Houdini: The Movie Star (Three-Disc Collection)
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- Filmed records of Houdini escapes
- Audio recording of Houdini speaking
- Excerpts from the NY Censor Board files
- The illusion "Metamorphosis" performed by Houdini's brother Hardeen
- Multiple Image Galleries
- New film notes
Top Customer Reviews
In the KINO set, there is a great deal of footage I've never seen before, and this is Houdini's Ghost speaking. One bit of film shows Houdini running through a park in Paris. Two pairs of handcuffs are locked on his wrists. He stops at the wall outside the Paris morgue, strips off his clothes to his boxer trunks, then climbs a gate and stands atop of the wall of the morgue. Then he jumps into the river Seine.
He surfaces a couple of times before he frees himself from the cuffs, then, he swims to the opposite shore where men are waiting for him. They throw a coat over his shoulders and hustle him into a car which drives away, pursued by four French policemen who look very much like Keystone cops.
Here's the point: in 1909, Houdini starred in a 10 minute Pathe short. I have never seen the opening sequence, but some private collectors do have it and I have been told that Houdini is seen on a street in Paris. He observes a Parisian policeman arresting a drunk. Houdini protests the treatment of the drunk and is arrested himself. The next segment I have seen. Houdini is taken inside the police station and tied to a chair.Read more ›
Now, Kino International is giving Houdini back to his legions of devoted fans by releasing a three-DVD set that includes ALL of the surviving silent movie films of "Houdini - the actor," as well as footage of escapes and an audio clip of the master's voice!
More than mere entertainment, this wonderful collection is truly an historical presentation of Houdini's film career.
By 1919, Houdini was known internationally as an unparalleled master magician. Having conquered the stage, he set out to do the same thing to the "new" medium of the day - the movie. Houdini appeared in a series of thrillers built upon his almost supernatural powers, which he performed the majority of the stunts himself in all of his films.
This incredible boxed set represents the first time that these images (except for "The Man from Beyond") have ever been released on DVD, and may very well be the first time a lot of fans have seen these wonderful productions in more than 75 years!!
Kino International culled everything it could find from film archives and private collections to gather and remaster this amazing material. It includes all of Houdini's surviving silent films as an actor, rare footage of actual handcuff and straitjacket escapes, as well as a wealth of historical information. It also includes a serial in which may have been the first-ever robot on screen to be a threat.Read more ›
Of the other four only his last effort HALDANE OF THE SECRET SERVICE is fully complete. 1919's THE GRIM GAME has only about 5 minutes but it contains an actual midair collision which was left in the film. THE MAN FROM BEYOND is Houdini's best known film and the 16mm copy here is much better than any of the previous video incarnations. The story of a man revived after being frozen for 100 years has been reworked many times and is never less than fascinating. The highlight of the collection is TERROR ISLAND. Although missing reels 3 and 4 it has the advantage of high production values (it was made at Paramount), a quality director in James Cruze (THE COVERED WAGON), and a cast of strong supporting players led by Eugene Pallette (he was Friar Tuck in Errol Flynn's ROBIN HOOD) whose career stretched into the 1940s.
The set comes with lots of extras including actual clips of Houdini performing and an audio recording of him advertising his act from 1914. As a performer Houdini was charismatic but his films suffer from the same plots and stunts used over and over again. If you've seen one, you've seen em' all. Nevertheless this is a valuable piece of celluloid history and is certainly worth having for the discriminating collector or silent film lover. Just don't expect something "magical".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good silent film starring the legendary escape artist Harry Houdini. Lots of fun.Published 13 months ago by Robert M. Fells
There's no escape that Houdini couldn't pull off. Well, at least in these films there were none. I purchased the set for two reasons. The films were done by B. A. Read morePublished on April 1, 2014 by R. J. LHerault
Houdini The Movie Star
It is a silent movie and it is very slow to watch. It is also made in segments as in the old Saturday afternoon serials. Read more
This set of Houdini is a great surprise showing many of his escapes and also shows several of his movies these films are from the days of silent movies but are still well worth... Read morePublished on November 10, 2013 by Jim Shaw
How exciting to see the legendary Harry Houdini on camera! He was much more handsome on film than in his still photos and the movie demonstrated how fit and energetic he was. Read morePublished on October 24, 2013 by ODuchess
The surviving record of Houdini's dogged effort to become a matinee idol. Includes THE MASTER MYSTERY (1919), an entertaining incoherent serial with the first movie robot, plus... Read morePublished on April 22, 2011 by Raymond Owen
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