Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fragments from The Grim Game

We all know Houdini's first (and reportedly best) Hollywood feature, The Grim Game, is unavailable aside from 5 minutes of the climatic plane crash included on the Houdini The Movie Star DVD collection.

Oh? Then how do we explain THIS?

These clips come from History's Lost and Found (episode #22) which showcased Houdini's Water Torture Cell and first aired in 2000. In the introductory montage we see a collection of Houdini footage. Much of it is familiar -- but then pops up three distinct fragments from, yes, The Grim Game!

These are not clips from the available plane footage. These are never-before-seen fragments from his jail escape, the suspended straitjacket, and what appears to be a sack escape (not 100% sure this last one is from The Grim Game -- it could be The Master Mystery).

Click below to see what is supposed to be unseeable. They go by quickly, so don't blink.

So where did these fragments come from, and how much footage was trimmed away? Is it possible these full sequences exist somewhere outside the infamous Larry Weeks print?

The show credits still and stock footage from all the segments together, but within the list we see a handful of suspects who could have supplied the clips: Houdini Historical Society, Sidney H. Radner Collection, Houdini, John Gaughan, Morris Young Collection, Archive Film and Photos, Budget Films/eFootage, Hot Shots Cool Cuts, Steamline Stock Footage, and WPA Film Library.

Okay, fess up! Who (else) is squatting on footage from The Grim Game?


  1. Great find John! Thanks! :)

  2. You weren't joking when you said they were quick but thanks for this ... there isn't enough footage around of the big guy unfortunately!

  3. BTW, having now read the script, I was wrong in saying that flagpole clip is from his suspended straitjacket escape. That is actually part of his jail escape.