USA Today - 04/19/1991
"...A fun-for-kids fabrication about the legendary escape artist..."
Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh star in this film biography of the great magician Harry Houdini (Curtis), spanning the years from age 21 to his death. The movie chronicles his beginnings as an illusionist in New York City, his quick courtship and marriage to wife Bess (Leigh), and his subsequent trip to Europe where his escape artistry brought him fame. Upon his return to the USA, Houdini began performing death-defying acts across the country, and soon became a household name. When his mother dies, Houdini retires to spend two years trying to contact her soul--an effort which leads him to publicly denounce mediums as con artists. Houdini returned to the stage, where fate awaited him. On Halloween night, 1926, he succumbed when attempting to escape from a water tank while constrained by a straight jacket. While far from being historically accurate, HOUDINI is an entertaining and revealing motion picture, and includes close to a dozen death-defying recreations of Houdini's magic.