Friday, May 21, 2021

'The Great Houdinis' Water Torture Cell in the wild

As long as we're on the topic of Houdini biopic props, here's an image I found of the Water Torture Cell from The Great Houdinis on display in a shopping mall in 1977. What's notable here is the cell still has the artificial front that the production added to conceal star Paul Michal Glaser's height and make the cell look a little more menacing. The cell survives today, but it has lost this front piece which made it so identifiable. This clipping is from the June 19, 1977 Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Click to enlarge.

As you can read, the cell was being passed off as Houdini's original, which of course it is not. You can read more about that little deception here. Below is the cell as seen in the movie.

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