Harry Houdini was one of the most famous magicians, illusionists, and escape artists that ever lived. I love the art of magic, and the history of Houdini is a very interesting one. I've been fascinated by what this man has accomplished since I was a kid. Today, March 24th is Houdini’s Birthday and I thought it would be a good time to do a little recap of the movies that he made in his career.
Not only was Houdini a master magician that pulled off some pretty incredible tricks, but he was also made a few movies as an action hero. It all started in 1919 when he starred in a 15 episode serial called The Master of Mystery. In 1920 he was in a film called Terror Island, 1922 he wrote and produced The Man From Beyond, in 1923 he was in Haldane of the Secret Service, and also from 1919 is The Grim Game, which only has a five-minute fragment that survived.
All of his movies pretty much involved Houdini pulling off some crazy stunts and busting out some incredible magic tricks for audiences. These were all pretty exciting movies when they came out back in the 20's I've seen what's available out there from his films, and they're all actually fascinating movies to watch. Houdini truly was one of the great action stars of his era. There weren't many of them back then but he definitely did what he had to to wow the audience. He didn't make many films in his career, but here are the films that he did make.
Master of Mystery
Justice Department agent Quentin Locke must investigate a powerful cartel protected by a robot (here reffered to as "The Automation")and using a gas weapon "The Madagascar Madness"
The Grim Game
Jailed unjustly for a murder he did not commit, a young man uses his amazing powers of escape to free himself and pursue the actual killers, who hold his fiancée captive.
A sunken treasure, a submarine, human sacrifice, a long-lost father, and a strange tribe of Polynesians are just the beginning of mayhem and adventure for Harry Harper (Harry Houdini) and Beverly West (Lili Lee).
The Man From Beyond
A man (Harry Houdini) has been frozen in Arctic ice for 100 years returns to find his lost love.
Haldane of the Secret Service
Heath Haldane (Houdini) tracks down a vicious gang of counterfeiters, narrowly missing death several times. He must rescue Adele Ormsby, whom he loves despite her pending marriage.
Here are a collection of clips from his various film projects.
Houdini Died on October 31, 1926 after a show at the Princess Theater in Montreal with several students from McGill University, he was asked if he could actually withstand a punch to the stomach thrown by any man. This is something he would routinely do, but before he could prepare himself by tightening my stomach muscles, a fellow named Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead hit me three times. During the blows his appendix burst. His doctor told him not to perform but of course he did anyway, “the show must go on.” He ended up doing several shows at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit after that, but I soon became ill. He died from peritonitis, which is inflammation of the lining of the torso.