Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time out for Hardeen

Houdini wasn't the only Weiss to star in movies. Here's an ad from the July 7, 1937 Abilene Reporter News for the Errol Flynn feature Green Light. Note the "Added Attraction" at the bottom of the page.

Shot in 1936, Medium Well Done was a one-reel Vitaphone short (Prod. #1958) directed by Lloyd French. In it, Hardeen played a "hardboiled detective" on the case of a bogus medium. The film co-starred Gertrude Mudge, Margaret Breen and Paul E. Burns, and featured the Leo Forbstein songs "Racing Luck" and "Alibi Ike" as background music. The surviving story synopsis from a Vitaphone catalogue reads:

Hardeen, brother of Harry Houdini, carries on his brother's work by exposing fake mediums.

While Medium Well Done is the only Hardeen short that we know of, there is some evidence that he made others. Click to read more about: The forgotten films of Theo Hardeen.



  1. From _The Film Daily_, Jan 6 1936:
    "Hardeen in Vitaphone Film

    Theodore Hardeen, famous magician and brother of the late Harry Houdini, heads the roster of players in "Medium Well Done," a one-reel novelty film, which enters production at the Brooklyn Vitaphone studio today. Others in the cast of this short are Gertrude Mudge, Margaret Breen and Paul E. Burns, all of the Broadway state. Lloyd French is directing."

    1. Thanks, Bill. Great to have the names of his co-stars. I've added that into the story.

  2. Here’s some more evidence that he made others from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2 April 1939:
    [Hardeen made] several pictures for Warner Brothers. Two of the latter, “Medium Well Done” and “Expose Spiritualism,” are in line with his avowed policy of debunking fake mediums and séances.