Friday, September 2, 2016

Olive Films will release Houdini (1953) on Blu-ray and DVD

Great news! Houdini (1953) is coming back to disc. Independent distributor Olive Films will release the Paramount classic starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh on DVD and Blu-ray November 15. Here's the new cover art.

New Houdini Blu-ray (left) and DVD (right).

This marks the first standalone Blu-ray release of Houdini in the U.S. The movie had previously only been released on Blu-ray in 2011 bundled with Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies. The last time Houdini was released as a standalone DVD was 2008.

It does not appear this new Olive Films release will include any extras or special features.

You can pre-order both the Houdini Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon.com.

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10 comments:

  1. From the 22 June 1953 LIFE Magazine
    https://books.google.com/books?id=CEgEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA119&dq=Houdini%20tony%20curtis&pg=PA119#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Still not a big fan of the movie. Plays way too fast and loose with the facts to suit me, plus it created so many myths that The Great Unwashed still accept as the truth.

    I checked out the Olive Films website for the Blu Ray http://www.olivefilms.com/2016/09/olive-films-announces-november-2016-titles/ and was amused to read in the description, "Houdini traces the fascinating life of the world’s foremost illusionist and escapologist". That rumbling you feel is Harry Blackstone Sr spinning in his grave over Harry Houdini being called the greatest illusionist.

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    1. It really only created one memorable myth, that Houdini died in the USD, and these days I rarely meet anyone that still thinks that's true, and no-one who would cling to it as the truth when told otherwise (as people did in the old days). Being trapped under the ice is the other great myth, but that's a story Houdini himself invented, so I don't blame this movie for that. And, overall, the superstructure of this movie gives you a very good overall of Houdini's real life. No working as a spy nonsense or psychological spin as we got in later biopics. And this movie loves and showcases magic. I'm a big fan.

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    2. I guess my biggest turnoff is the whole dematerialization thread running through it.

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    3. Oh, yeah, that is a little mystical.

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  2. Didn't George Pal direct this film? He also directed The Time Machine, and what a classic film! It enchanted me as a child as it did my son when he was a child. Pal had a reputation for making great films on a tight budget.

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    1. Produced by George Pal. Directed by George Marshall.

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  3. Funny they photoshopped a standing Tony Curtis in a straightjacket and turned him upside down for their image.

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    1. That is funny, especially when there are real upside-down images they could have used. But I guess they wanted it to be very recognizably Tony Curtis. And it the chains makes it work. It's all kinda abstract.

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  4. The upside down straitjacket is a widely recognized Houdini image. The jumbled letters and Curtis's pompadour give it the 1950s teen idol escape artist look.

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    1. I actually like the jumbled letters because it gives it a bit of a circus feel. So much Houdini movie and TV advertising goes for water, straitjacket or chains. Understandable, but I'm a little tired of it. In the early production stages of the Houdini miniseries they had a logo that was cursive and used the elephant. I loved that. Evoked Houdini as magician. Wish they would have stuck with it. But in the end they went with the familiar water and chains.

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