Monday, August 4, 2014

The full HOUDINI trailer is here

Here is the full trailer for HISTORY's upcoming Houdini miniseries starring Adrien Brody exclusively (for the moment) on the WILD ABOUT HARRY YouTube channel. This is the longest and best trailer yet with a great song by Jake Bugg. Enjoy!



Houdini co-stars Kristen Connolly as Bess and Evan Jones as Jim Collins. The 4-hour biopic is is directed by Uli Edel from a script by Nicholas Meyer and airs in two parts on September 1 & 2 at 9/8c on HISTORY.

Note: If this trailer is blocked in your country, try viewing it HERE.

35 comments:

  1. I'm really disgusted with the ragingly Freudian theme the filmmakers are now unquestionably taking with Houdini's story. If the rest of it is like this, I don't know if I care to watch. The liberties taken in just this trailer alone are even more thoughtlessly done than in any of the previous films about him. I don't think I've ever been more unsettled by anything in my entire life. I especially didn't like the bit showing the water torture cell being smashed open...

    It would be so nice if someone would just present his life, without trying to push an personal agenda. Thanks again, Hollywood!

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    1. You've never been more unsettled by anything in your entire life??? Goodness.

      Houdini's real life was pretty rife with Freudian overtones. Hello, Mama! But I know some will be upset by any fictionalizations, although I think it's naive to think there wouldn't be any in a TV movie. That's the nature of the medium. Even documentaries distort to fit a run time. I'm actually impresses by how much of what I'm seeing here is out of Houdini's life. Bessie on the Colonel's lap!

      Read Ken Silverman's Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss. There is Houdini's life presented as factually as possible with no personal agenda. That's really only way to get it.

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    2. Maybe I exaggerated a bit, but I was pretty shocked. I guess Houdini is just such an important person to me and has been for most of my life, I just take offense when filmmakers feel the need to over-dramatize his life. Psychoanalysis has never been something I've taken much stock in, and I just can't understand how someone who lived so long before our time can have their motives objectively scrutinized by someone who never knew them personally and whose viewpoint is going to be shaped by the present-day world in which they live in, not the other person's.

      As to his relationship with his mother, I think we need stop and look at it not from a 21st century perspective, but from a 19th-20th century one instead. In those days, you were expected to take care of your parents and provide for their comfort, and having an abundance of love and respect for them was the norm. Just look how florid just about everything was in that era. Houdini had a naturally effusive and affectionate personality that fit right in with those values, so I personally don't see him as laboring under some kind of complex. It certainly wouldn't have been as much of a thing to people of his day than it seems to be to us in our day and age. That's just my take.

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    3. Actually, I think you make an excellent point about his mother. It is important to look at it in a 19th century context. The same goes for Bess and his mother. There's no evidence that she had any jealously, and part of that is it wasn't all that uncommon of a relationship. This was also a family who all lived together. 278 was a home for all the Weisses. Hard for a modern audience to really understand immigrant family dynamics of the day.

      But that's Hollywood for you. Every Houdini biopic has been the same. Up to you how much you let it bother you.

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    4. Also, if you consider Houdini's Jewish upbringing, just as it is for Catholics, to "honor thy father and mother" is one of the Ten Commandments, and must have influenced him in wanting to provide for her and revere her as much as he did, both during her life and after it.

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  2. I actually liked this trailer the best. It's restored my faith in Brody. He seems more confident and more of a showman. I thought the music was too modern, but maybe that's just for the trailer. I'm optimistic...

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    1. Yes, I was thinking the same thing. He doesn't look the part, but he has a confidence and charisma that's certainly Houdini-like. And this is also by far my favorite trailer.

      I suspect the modern music is just for the trailer. They did the same thing for Bonne & Clyde. Think it works well as trailer music.

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  3. Btw, Houdini on the park bench with an older man... Think this might be Harry Kellar? Maybe discussing the bullet catch?

