Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Miracle Factory releases 3 new Houdini DVDs

Here's something we've all been waiting for! Todd Karr's The Miracle Factory has released three new DVDs that collect as much of the existing Houdini film footage that could be found (over 8 hours worth).

Houdini: Captured on Film features over 45 minutes of Houdini film footage, including an extensive reconstruction of the surviving fragments of The Marvelous Exploits of Houdini in Paris (1909); footage of his pioneer aviation feats and his first flight over Australia; various escapes, including a bridge jump, overboard box escape, and several upside-down straitjacket escapes; casual footage of Houdini with Harry Kellar, Bess Houdini, and others; news coverage of his 1926 funeral; film of Hardeen and audio from a 1939 radio interview.

The Houdini Picture Show includes Houdini's silent features Terror Island (1920); The Man from Beyond (1922); Haldane of the Secret Service (1923); previously unseen outtakes filmed in Paris from Haldane of the Secret Service; and the plane crash excerpt from The Grim Game (1919).

Houdini: The Master Mystery includes Houdini's 1918 serial, and also a special "Escapes-Only" feature which gathers the escape footage from the serial into an introductory section for the viewing convenience of magicians and historians.


SPECIAL OFFER: Readers of WILD ABOUT HARRY get $10 off each DVD by using the promo code HOUDINI10 at check out. This offer is only good until February 10th, so act now!

With the Kino DVD set now out of print, this is a great way to get Houdini's film work on DVD, and I'm especially excited to see a partial restoration of his Paris short. Below are promotional clips for all three DVDs.


14 comments:

  1. Looks like Houdini is cuffed with the letter cuffs in the prison cell. First time I've noticed this thanks to the higher quality. What year was this originally filmed?

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    1. The Paris film was 1909. And you're right, those do appear to be the French Letter Cuff! How cool. Although in this film footage, Houdini bangs the cuffs open. Guess Kleppini didn't think to try that. :)

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    2. Well..I believe not. He seems to be cuffed with two pair of handcuffs. One he bangs open the other are still on his wrists as he leaves the cell and prison. I guess the idea is he is still cuffed to lead into the jump into the Sein river.

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  2. John. Hinson great nephew of Bess and Harry HoudiniFebruary 4, 2015 at 4:14 PM

    Its nice to see all these movie coming out now.to show what a great showmanship he was.

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    1. This is really THE year for Houdini in film. :)

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  3. John--do you know if Houdini Captured on Film includes the film of the older Houdini performing card manipulations?

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    1. Don't know. I'd hope so. I know it's on another Miracle Factory DVD release. My DVDs are on the way so I'll let you know as soon as I know.

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    2. So this DVD does offer a short clip of this. The longer clip is on their "Vintage Magic Films" DVD.

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  4. The highest resolution film clips of Houdini can be found on the Historic films web site. The clips of his funeral are as if they were filmed in the 60s rather than 1926. Excellent quality.

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    1. If you have the money to pay their exorbitant prices and fees. Even a second of footage can cost over $1000. They are really about serving (gouging) professional film and television companies and offer no deals or discounts for historians. I know, I tried. Not a supporter.

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    2. I agree. For those who want to view top quality videos of Houdini and his funeral some certainly I have never seen before its the place to look. Look but not buy based on your experience.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up John. Discount more than covered the postage to the UK. Looking forward to these. Hopefully a little extra compared to the Kino box set.

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  6. Does anybody know what year Houdini would have performed the straightjacket escape in front of The Houston Chronicle building? The Houdini Captured on Film dvd shows footage of it.

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    1. He did it on Jan. 25, 1916. Although he played Houston in 1923 and might have repeated the stunt then. But you can read an account of the 1916 escape HERE.

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