.8/10
9,399
34 user 54 critic

Death Defying Acts (2007)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
On a tour of Britain in 1926, Harry Houdini enters into a passionate affair with a psychic out to con the famous magician.

Director:

Gillian Armstrong
5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary about the life of the Australian costume designer and three time Oscar winner Orry-Kelly.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Ann Roth, Jane Fonda, Marc Eliot
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The fifth film in the documentary series about the lives, hopes and dreams of three lively, working class Adelaide girls since they were fourteen in 1976.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman, Josie Petersen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A mother falls for a younger man while her daughter falls in love for the first time. Mother Nature messes with their fates.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Paul Rudd, Saoirse Ronan
The Rebound (2009)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In New York City, a single mom captivates her new neighbor, a much younger man.

Director: Bart Freundlich
Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Andrew Cherry
Entrapment (1999)
Action | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An insurance agent is sent by her employer to track down and help capture an art thief.

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Kerry Carlson, Diana Doman, Josie Petersen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Remake of the 1956 film noir film "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" in which a writer's plan to expose a corrupt district attorney takes an unexpected turn.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, Michael Douglas
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Based on Ian McEwan's novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.

Director: Dominic Cooke
Stars: Billy Howle, Saoirse Ronan, Andy Burse
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mick and Tom are an unlikely father-son team of petty thieves. They've been hired to steal a painting from a museum. By accident, they steal the wrong painting: Denmark's only original Rembrandt masterpiece, worth millions.

Director: Jannik Johansen
Stars: Lars Brygmann, Jakob Cedergren, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Colourful Life is a Docu/Drama based on the colourful life of flamboyant design pioneer Florence Broadhurst.

Director: Gillian Armstrong
Stars: Judi Farr, Felicity Price, Hannah Garbo
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

In India, Tilo has the ability of foreseeing the future. When their parents are killed by bandits, she is kidnapped but escapes and is raised by the First Mother in a sort of traditional ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mayeda Berges
Stars: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Dylan McDermott, Nitin Ganatra
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Four episodes. Nicola, paralyzed after a car crash, falls in love for his physiotherapist Lucia. Franco and Manuela, a young couple unfit to have child, fly to Barcelona for a specialized ... See full summary »

Director: Giovanni Veronesi
Stars: Carlo Verdone, Monica Bellucci, Riccardo Scamarcio
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Pearce ... Harry Houdini
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Mary McGarvie
Timothy Spall ... Sugarman
Saoirse Ronan ... Benji McGarvie
Malcolm Shields ... Leith Romeo
Leni Harper Leni Harper ... Leith Romeo's wife
Ralph Riach Ralph Riach ... Mr. Robertson
Olivia Darnley ... Flower Stall Seller
Anthony O'Donnell ... Oily Librarian
Billy McColl Billy McColl ... McTavish
James Holmes ... Ugly Mug
Melanie Harris ... Rose (as Frankey Martyn)
Aileen O'Gorman Aileen O'Gorman ... Effie - Elderly Seamstress
Raymond Griffiths Raymond Griffiths ... Music Hall Dwarf
Shaun Mason Shaun Mason ... Heckler
Edit

Storyline

During Harry Houdini's tour of Britain in 1926, the master escapologist enters into a passionate affair with a Scottish psychic. The psychic and her daughter attempt to con Houdini during a highly publicized séance to contact his mother whose death has haunted him for many years. However all does not go to plan... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Magic Is Inescapable See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some sensuality, thematic material, language, violent content and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Australia

Language:

English | Hungarian

Release Date:

13 March 2008 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Defying Acts: Houdini's Secret See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,561, 13 July 2008

Gross USA:

$5,665

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,396,245
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (newsreel footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

In the scene before Houdini try to communicate with his passed mother via Mary McGarvie, it can be clearly seen there is a vacuum tube that happened to be a 6C33C Russian vacuum tube, which does not exist until the 60s, and further more, that vacuum tube couldn't work anymore, since it was leaked (it has a white layer of powder inside the tube that shows there is air inside). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Benji McGarvie: [with Scottish accent] When I was very small, I had a gift. I saw things other folk did nae see. It was like looking into deep water and seein' things on the other side. As I grew up, the gift vanished, just like my mam said it would. And I saw the world as it really was - with all its sweet lies and trickery. The great Houdini came into our lives, and changed everything forever.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lockout (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flowers of Edinburgh
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Played by fiddler in the pub]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Disappointingly flat
17 August 2008 | by Gordon-11See all my reviews

This film is about a woman who works as a con artist trying to deceive Harry Houdini into believing that she has psychic powers.

"Death Defying Acts" sounds like an action movie, but the poster looks more like a romantic film. In fact it is neither. It is a slowly unfolding drama about how Mary attempts to con Harry, and how harry falls for her.

As Houdini is the greatest escape artist of all times, a film about him should have been exciting, thrilling and even death defying. However, this film has none of these attributes. The plot is slow, plain and not exciting at all. There is not much tension or drama to captivate me. I do not care about the characters, and whatever relationship they have between them. There is little chemistry between Guy Pearce and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Frankly, I think they are both miscast. Fortunately, Saoirse Ronan is delightful as the psychic sidekick. She is the one who save the film.

"Death Defying Acts" turns out to be a bore. I am quite disappointed by it.


33 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed