Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Who Is Houdini? (Photoplay, June 1920)

Last night I stumbled on The1920sChannel on YouTube, and by coincidence they had just uploaded a video related to Houdini. In it they read a profile of Houdini in the June 1920 Photoplay magazine. I like how the reporter talks about meeting Houdini at the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. As we know, Houdini stayed there in November 1919 while filming the underwater scenes for Terror Island at nearby La Elliotta Springs. (The Mission Inn is still there and even has a drink named after Houdini.)

Houdini certainly dishes out the mythology here, putting fresh spins on some of his old origin stories. Notice how the convict in cuffs is now "the son of a prominent banker" (just another reason to doubt the whole locksmith episode). And I've lost count of how many versions there are of how he and Bess met. But the idea of Houdini, Hollywood Star, spouting this stuff while sitting in the sunshine at the Mission's just so good.

1 comment:

  1. Might as well link the article: