- Houdini's Movies
- Les merveilleux exploits de Houdini à Paris (1909)
- The Master Mystery (1918)
- The Grim Game (1919)
- Terror Island (1920)
- The Man From Beyond (1922)
- Haldane of the Secret Service (1923)
- Velvet Fingers (1925-26)
- Medium Well Done (1937)
- Religious Racketeers (1938)
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- Houdini His Life Story (1928)
- Houdini The Man Who Walked Through Walls (1959)
- Houdini The Untold Story (1969)
- The Life and Many Deaths of Harry Houdini (1993)
- Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (1997)
- The Secret Life of Houdini (2006)
- The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini (2012)
- The Witch of Lime Street (2015)
- The Official Houdini Seance
- Terror Island screening on Catalina (2018)
- Visiting the Copperfield Collection (2018)
- 278 Open House (2017)
- Los Angeles Conference on Magic History (2015)
- Official Houdini Séance, San Francisco (2015)
- Houdini Historical Roast (2015)
- Midwest Magic History Weekend, Marshall (2015)
- The Grim Game premiere in Hollywood (2015)
- Houdini at Hollywood Heritage (2014)
- Official Houdini Seance, Fort Worth (2012)
- Magic Collectors Weekend, Chicago (2011)
- Houdini Art and Magic exhibition (2010-2012)
- Tony Curtis at The Magic Castle (2009)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
The first Houdini movie poster?
This English playbill, which appears on page 26 of Walter Gibson’s The Original Houdini Scrapbook and recently went up for auction on eBay (unsold), is NOT a playbill for Houdini the man, as has been represented. It’s a playbill for Houdini the movie, making it quite possibly the first Houdini “movie poster.”
Why do I think this?
According to the Nore Lodge website, Princes Hall, a variety theater on Tylers Ave in Southend-on-Sea, changed its name to Princes Picturedrome (as we see in the ad) in 1908 when it converted to all movies.
Furthermore, look at that plot description. It is CLEARLY Les merveilleux exploits de Houdini à Paris, a film Houdini made in France for Film Lux in 1909. Here the movie title has been translated as The Celebrated Houdini.
While Houdini showed footage of his escapes as part of his stage show, this is the first playbill I’ve ever seen advertising a performance of stand alone Houdini footage, and it’s the only advertisement I’ve ever seen for Merveilleux Exploits.
One wonders if fragments of this version, which probably had all the French title cards chopped off, is what’s now housed in stock film archives as miscellaneous Houdini footage (and most recently appeared on Kino’s Houdini The Movie Star DVD collection).
Pretty cool, eh?
UPDATE: I've been able to determine that this playbill is from 1916.