6.9/10
2,762
36 user 20 critic

Houdini (1953)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 2 July 1953 (USA)
The spectacular but tragically short career of magician and illusionist Harry Houdini whose tricks defied explanation and safety.

Director:

George Marshall

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Harold Kellock (book)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. is a versatile man who gets his kicks out of impersonating a marine, a monk, a navy surgeon and a prison warden, eventually getting in trouble with the law for it.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Karl Malden, Edmond O'Brien
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 13th-century Tangiers, regent Mustapha hires a paid assassin to kill baby Prince Hussein in order to usurp his throne but the assassin has second thoughts and steals the baby for himself.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Everett Sloane
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To pacify 104 sex-starved male soldiers building an Arctic radar base, Army psychologist Vicki Loren suggests choosing one by lot to have a "perfect furlough" as selected by the men: three ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1803 France, Napoleon orders the capture of notorious highwayman 'Purple Mask' who routinely rescues imprisoned nobles and harasses the Revolutionary officials.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, Gene Barry
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Peasant Myles Falworth is trained for knighthood and is groomed by various nobles to defeat the evil Earl of Alban who's plotting to usurp King Henry IV's throne.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, David Farrar
The Rat Race (1960)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tender romantic comedy about an aspiring musician who arrives in New York in search of fame & fortune. He soon meets a taxi dancer, moves in with her, and before too long a romance develops.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Jack Oakie
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Kashma Baba, the son of the famed Baghdad thief Ali Baba is a cadet in a medieval Persian military academy where he runs afoul of his rival Hussein, the evil Caliph's son.

Director: Kurt Neumann
Stars: Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Susan Cabot
All American (1953)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Nick Bonelli, quarterback for Mid-State, proves himself an All American in the championship, but his parents die in an auto accident coming to the game. Nick decides to transfer to Sheridan... See full summary »

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Tony Curtis, Lori Nelson, Richard Long
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Grocery clerk Eddie Quaid, in danger of losing his father to alcoholism and his girl Julie through lack of career prospects, goes into boxing. His cop friend McBride finances him; ex-con ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Tony Curtis, Pat Crowley, Ernest Borgnine
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The emotional story of a lifelong friendship between a Boston rookie cop and a young street-wise delinquent.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Tony Curtis, George Nader, Julie Adams
The Outsider (1961)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Tony Curtis plays an Indian (Nicknamed "Chief" by other soldiers) who fights in WWII and helps to raise the flag at Iwo Jima.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Tony Curtis, James Franciscus, Gregory Walcott
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a San Francisco priest is murdered, a policeman, who's a close friend, starts an investigation.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Tony Curtis, Marisa Pavan, Gilbert Roland
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tony Curtis ... Harry Houdini
Janet Leigh ... Bess Houdini
Torin Thatcher ... Otto
Angela Clarke ... Harry's Mother
Stefan Schnabel ... German Prosecuting Attorney
Ian Wolfe ... Malue
Sig Ruman ... Schultz
Michael Pate ... Dooley
Connie Gilchrist ... Mrs. Shultz
Malcolm Lee Beggs Malcolm Lee Beggs ... British Jail Warden
Frank Orth ... Mr. Hunter
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... Insp. Marlick
Douglas Spencer ... Simms - Reporter
Edit

Storyline

The amazing career of master magician Harry Houdini is presented from his beginnings with a carnival "wild man" act to his emergence as an internationally-acclaimed illusionist, From his dramatic escape from a locked safe under the frozen Detroit River to an even more improbable one from a locked cell in Scotland Yard, he never failed to please and astound his audiences. Although Houdini's tricks are achieved through his marvelous physical dexterity and innate sleight-of-hand, he courted death with the hazardous illusions he performed and his compulsive quest to make contact with the spirit world. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His feats of magic were GREAT! The magic of their love was GREATER!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El gran Houdini See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Three years before this film was made, 20th-Century Fox was negotiating with Houdini's family to make a picture called "The Life of Houdini" and starring Burt Lancaster in the title role. See more »

Goofs

Newspaper editor looks over layout for "whatever happened to Houdini?" article, then assigns a reporter to go out and investigate the story. This is absolutely backwards - a story of such a speculative nature would always be written first, with layout following after the fact. See more »

Quotes

Harry Houdini: I hadn't prepared anything for tonight, but perhaps I have something that will amuse you. So if you'll get a couple of broomsticks, I'll get my wife - and we'll see what we can do.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ta diodia: Episode #1.3 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bell in the Bay
(uncredited)
Written by Preston Sturges
Sung by Luratti (Billy Bletcher) at Miner's Hall
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Super glossy, super fictionalized bio pic...
20 January 2008 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

The story of master magician Harry Houdini (1874–1926) becomes a glossy star-vehicle for Tony Curtis in the lead--and though the facts of Houdini's life are lumped right together with the Hollywood dross (as if this movie magazine-styled spread were one big true-life story), one is drawn in by Curtis' apparent commitment to the role. Director George Marshall stages some exciting set-pieces and a nice romance ensues between Tony's Houdini and assistant Bess, played by Curtis' real-life spouse Janet Leigh (doing appealing work). Philip Yordan adapted Harold Kellock's book, and the results are (surprisingly) entertaining despite all the requisite corn and clichés. **1/2 from ****


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed