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Director: George Marshall Cast: Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis
, Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh
, Torin Thatcher
Torin Thatcher
George Marshall


Director: George Marshall Cast: Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis
, Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh
, Torin Thatcher
Torin Thatcher
George Marshall

Blu-ray (Subtitled)

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This highly fanciful but immensely entertaining biopic stars Tony Curtis as legendary magician/escape-artist Harry Houdini. Janet Leigh, Mrs. Tony Curtis at the time, co-stars as Houdini's wife Bess, while Angela Clarke is seen as Houdini's mother. The film follows Houdini's progress from sideshow entertainer to high-priced prestidigitator, and also touches upon his fascination with the occult--and his efforts to expose phony mediums. Philip Yordan's script (based on a book by Harold Kellock) suggests that virtually every portentous occasion in Houdini's life occurred on Halloween day, including his death from peritonitis in 1926. The facts of Houdini's life seldom get in the way of Yordan's story; while general audiences won't spot too many discrepancies, professional magicians tend to howl with laughter at some of the film's intentional boners. Example: In real life, Houdini's appendix was fatally ruptured by a punch to the stomach; in the film, he injures himself by accidentally bumping into one of his props, the sword-studded "Temple of Benares" trick--which hadn't yet been invented in 1926! Still, it's fun to watch Tony Curtis wriggle his way out of some of Houdini's most baffling escape routines (both Curtis and Janet Leigh were carefully instructed on the set by professional magicians, who swore the stars to secrecy concerning the tricks of the trade). For a more accurate slant on Houdini's life, see the 1976 TV movie The Great Houdinis, starring Paul Michael Glaser and Sally Struthers.

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Product Details

Release Date: 11/15/2016
UPC: 0887090129510
Original Release: 1953
Rating: NR
Source: Olive
Region Code: A
Time: 1:46:00
Sales rank: 14,700

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tony Curtis Harry Houdini
Janet Leigh Bess Houdini
Torin Thatcher Otto
Angela Clarke Mrs. Weiss
Stefan Schnabel Prosecuting Attorney
Douglas Spencer Simms
Sig Rumann Schultz
Ian Wolfe Malue
Michael Pate Dooley
Connie Gilchrist Mrs. Schultz
Malcolm Lee Beggs Warden
Frank Orth White-haired Man
Barry Bernard Inspector
Elsie Ames Actor
Oliver Blake Actor
Billy Bletcher Italian Basso
Cliff Clark Actor
Edward Clark Doorman
Fred Essler Official-Looking Man
Joanne Gilbert Girl
Arthur E. Gould-Porter Alhambra Manager
Alec Harford Assistant
Grace Hayle Woman Who Screams
Harry Hines Actor
Frank Jaquet Foreman
Tor Johnson Strong Man
Lyle Latell Calcott
Torben Meyer Headwaiter
Mary Murphy Actor
Erno Verebes Prof. Allegari
Anthony Warde MC
Lawrence Ryle German Judge
Lewis Martin Editor
Mabel Paige Medium
Peter Baldwin Fred
Richard Shannon Miner
Tudor Owen Blacksmith

Technical Credits
George Marshall Director
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Frank Freeman Associate Producer
Gene Garvin Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Ernest Laszlo Cinematographer
Harry D. Mills Sound/Sound Designer
Michael D. Moore Asst. Director
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Albert Nozaki Art Director
George Pal Producer
Hal Pereira Art Director
George Tomasini Editor
Roy Webb Score Composer
Wally Westmore Makeup
Philip Yordan Screenwriter

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