The Great Houdini (film)
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|The Great Houdinis|
|Written by||Peter Benchley
|Directed by||Melville Shavelson|
|Starring||Paul Michael Glaser
|Theme music composer||Peter Matz|
|Country of origin||USA|
|Cinematography||Arch R. Dalzell|
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Production company(s)||ABC Circle Films|
The Great Houdinis aka The Great Houdini is an American made-for-television film which originally aired on ABC on October 8, 1976. The film was written and directed by Melville Shavelson and features Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky and Hutch) and Sally Struthers (All in the Family). It is a fictionalized account of the life of the Hungarian-American escape artist and entertainer Harry Houdini.
The movie features the early career of Houdini, the relationship between his wife and mother, and his and his wife's attempts to reach "the other side," he attempting to contact his deceased mother, she attempting to contact Houdini himself after his death. Although the film portrays a strained relationship between Houdini's wife and mother, in reality they got along relatively well.
Some notable performances were turned in by Vivian Vance as Beatrice's nurse (and the narrator), Ruth Gordon as Houdini's mother, Peter Cushing as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Bill Bixby as Rev. Arthur Ford.
When the film was rebroadcast on April 6, 1977, the title was changed to The Great Houdini.
- Paul Michael Glaser - Harry Houdini (Erich Weiss)
- Sally Struthers - Bess Houdini
- Ruth Gordon - Cecilia Weiss
- Vivian Vance - Minnie (nurse)
- Adrienne Barbeau - Daisy White
- Bill Bixby - Rev. Arthur Ford
- Jack Carter - Theo Weiss
- Peter Cushing - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Nina Foch - Rev. Le Veyne
- Wilfrid Hyde-White - Supt. Melville
- Geoffrey Lewis - Dr. Crandon
- Maureen O'Sullivan - Lady Conan Doyle
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