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The Master Mystery

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The Master Mystery (1920) starring Harry Houdini

The Master Mystery stars Harry Houdini as Justice Department agent Quentin Locke, who is investigating a powerful cartel that’s protected by a “menacing” robot (referred to in the film as “the Automaton‘); the cartel is using a gas weapon called “the Madagascar Madness” — and, given that this is an old-time silent film serial, there’s a cliffhanger ending at the end of each chapter.  And, since this is a Houdini film, there’s plenty of escape artistry to get out of them. The Master Mystery is available on DVD as part of the DVD collection, Houdini: The Movie Star.

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Houdini, Adrien Brody

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Houdini – History Channel biography of Harry Houdini, starring Adrien Brody

Something that comes to mind about the History Channel’s Houdini biography, is actually a comic strip. Once, many years ago in the Bloom County comic strip, Opus the penguin was writing a movie review, which read in part:

“This bad film just oozed rottenness from every bad scene –simply bad beyond beyond all dimensions of possible badness. Well, maybe not that bad, but Lord, it wasn’t good.”

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The Grim Game

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movie review of The Grim Game (1919) starring Harry Houdini

The Grim Game was a silent film starring the great magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. He stars as Harvey Hanford, a man wrongly convicted of crimes that he didn’t commit.  Using Houdini’s renowned escape abilities, Houdini quickly escapes out of jail. Harvey pursues the true criminal, who kidnapped his love interest.

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Harry Houdini biography

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Biography of Harry Houdini (1874-1926)

Houdini means “escape artist or other ingenious person,” according to the dictionary.  Harry Houdini epitomizes that, of course, as the man who created the field of escape artistry, as well as becoming the most famous magician of his day, and equally well known for his debunking of fake “psychics.” His story, in one sense, ended on the stage after dying of a ruptured appendix, but in another sense continued for many years afterward.  Houdini personally stated that his story began in Appleton, Wisconsin … but it likely actually began in Budapest, Austria-Hungary.

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Death Defying Acts

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Death Defying Acts (2007) starring Guy Pierce, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Timothy Spall, Saoirse Ronan The movie  Death Defying Acts is a Hollywood fantasy, based very loosely on the… Read More »Death Defying Acts

Houdini, starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh

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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 internationally famous feat of escaping from a locked trunk in an ice-jammed river. Houdini captures the amazing life and courage of this fascinating man. Also stars the beautiful Janet Leigh as Houdini s supportive wife. She lovingly stood by his side throughout his legendary career.

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