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  4. Obviously poetic licence and catering for a wider audience. I think there is enough Houdini material to keep us satisfied from the snippets that I have seen. It's Houdini John, not as we know it but it's Houdini.
    ;-)

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  5. Dear Anonymous: Houdini buffs will always crave the facts. However, what's wrong with a little historical fiction based on HH? Take it for what it is and enjoy the show. Besides, it seems quite possible that a dramatization like this could introduce Houdini to someone not yet familiar with his wonderful story. What got you interested? How old were you when you first learned about Houdini? I can easily imagine a middle school age child (or even an adult) discovering Houdini via the program. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I hope that the show will be as enjoyable as it seems.

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    1. Well said, Marc. My interest in Houdini started with the Tony Curtis movie, and that is wildly inaccurate. But even as a kid, I understood movies did not give you the facts. So I went and got a book to learn the real story. And I've said this again and again, but be thankful what we are getting is an actual biopic and not Houdini vs. Zombies which is what Hollywood wants to give us.

      And while what we see here is heightened and dramatized, A LOT is rooted in fact. We're going to see things from Houdini's life that we've never seen dramatized before. That's exciting. So what if the freakin' rivets aren't in the right place! ;)

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  6. Wait - was that a bondage sex scene in there?

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    1. Yep.

      I wondering if that's Charmian London. She was a bit of a freak. The whole Mate Man / Mate Woman thing. Who knows what they got up to.

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    2. If it were a Showtime movie, or a feature, then I would agree. But this is supposed to be a factual docudrama, or at least that's what the History channel purports to do. That means you're not supposed to make stuff up. Especially if it's a gratuitous sex scene.
      I'm all for historical fiction, even write it myself, but there needs to be a bright line between fiction and fact. Or at least label the film as fiction, so a whole new generation doesn't grow up thinking Houdini was an S&M freak.

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  7. Very cool and atmospheric! Can't wait for it!

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    1. Very atmospheric. And the production design looks amazing.

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  8. Dear Anonymous, your first message prompted me to tell you not to watch HOUDINI considering your quite negative attitude towards the trailer. Fortunately my reply didn't go through. So here I write again, cooler heads Re prevailing and therefore here I go: biographical movies or mini-series are never 100% authentic for the simple reason that no one would watch them. Period. The idea is for the actor to embody the sessence of the person. Portrait who he was (in this case Houdini

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  9. Considering the director , Uli Edel, is an award winning director, you can google him, I'm here to tell you that this HOUDINI is amazing. I was there during the entire process of making this mini-series, and I know it will be great. Of course it's easy for me to say, as his wife.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Bionicglo. Please send your husband all our best wishes. Even though we will endlessly debate whether the script does justice to the facts, I think we will all be blown away by the scope and beauty of this production. The commitment of everyone involved is already clear from the trailer. I've no doubt that this will be considered the best made Houdini biopic yet. :)

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    2. It's a fascinating script, beautiful cinematography and a work of passion by all those involved. From what I saw on the monitor it looks like a piece of art - beautifully crafted from the attention to detail in the sets, make up and costumes, wonderful acting and a real attention to detail from an amazing director. Some of it may be fiction - artistic license to fill in the gaps, with the intention to create a piece of art, not a dry historical documentary. Though no doubt it will encourage people to find out more about Houdini. I'm very jealous that you in the US will see it before I will in the UK as my son is in the opening scenes playing the young Houdini. And Uli was absolutely fantastic with him. What a great experience for a young actor.

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    3. How exciting for your son! Congratulations to him. :)

      As far as the script goes, I think there is going to be some vigorous discussion (and criticism -- even from me) about the level of "artistic license" taken. But the work by all other departments, including the actors, is clearly top notch.

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    4. I've since read a couple of biographies on Houdini as the script encouraged me to know more about the man, as his life story seemed so fascinating - maybe it will encourage others to do the same. It's a shame when people take their knowledge of history solely from the movies. Though when it's really far from the truth or far from people's perception of the truth, I can see how it can be frustrating to real fans of a topic or person.

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  10. Although I was hoping for a more of a realistic Houdini bio I must say....I like it! Perry from NJ.

