Search - Houdini on DVD

Actors: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
Director: George Marshall
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
NR     2008     1hr 47min

Tony Curtis gives a winning performance as the great Houdini, the struggling circus performer who emerged as the world s most captivating magician and escape artist. From his beginnings as a wild man carnival act to the in...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh
Director: George Marshall
Creators: Ernest Laszlo, Roy Webb, George Tomasini
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Classics, Halloween
Studio: Legend Films
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1953
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1953
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 19
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

"Houdini" finally materializes, on DVD!
Glenn M. Schoditsch | Richmond, Virginia USA | 05/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Finally this cinematic treasure comes to DVD. While sometimes not historically accurate, it does portray a young Ehrich Weiss and his passion for the art of escapism & illusion and his love for his wife Bess. Real life husband and wife couple, Tony Curtis & Janet Leigh are more than convincing as "The Great Houdini" and his stage assistant.

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."
A Long Time Coming
Robert A. Glover | Ontario, Canada | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Remembering this movie as a child and finally it has made it to DVD. What took the studio so long? I am sure that I am not the only person asking that question? Although not true to the real life of Houdini the film is a fun and entertaining piece of work that at times will keep you fixed to the screen. Giving it a five star rating and suggesting that it be watched by all members of the family so that a new generation of people can enjoy its magic."
Enjoy it for the acting & theatrics, but not for its accurac
calvinnme | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is a very enjoyable if not completely accurate rendition of Harry Houdini's life. Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, young and in love in real life, do a great job of playing Harry and Bess Houdini. An amateur magician himself, Curtis gives a great performance in the first really good role of his career. There will be many to come. What's accurate about this film? Most of the escapes shown in the film such as when Houdini allowed himself to be hung upside down outside of a tall building while confined in a strait jacket, his offering and succeeding to escape from any pair of handcuffs that his audiences could produce, and his decision to go through with being locked in a box submerged in water while he himself is bound in chains.

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."
George Pal's Magician Among the Spirits
Michael Ziegler | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States | 07/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This romanticized look at the career of Harry Houdini played with charm by Tony Curtis is full of the mysterious "other worldly " effects that George Pal made his reputation on in productions to come. In several scenes, Curtis taps into the Spirit world to...escape from a straight jacket, find the hole to get out of the frozen Detroit river, and seek out an experienced peer to solve the "Man in a Bottle" trick. He also manages in the process to stigmatize Halloween forever as a "bad omen" and gives new meaning to a Mother complex greater than Richard Burton's in "Alexander the Great". Still, the movie is a marvelous dose of "entertainment" and the sets are superb, there is a great veteran supporting cast and the screenplay is well written. This was a VERY popular movie and Tony Curtis does a great job in the role, even though there is a lot of deviation from the real Harry. It needs a DVD polish and presentation of extras with trailers and perhaps some interviews. It would be interesting to hear from Tony Curtis about this film after all these years. Good family fun!"