The Guardian reports that at least 20 unpublished stories by Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, have been discovered by researchers sorting through his papers at a research centre in Manchester, the city in which he was born.
The paper reports that among the cache of new material are "unfinished or rejected scripts for television and film projects, including lives of Atilla the Hun, Sigmund Freud and Michelangelo and a play about Harry Houdini that he collaborated on with Orson Welles."
Houdini by Anthony Burgess and Orson Welles, eh? Could the plan have been that Welles would play Houdini in the production? Unfortunately, the article doesn't provide a year for the collaboration, but if this was done in Welles prime, certainly that could have been the case. I've often wondered why Welles, who saw Houdini in his youth, never did a Houdini project. Now it appears he did. Or at least tried.
It's worth noting that Orson Welles was Hedda Hopper's favored choice for the lead in Paramount's 1953 HOUDINI.
The Guardian article does not say where this new material will be archived, but this would certainly be one to study.
Thanks to MSW for the tip.
UPDATE: So it appears this Welles-Burgess Houdini project was to have have been a musical film with Orson Welles in the lead. The Houdini musical material is now housed in the Anthony Burgess Foundation. Below is a scrap of music from unfinished score.
- 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)
- Houdini Picture Corp.
- Film Developing Corp.
- Filming locations
- Unmade Movies
- Deconstructing Houdini '53
- Beatrice Houdini
- Theo Hardeen
- Cecelia Weiss
- Mayer Samuel Weiss
- Jim Collins
- Franz Kukol
- Martin Beck
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- J. Gordon Whitehead
- Edward Saint
- Jacob Hyman
- Leopold Weiss
- Carrie Gladys Weiss
- Bernard M.L. Ernst
- Charmian London
- Jess Willard
- H.P. Lovecraft
- Sherlock Holmes
- Other magicians
- Full Bibliography
- By Houdini
- For Kids
- Wild About Harry Bookshelf
- 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 Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini (2019)
- 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)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Houdini by Anthony Burgess and Orson Welles (update)
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
How interesting that might have been, Orson Welles as Houdini or directing a Houdini project.ReplyDelete
Welles would have made an amazing Houdini in his prime.ReplyDelete
Roger Lewis' bio of Burgess mentions that Burgess was hoping to write a musical about Houdini for Welles. Google "Anthony Burgess and Houdini" to see the reference in Google books. Sounds like Burgess took it a step beyond "hoping."ReplyDelete
Ah, nice find, Eric. I wonder if Burgess used his Welles script as the bases for Hocus Pocus (as that was also a musical)?ReplyDelete
I am not an artist; but I am gifted to recognize when I see REAL one.ReplyDelete
I was not born in America and did not know much about who was Orson Welles till came to cross a movie recently, "Citizen Kane."
It was made by Orson Welles and he was main character of that movie.
Really a master piece!!!!
IF........he made "Hocus Pocus".... we would love it. Truly, what an artist he was!!!!!!