has gone into the vaults of movie history and
re-introduced some classic movies on DVD. One of the
guilty pleasure classics is "Houdini."
"Houdini" is now available for the first time on DVD.
Tony Curtis is surprising in this glowing look at the life of famous magician Houdini. And the film itself is a surprisingly well-made story. From the very beginning of the film, we're introduced to the young magician working his way onto the world stage. Why do I say Curtis is surprising? In some of the films he's done, like "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957) and "The Defiant Ones" (1958) or "Some Like It Hot" (1959), Curtis can captivate an audience as well as any other actor. In other films, like "Spartacus" (1960) and "Taras Bulba" (1962), he's out-of-place with his Bronx accent, to be honest. Yet when Curtis nails his roles, he's quite good. And as Houdini, he's very good. His performance is believable and sincere. It doesn't hurt that Janet Leigh plays Bess, his wife in the film. They were married in real life sometime before this movie was made, according to Internet Movie Database. The center of "Houdini" is the love story between Curtis and Leigh's on-screen characters. There seems to be genuine chemistry and affection between them.
The movie is a fairly standard early-50s biography, but it's done with a lot of positive effort. There lots of dissolves between scenes to move the time periods along. I'm not an expert on the life of Houdini. I recall seeing the television movie version of this in 1976, and I remember it was told differently. The 1953 version has more style and probably takes liberties with the real-life story. But it's still entertaining and the production values are high.
"Houdini" is one of those pleasant films that's perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon in front of the 'ol television.
Special thanks to Legend Films
Photos: © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.
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