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This delightful film will bring enjoyment to legions of fans of old like myself as well as a cursory enlightenment of Harry Houdini for newer generations.
Filmed in 1953, "Houdini" is presented in Technicolor with an Aspect Ratio of 1.37:1. A very family friendly movie, recommended without reservation.
09.30.10 Rest in Peace Mr. Tony Curtis; you will be missed...
What's inaccurate in the film? It's more a matter of what is omitted. The film does mention Houdini's running battle with spiritualists. What it doesn't mention is Houdini's tiff with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle over the whole issue. The depth and length of this disagreement is considerable, though, and it's understandable that in a film not of documentary length that it had to be left out.
Sadly enough, the film has only a trailer as an extra feature.
A commentary track, an actual documentary, or even - if it was possible - to include the excellent 1976 made-for-TV film "The Great Houdini" with Paul Michael Glaser in the title role would have made for a better package. That 70's version of Houdini's life gives more details about what made the man tick, even if there is something about its atmosphere that transports one back to the days of disco. At any rate, when it comes to classics from Paramount, I'll take them any way I can get them.
There are two mentions in it of Halloween.
The first happens when Harry and Bess Houdini visit a magician's convention on Halloween night. Unhappy Harry failed at magic and took a job in a lock factory at his wife's urging, but when given the opportunity to go on stage as one of five challengers who must try to escape from strait jackets, Harry jumps at it. He wins the contest and his prize is a single round-trip ticket to Europe. Eventually the couple trades it for two one-way ducats. Harry and Bess find fame in Britain and on the Continent and then repeat their success in America.
The second Halloween reference is to a near-tragic stunt held on Halloween afternoon: an escape from a locked trunk submerged in the iced-over Detroit River. When he emerges from the trunk, Harry's swept downstream by the current, can't find the large hole cut in the ice and nearly drowns and/or freezes to death.
Despite that and a sad ending, this is generally an upbeat film. Colorful re-creations of late 19th Century sideshows are fun and so are the many magic tricks and escapes. Also, Leigh and Curtis make a most pulchritudinous couple and are clearly in love (for real!).
I recommend HOUDINI to all as a pleasant October diversion.
BTW-- does the Detroit River REALLY ice over before October 31st and is the outside temperature ZERO degrees in the DAYTIME? (Don't answer that!)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
saw this picture as a kid.....loved it....thrilled I could still get a copy----holidays have prevented me from getting a chance to rewatch it.Published 1 month ago by REEL RELIEF
this was a awesome movie about the Magican,, also they r husband n wife in real life,, n their daughter is Jamie Lee CurtisPublished 2 months ago by LEE GREAR
The title of this review contains Houdini's last words in this film. One critic remarked that if Houdini does indeed come back, his first visit may very well be a vengeful one to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by just me
THE SELLER SENT IT ON TIME SO iM SATISFIED and WILL recomend it to my friendsPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer