Houdini - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Houdini Reviews

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March 29, 2015
Excellent movie. The chemistry and timing between Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis makes this movie believable. It concentrates on more of the positive aspects of Houdini's life, rather than the myths and exploitations.
September 2, 2014
Fun fluff, not accurate.
½ October 7, 2013
Its very entertaining and fun.
March 26, 2013
A great movie! A lady from the Magic Castle recommended it after we heard about Houdini. I loved it! It was funny too.
March 22, 2013
This speedy, swashbuckling biopic tells the story of late, great escape artist, Harry Houdini, offering some sweet performances from big 50s names and bags of pizazz. Wry humour, charming romance and cheeky panache all ensure escapist fun, held together by a beguiling rise-and-fall structure, yet the film falls flat on its face in its misrepresentations of events and failure to address the magician's mysterious death. Fanciful fun flummoxed by falsehoods.
December 13, 2012
The story of the most famous magician of all time, who was the toast of Broadway in the early years of the 20th century, starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. Well done, great musical score, and highly entertaining.
½ November 25, 2012
By the early 1900s, the extraordinary Houdini earned an international reputation for his theatrical tricks and daring feats of extrication from shackles, ropes, handcuffs, and Scotland Yard's jails...

The film depicts Houdini's memorable escape from any pair of handcuffs produced by the audience; the outdoor exhibition, when he allows himself to be hanged upside down from his ankles, suspended from the roof of a high building, in a strait jacket; and, the dramatic act, when he accepts to be shackled with irons and placed in a box that is locked, roped, and submerged in frozen waters...

The film also exposes Houdini's campaign against mind readers, fraudulent mediums and others who claim supernatural powers... Houdini shows a passionate talent for escapology and the film did much to create the 'Water Torture Cell' illusion...

With his pretty-boy looks, Tony Curtis handles the title role with passionate skill... His energetic performance, as the talented and motivated magician, is very good...

With good period atmosphere, but with more attention to romance than to interesting detail, the film is quite enjoyable and colorful...

Janet Leigh does a great job as Houdini's faithful wife...
November 12, 2012
While it's about as historically inaccurate as biopics get, it's reasonably entertaining with good performances by both Curtis and Leigh.
October 14, 2012
A biopic that's light on fact doesn't make this the best biopic you'll see but Curtis and Leigh working together is a delight in itself
October 1, 2012
It was fun, didn't follow his story that well, but I love Janet Leigh. I enjoyed how he exposed the fakes who held seances. But he didn't sell things well. They could have shown his hard ships more, or made them more realistic rather than beautiful.
August 21, 2012
Non mi pare un film eccezionale ma ha la bonta' di non annoiare pur essendo del 1953.
N.B. La storia e' molto romanzata e ben poco aderente alla vita reale del mago.
February 20, 2012
Was an entertaining movie..not sure of the accuracy...could've delved more into his mind I guess...good performances
½ November 25, 2011
How could the life of an escape artist be anything but fascinating (even if it is mostly fictionalized)? "Houdini" is a great film but not a great biopic. This film should be followed by the reading of his biography (or at least a skim of his Wikipedia page) to avoid believing fictionalized moments from this film (particularly the way that Houdini died). That being said, Tony Curtis is awesome in the role of Houdini, aided by his real-life wife Janet Leigh as as his movie wife and assistant. Their chemistry is wonderful and drives this entire story along, from their first meeting to the final scene on stage. Curtis and Leigh were sworn to secrecy by magicians as they learned the secrets of the trade to bring many of these tricks to life. This film should not be treated as fact but still provides interesting insight into the man who was Harry Houdini.
March 28, 2011
Slightly hammy and Hollywood in places, but very enjoyable nonetheless. It was far more entertaining than the IMDB 6.9 led me to expect. Recommended.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2010
An interesting movie about the great magician Houdini, but it could have been better, maybe more biographical?
November 27, 2009
Good movie, but leaves a lot to be desired as an actual biography of Houdini, especially the ending which is really weird and dosen't make much sense.
½ September 9, 2009
Fun to watch - the ending was a bit abrupt though.
Super Reviewer
½ August 21, 2009
It was okay, a nice little love story in there, it had some interesting things
August 16, 2009
ho rivisto con piacere questo film del '53, ha tutti i temi della versione del 2009, incluso lo spiritismo, ma la classe รจ di altri tempi. Impareggiabile.
August 3, 2009
Tony Curtis is almost always good in whomever he plays, and he was fascinating in here as the famous magician Harry Houdini. Janet Leigh was excellent as well. I don't know if the biography was accurate or not, but I enjoyed watching this film. It is good movie but not greatest.
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