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, Mrs. Tony Curtis at the time, 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--and his efforts to expose phony mediums. Philip Yordan's script (based on a book by Harold Kellock) … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Harold Kellock, Philip Yordan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 3, 2008
Paramount Home Video


as Harry Houdini

as Bess Houdini

as Harry's Mother

as Prosecuting Attorney

as Schultz

as Fante

as Dooley

as Mrs. Schultz

as White-haired Man

as Inspector

as Entertainer

as Entertainer

as Esther's Girl Friend

as Girl in Guillotine A...

as German Judge

as Fat Girl

as Doorman

as Woman Who Screams

as Official-Looking Man

as Alhambra Manager

as Assistant

as Blacksmith

as Barker

as Prof. Allegari

as Foreman

as Italian Basso

as Calcott

as Headwaiter

as Strong Man
Show More Cast

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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

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