I've always enjoyed this footage for what it is. But I've also often wondered if this was a typical Hardeen street stunt. Houdini never did Metamorphosis as an outdoor stunt as far as I know. So I decided to do a little digging and discovered the full story!
Turns out this was a one-shot performance in answer to a challenge (of sorts). This is when Hardeen was appearing at the Prospect Theater in Brooklyn during the week of April 21, 1929. The story begins in the pages of The Standard Union:
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Hardeen took up the challenge! In fact, if you look closely in the film, you can see a sign that says "Standard Union Challenge." His street performance took place on April 24, 1929. The Standard Union provided coverage the following day:
So there we go. Turns out this footage shows Hardeen not only doing Metamorphosis, but saving magic itself!
Still can't get enough Dash? Click on over to my Patreon and listen to his famous 1939 radio interview on WNYC. As a birthday gift, I'm unlocking this post so anyone can listen for FREE.
Happy birthday Hardeen!
I wonder if the letter from Mr. Kritz claiming that magicians needed stage gimmicks to perform was just a part of the show Hardeen presented. Either way, that street performance would put that accusation to rest.ReplyDelete
I would be surprised if that letter is real. Feels like this was all cooked up by Hardeen and the newspaper. If you remember, Houdini's 1915 LA straitjacket escape was a similar "challenge" to do an escape off stage.Delete
Who was his assistant here?ReplyDelete
The girl? Looks like Gladys Hardeen. I see James Vickery there too.Delete
The home of Mr Kritz is still in existence.ReplyDelete
Knock on the door and see if Mr. Kritz is still there.Delete