Friday, August 29, 2014

Watch 4 minutes of 'Houdini'

HISTORY has offered up a 4 minute "sneak peek" of their Houdini miniseries set to premiere this Monday at 9/8c. The preview shows the first major scene of the miniseries when Harry discovers his challenge handcuff act...in a brothel.

(UPDATE: This preview appears to have been removed.)


There has also been A LOT of press about this series, far more than I can keep up with, but here are a few notable links to interviews with the principle creative talents involved in making Houdini:

Houdini airs September 1 & 2 at 9/8c on HISTORY. It will be available as an HD download on all digital platforms September 3. An extended version will be released on DVD and Blu-ray October 7.

12 comments:

  1. Interesting. I liked Brody much better than I thought I would. I'm not sure if I liked the CG lock picking. That sudden jump into the inner workings, ala Fight Club, works sometimes. I just hope they don't use it too much. I'd rather just see the actor.

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  2. Wow, a bit too much creative license going on there for me... I know the story about the Houdinis' brief yet unwitting time in a brothel, but seriously? And what was with the wild-man act on stage?

    If they approach all of Houdini's escapes from that same angle, aside from stripping away any wonderment of how he did it, I think it also removes the vital human element of it. The CGI visuals detracts too much from him as a person. I might as well be watching a documentary.

    The voice-over does suggest some kind of purgatory-like frame structure, though it could just be his life flashing before his eyes, so to speak, before the bridge jump. Whatever the case, I hope they don't overdo it.

    -Meredith

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    1. Wait, there is a brothel story? I thought this was pure fiction. Are you thinking maybe of the American Gaiety Girls, which was the Burlesque show Houdini co-managed for a time (which might have done better had it been a brothel).

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    2. There was a brothel misadventure, John, but not in the way the miniseries suggests. I can't for the life of me remember in what book I first read it, but I recall a quotation from Houdini concerning a female performer he and Bess had known early in their careers, whom they met up with later on. She invited them to see her at her new 'gig', and they accepted, not knowing of her change of occupation. He said that once they realized where they were, he and Bess got out, and got out fast.

      (I invite anyone with a better memory than I to shed some more light on this quote, as even after searching my library I still can't locate it).

      -Meredith

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    3. After some hunting, I found it! Your mentioning the Gaiety Girls reminded me. In Silverman's book, he records that about the same time, they reunited with Kate Gregors, who, according to Houdini, "invited us up house, but We declined!".

      -Meredith

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    4. Ah, great, thanks Meredith. You have an excellent memory.

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  3. I've replaced the Kristen Connolly link with a better yahoo interview in which she thanks our friend Tom Interval for helping her research and providing her with a 40 page Bess research pack. Congrats Tom!

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  4. Speaking of Kristen Connolly, the look she gives when Harry says "You booked us into a brothel" is PERFECT. No need for words. You see it all hit her at once and suddenly she sees the room for what it is. Loved that.

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  5. I also liked Brody better than I thought I would. The close-up of is eyes is intense. The CGI inner workings looked interesting. You have to enjoy this film for what it is, because if you get caught up in the historical accuracy rabbit hole, you'll never come out.

    Looking a his own life, Houdini preferred legend to historical accuracy, so in a way, this film appears to uphold that.

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    1. Yep, I think that's the way to approach it, Leo.

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  6. The symbolism of the cop in the cat house did not escape me: The hypocritical, arrogant and corrupt power figure challenging the underdog. How can you not root for Harry to bust out of those cuffs and teach that jerk a lesson?

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