5.8/10
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32 user 54 critic

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
4 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 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
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the scene when Harry is dressing (shortly after his arrival in his Edinburgh hotel room) he starts to put on his braces (suspenders). In one shot they are partially unfastened but in the next shot (a close-up) they are securely fastened. 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.
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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

 
Fiction from Fact, Very Enjoyable
12 May 2011 | by merylmattSee all my reviews

I really did not care that this was not a factual account of Houdini's life. There are some truths in the depiction of Harry (some actual B&W footage is used of his acts and his debunking of mystics). It was enjoyable, had beautiful cinematography, elements of humor a story of love and life...however implausible it may be, it does not detract from elegance of watching Catherine Zeta Jones(Mary McGarvie) try to support herself and her daughter, matching wits with the great Houdini.

Catherine displays a grace and style combined with fire and drive. Her daughter provides moments of comedic relief and there is tension between Catherine and Guy Pearce - should she win the money at any cost, allow herself to fall in love, what is in the afterlife? This was entertainment based on Houdini, a platform to tell a story which I thought was well done.


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