When I saw this broadcast on May 15, 1976, it blew my mind every bit as much as the Tony Curtis movie had exactly six months earlier. When it repeated in 1978 I was able to record it (on Beta -- I still have my tape) and watched it continuously. It remains my favorite Houdini documentary and watching it always brings me back to those early days of my Houdini mania. And now seeing the likes of Milbourne Christopher, Walter B. Gibson, James Randi and Sidney Radner talking about Houdini in their prime feels as special as seeing the footage Houdini himself.
The Truth About Houdini was never released commercially. (Bill McIlhany sold a VHS through the Houdini Historical Center in the 1990s.) So on this anniversary, I've decided to upload a full HD version to my WILD ABOUT HARRY YouTube channel. I'm not sure about copyright so I might have to take this down. But for the moment, here is the first great Houdini documentary for all to enjoy.
For fun, here's the Los Angeles Times review of the documentary from May 15, 1976 and my original Beta tape.
Thanks to Brad Hansen of Retro Cars Forever for his help converting this to HD and improving the video quality.