We are now just one day away from the world premiere of TCM's restoration of Houdini's first silent feature The Grim Game at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. This will be the first general public screening of the film in at least 70 years. This is a momentous occasion as The Grim Game is said to be Houdini's best film, and I've always wanted it to be the representative of Houdini's film work. In one day, it will be just that.
Houdini would be thrilled.
For those who haven't followed this saga, the last known print of The Grim Game, which Houdini made for Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount in 1919, was acquired by magician and juggler Larry Weeks in the late 1940s. Larry only shared the film with a few close friends in his home. So while it was never really a "lost" film, it was unavailable for the vast majority of Houdini fans and film historians, including myself. Shortly before his death last year, Larry sold his print to TCM. The movie has now undergone a full restoration, and by all reports, it is just as good as has always been rumored.
So thanks to Larry Weeks, Dorothy Dietrich, Dick Brookz, Fred Pittella, Rick Schmidlin, those at NYU who worked on the restoration, as well the good folks at TCM who bankrolled the entire project (I was told some posts here on my blog helped in that regard), The Grim Game will soon be free!
Below are a collection of Grim Game related posts here on WILD ABOUT HARRY. After the premiere, I will have news of additional screenings and, hopefully, some indication of when the film will be shown on the TCM channel.