The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and
television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality
for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews
that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or
higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for
limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Made for television, The Great Houdinis tells the life story of famed American illusionist/escape-artist Harry Houdini and his wife Bess. Studiously avoiding covering the same ground as the 1953 Houdini theatrical-film biopic, director Mel Shavelson's script for Great Houdinis spends a great deal of time on the conflict between Harry's Catholic wife Bess and his Jewish mother. The spiritualism angle so important to the Houdini story allows the 1976 film to recreate Houdini's meetings with "true believer" Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Again departing from the 1953 Houdini, this later film does not end with Houdini's death from peritonitis in 1926; instead, we watch as the widowed Bess desperately tries to make contact with her husband in the "other world," all the while debunking phony mediums, just as her husband had done. Paul Michael Glaser and Sally Struthers star as the Houdinis, with Ruth Gordon as Harry's mother Mrs. Weiss, Peter Cushing as Conan Doyle, Jack Carter as Houdini's brother, Adrienne Barbeau as his mistress, Nina Foch as a medium, and Vivian Vance as the all-around best friend/severest critic, who narrates the film. The Great Houdinis first aired on October 8, 1976.