5.8/10
9,709
34 user 52 critic

Death Defying Acts (2007)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
On a tour of Britain in 1926, Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) enters into a passionate affair with a psychic out to con him.

Director:

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

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Photos

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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 ... Mr. Robertson
Olivia Darnley ... Flower Stall Seller
Anthony O'Donnell ... Oily Librarian
Billy McColl Billy McColl ... McTavish
James Holmes James Holmes ... Ugly Mug
Melanie Harris ... Rose (as Frankey Martyn)
Aileen O'Gorman Aileen O'Gorman ... Effie - Elderly Seamstress
Raymond Griffiths ... Music Hall Dwarf
Shaun Mason Shaun Mason ... Heckler
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Storyline

During Harry Houdini's (Guy Pearce'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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love 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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy Pearce and Saoirse Ronan appeared in Mary Queen of Scots (2018). See more »

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Lockout (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Flowers of Edinburgh
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Played by fiddler in the pub]
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User Reviews

 
Another time
19 October 2010 | by kosmaspSee all my reviews

It might be the weakest of the latest "Magicians" movies (see Prestige and the Illusionist, the latter being overseen at the Box office), but it still has one strong central performance by Guy Pearce. I'm wondering when he will be in some top rated material again. Because the book does let him down a bit here.

He tries everything and he is pretty good in it, but does not have so much to play with, as Ed Norton, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. All are great actors and the others have the opportunity in their movies to shine. This being based on "true events" (some of them I guess, without having the complete background scoop on it), it does fall flat on it's back at times (no pun intended). Plus it might be a bit too much worried about the love story, than actually the story of our main character. At least that's how I felt ... still it can make a nice watch!


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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 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (newsreel footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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