As a result Leigh has to change gears constantly and we never really get a handle on what makes Bess tick. Why is Houdini a remarkable subject? Characters also drink and smoke on-screen. Houdini shows a passionate talent for escapology and the film did much to create the 'Water Torture Cell' illusion. He'd have to wait for a more accurate film about his life in the Eighties from Paul Michael Glaser and Sally Struthers. A vivid account of the life of Harry Houdini, the famous escapologist.
The film depicts Houdini's memorable escape from any pair of handcuffs produced by the audience; the outdoor exhibition, when he allows himself to be hanged upside down from his ankles, suspended from the roof of a high building, in a strait jacket; and, the dramatic act, when he accepts to be shackled with irons and placed in a box that is locked, roped, and submerged in frozen waters. Houdini comes out of all these capers unscathed, but waiting for the trick to end can be nerve-racking. It's also twisted and bizarre enough that kids will want to watch. Houdini paints a realistic portrait of a long-lasting marriage, one that isn't perfect but endures nonetheless. The prize being offered is quite substantial because no-one has ever succeeded in escaping from a straitjacket before. Faced with losing his wife, Harry promises to cut the Cell from his show.
David Copperfield, Rick Blaine, these guys are nothing in terms of popularity that Harry Houdini earned. The real Houdini's life was much more interesting than the points of his life presented here. Janet Leigh does a great job as Houdini's faithful wife. That night, in front of his mother Angela Clarke , Harry and Bess argue about their future, and frustrated by Bess's insistence that he quit magic, Harry walks out. The film also exposes Houdini's campaign against mind readers, fraudulent mediums and others who claim supernatural powers. Biopics reached their zenith in the 1950s, when the public romanticized their heroes and celebrities and were perfectly content to have filmmakers do the same.
What's not shown is the tension between the two women, they were not friendly. Then in September 1951, Paramount reacquired the rights to the Kellock book from Cohen and Raboff when producer George Pal expressed interest in the project. However, when I went back to the Academy library on Friday to make a copy of the review, I found they are closed until Jan. Tony Curtis gives one of his career-best performances and the chemistry between Curtis and Leigh is terrific. One thing that is shown is Houdini's interest in the occult after the death of his mother in 1920. In , Harry is joined by his mother and begins searching for the reclusive Von Schweger.
That in itself would make an interesting film. Sometime later, at a theater, Harry and Bess are concluding their magic act when a reporter named Dooley challenges Harry to break out of one of 's notoriously secure jail cells. Hope to see you there! Parents also will appreciate that Houdini the real man and the on-screen one is a man who loved and stuck by his wife, played by the charming Kristen Connolly, whom audiences may recognize as the Final Girl from. The classic 1953 biopic Houdini starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh will play at the historic in El Segundo, California, March 29-30-31. Although Harry manages to escape from the box, the current drags him downstream, and he struggles to find air pockets under the ice and swim back to the opening. But I'd be flattered all to heck to think Tony Curtis was my type.
Cash or Check Only - No Credit Cards Every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short. I am glad they tried to do what they did here. Generally speaking, if any phase of Houdini's life is shown on the screen you can be sure it didn't happen the way it's pictured. During his trial, Harry denies that he ever made claims to , insisting that all his tricks are accomplished through physical means. Two years later in New York, Harry, who has not performed since his mother's death, reveals to Simms , a reporter, that he has been trying to contact his mother's spirit, without success.
So unlike most it seems it was my love of escapology that brought me to Houdini rather than the other way round. I don't know, they all sound a little sadistic and disrespectful to me. Bess then persuades Harry to give her his prize, a single, round-trip boat ticket to , so that she can cash it in for a down payment on a house. Harry accepts the challenge and, through intense concentration, extricates himself from the jacket, greatly impressing Fante. How will he do against a water torture cell? For my money, this 1953 biopic is not only one of the best ever made about Houdini, but one of the best to come out of the Technicolor era as well—at least for family entertainment. Houdini's escapes start out as simple jailbreaks and keep getting more and more dangerous until he's plummeting off bridges and getting buried alive.
To prove his point, Harry locks himself in a safe in the courtroom and breaks out a few minutes later, noting that safe locks are designed to keep thieves out, not in. What episodes in his life are glossed over? The magic community had waited years for a Houdini biopic, and one could see how a largely fictional treatment would disappoint. Discovering a streaming service to buy, rent, download, or view the George Marshall-directed movie via subscription can be a huge pain, so we here at Moviefone want to do the work for you. Janet Leigh, his wife in real life then, was outstanding as Bess Houdini and the sparks between them show on this film. Despite the added difficulty, the dexterous, determined Houdini picks the cell lock and appears on time for his next performance.