5.8/10
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Death Defying Acts (2007)

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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 »

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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 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
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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 »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,561, 13 July 2008
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 »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The opening scene reveals the partially built arches of the Sydney Harbour Bridge behind Houdini as he is lifted to the surface of the water. Houdini died in 1926. Construction of the arches did not commence until 1928. 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 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Probably better than the Prestige
16 December 2012 | by maximkongSee all my reviews

i do not know why this film is flushed with negative reviews. First of all this is not a film about Houdini, there is no reason why this film should dramatically display the amazing acts and potentials of the artist himself; Secondly, i do not see why 'there is no reason for the creation of this movie' is justifiable, this film is just a testimony on how characters carry on with their lives and that itself is enough to make a film meaningful...in fact films like 'Atonement' (where the girl is also in) deserves this statement better where everything is just so FAKE. Third, i haven't watch the illusionist but i have to say this is richer in detail, and thus better than the Prestige--a film which displays too much magic 'action' but no depth to the characters or the plot at all, like an eggshell without the yoke inside...Lastly, this is a decent film where everything is well-made, well presented, well acting performances (exception of Catherine's dramatically 'fake' acting at times), and a good score


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