Today it's well-known that Kennedy was the man in the air while Houdini's shot all his plane scenes safely on the ground. However, while watching The Grim Game on the big screen a while back, there's one shot that now makes me question the totality of this conventional wisdom.
The shot is when Harvey Hanford (Houdini) transfers out of the cockpit and scoots along the wing to the first strut. It's an extended shot that gives us a good look at the "stuntman." I've gotten pretty good at recognizing Houdini from a distance as well as his movements, and everything about this person tells me it may be Houdini himself!
This also makes sense. While a plane to plane transfer was too dangerous and required a stuntman with that specific skill (although, as it turned out, Kennedy did not have that skill), I think Houdini would have been perfectly comfortable sitting on a wing in flight. And the whole point of this shot appears to be trying to show us that it's Houdini himself on the wing. But the camera plane can only get so close.
When the shot changes to an extreme long shot of the plane to plane transfer, the man on the wing is not only in a different position, but also appears taller and somewhat lanky, just as Robert Kennedy was. You can see his legs are clearly hanging further below the wing than the man in the preceding shot.
So what do we think? Did Houdini himself go up in the air to shoot the first part of the stunt and then Kennedy went up and completed it? There are photos of Houdini in costume with the camera plane as well the pilots, so he was there. The irony is Houdini could never take credit for the part he did as he had to claim credit for entire thing.
Food for thought!