Channel 4 is showing the full extended version of the miniseries, which will only be released here in the U.S. on DVD October 8. What's interesting is this extended edition includes a disclaimer on the front which reads:
"What you are about to see is FACT... It is also FICTION... We defy you to tell the difference."
A somewhat arrogant disclaimer (and I think we met their challenge), but at least it's a disclaimer! HISTORY might have mitigated some of the intense criticism it received had they left this on the U.S. broadcast version.
Our friend Narinder from the UK also tells of a scene, following Harry's proposal, in which Bessie's mother slaps her and shouts, "You married a jew!" This certainly wasn't in the U.S. version, and that's too bad because it helps explain Bess's later remark about being, "a dumb girl who married a jew", which I criticized in my review.
Looks like it may be necessary to do a re-review of the miniseries when the Extend Edition is released here in the U.S. next month. Some of my other criticisms may need to be reassessed.
And to fact check the Bess/mother scene -- per the filmmakers "defiance" to do so -- it is true that Bessie's mother threw her out of the house after she married Harry and refused to speak to her for years. Although all parties later reconciled, and Balbina Rahner became a regular fixture at 278, delighting in the magic Houdini would do at the dinner table. (Read: Marie Hinson remembers her sister Bess Houdini.)
Enjoy Part II next Sunday, you lucky Brits!
Thanks to Narinder Chadda and Mick Hanzlik for the UK intel. Your spy work is worthy of Fake Harry.
- 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)