Houdini (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes

Houdini (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This highly fanciful but immensely entertaining biopic stars Tony Curtis as legendary magician/escape-artist Harry Houdini. Janet Leigh co-stars as Houdini's wife Bess, while Angela Clarke is seen as Houdini's mother. The film follows Houdini's progress from sideshow entertainer to high-priced prestidigitator and also touches upon his fascination with the occult.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Harold Kellock, Philip Yordan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 3, 2008
Paramount Home Video


Tony Curtis
as Harry Houdini
Janet Leigh
as Bess Houdini
Angela Clarke
as Harry's Mother
Stefan Schnabel
as Prosecuting Attorney
Sig Rumann
as Schultz
Ian Wolfe
as Fante
Connie Gilchrist
as Mrs. Schultz
Frank Orth
as White-haired Man
Barry Bernard
as Inspector
Elsie Ames
as Entertainer
Nick Arno
as Entertainer
Esther Garber
as Esther's Girl Friend
Norma Jean Eckart
as Girl in Guillotine A...
Lawrence Ryle
as German Judge
Jody Gilbert
as Fat Girl
Edward Clark
as Doorman
Grace Hayle
as Woman Who Screams
Fred Essler
as Official-Looking Man
Arthur E. Gould-Port...
as Alhambra Manager
Alec Harford
as Assistant
Tudor Owen
as Blacksmith
Ernö Verebes
as Prof. Allegari
Frank Jaquet
as Foreman
Billy Bletcher
as Italian Basso
Lyle Latell
as Calcott
Torben Meyer
as Headwaiter
Tor Johnson
as Strong Man
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Houdini

Critic Reviews for Houdini

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

There's enough whimsy on display to make the film a pleasant charmer.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008

Colorful, but full of falsehoods, story of Houdini. Curtis is pretty good.

March 23, 2008

Accuracy, be darned; this is pure entertainment bio-pic with Tony Curtis at the height of his charismatic matinee idol period; plus working with wife Janet Leigh isn't bad either.

February 25, 2004
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Standard issue star vehicle biopic.

February 12, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Houdini


An interesting movie about the great magician Houdini, but it could have been better, maybe more biographical?

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Highly fictionalized but very entertaining story of the great magician. Curits acquits himself well in the lead and Janet is lovely.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Not historically accurate (not by a long shot) but the chemistry between Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh makes this one fun to watch.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Houdini Quotes

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