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    1. You know, I've watched this trailer a dozen times, and I see almost nothing that isn't rooted in Houdini fact or established mythology (like the ice jump). Except for maybe the bondage scene, but who knows what our Harry got up to. The look of it appears heightened and amped up, but I love that. In some ways, it's like the Curtis movie blasting out at us in Technicolor. They are making Houdini exciting.

      And, who knows? Maybe delving into Houdini's psyche a bit will be revealing, at least a version of what made him tick. These are smart and talented filmmakers at work here. I don't think Brody or any of them would do something that doesn't, on some level, feel "truthful" to them.

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  11. Amazing. I can't wait to watch. Long live Ehrich Ehrich Weiss. I only wish he was still alive to help resolve the Middle East conflict.

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  12. One bedroom scene with hand cuffs, one of his special escape tools and thus funny, hardly makes anyone a S&M "freak", lol. Sex "sales" and the History channel is competing for audience. If the rest of the casting is anywhere as good as the lead, it should be well worth viewing.

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  13. My fourth grade teacher thought Houdini died in the USD. She told the class her belief was based on the Tony Curtis film, which I have no doubt she saw at the theater when it was released. She mentioned this right after I did a presentation on Houdini for my class. At eleven years of age, I had already begun to realize that Hollywood biopics were bogus.

    This new film will continue to perpetuate the myths the public believes about Houdini. I'm sure the Houdini popcorn and carnival cotton candy we will see is entertaining--the Bullet Catch?--Hole in the Ice Bridge Jump--I just think his actual real life was filled with moments that can be entertaining to watch, and accurate. Maybe this continued onscreen mythology would have pleased Houdini.

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    1. That's funny, I had much the same experience growing up, trying to convince schoolmates, and even teachers, that Houdini didn't die in the USD. But back in the '70s, there was no way to really prove it to them, and they just couldn't believe that this kid could be right, because they saw it in a movie!

      I think movies do much less damage today because it is so easy to check the facts for yourself now. I intend to have a full "Fact Check" on this miniseries posted asap for anyone watching who wants to know the truth.

      I'm nervous this miniseries will show him dying, or at lest being trapped, in the USD. We see the glass being smashed, but this appears to be happening during a practice. But we also see the older Houdini handing over the cell grimacing and holding his gut. Afraid.

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    2. The emphasis on the fatality of the USD worries me, too. There were several things in the trailer that are a bit concerning, but that was on the top of the list. Even if they have him die as he really did, they seem to be pandering to the film-perpetuated myth. Seeing as Houdini worked so hard at inventing and patenting the escape, I don't think he'd be pleased with the majority of people believing it's what killed him, or the fact that Hollywood seems to always prefer drama over authenticity when telling his story (though I can't say he was always innocent of doing that himself!).

      -Meredith

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    3. Your last paragraph mirrors my feelings exactly, Leo. I have nothing against stirring up interest in Houdini, but the only thing that including myths like the hole-in-the-ice-jump accomplishes is ensuring that people start believing what they see over-and-over in movies about him instead of the actual facts.

      I too hold the opinion that his real life was more interesting than what he or screenwriters choose to make up, and would be gratified if someone would just present it as it was, without all the embellishments.

      -Meredith

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    4. If they show him die in the USD, I think I'm going to start believing it myself. :p

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  14. I might be wrong but I could swear I saw a hooded character in the trailer posing in front of the USD with an ax. I wonder if this film will use Doug Henning's presentation of the hooded character who almost smashes the cell. The character unveils the hood to reveal he is the actual magician. Too bad Houdini didn't use this idea. I think it's more dramatic than just escaping from the USD.

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    1. It does. But it's Brody in a fireman's outfit. Check out the shot of the curtain dropping to the empty cell. You can totally see Brody's nose. :)

      Henning said he did this to make it more of an illusion than an escape. Houdini didn't go in for these types of surprise endings. They were pure escapes to him. He was in it until he was out and you saw that in real time. But it was a brilliant twist by Henning. Such a Master.

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    2. BTW, did you notice that he's riding the Vanishing Elephant? Another Henning innovation.

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  15. Yeah, I saw Brody on the elephant. Made me wonder if Houdini ever tried to do that. I also agree that Henning was a Master.

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