Death Defying Acts

Watch Death Defying Acts

"Love is inescapable"
  • PG
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 37 min
  • 5.8  (10,463)
  • 48

Death Defying Acts is a romantic drama set in the 1920s, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as a beautiful Scottish con artist named Mary McGarvie, who makes a living scamming people by pretending to communicate with the dead. Guy Pearce plays Harry Houdini, the legendary American magician and escapologist who is touring Europe with his magic show.

When Houdini arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1926, he offers a $10,000 reward to anyone who can contact his beloved mother from beyond the grave. Mary sees this as an opportunity to make some quick cash and impress her daughter, Benji (Saoirse Ronan), who has a fascination with Houdini. Despite warnings from her partner, Benjamin (Timothy Spall), Mary decides to take on the challenge and convinces Houdini to let her try to contact his mother.

What follows is a gripping love triangle, as Mary and Houdini become increasingly infatuated with each other, while Benjamin becomes increasingly jealous and suspicious. Houdini, who is grieving the loss of his mother and has a fascination with the spirit world, becomes fascinated with Mary's authenticity and her supposed ability to communicate with the dead.

As Mary and Houdini spend more time together, they begin to share their personal secrets and vulnerabilities, including Houdini's traumatic experiences during World War I and Mary's own broken past. Mary struggles with her conscience and her growing feelings for Houdini, as she grapples with the guilt of deceiving him for her own gain.

Meanwhile, Benjamin becomes increasingly desperate to expose Mary as a fraud and get his own share of the reward money. The tension builds as the three characters are forced to confront their own mortality and face the ultimate challenge of a dangerous escape act.

The film is beautifully shot in a muted color palette, capturing the grittiness and glamour of 1920s Edinburgh. The costumes and set design are stunning, transporting the viewer back in time to a world of seances, magic, and intrigue.

Catherine Zeta-Jones delivers a strong performance as Mary, navigating the complexities of a woman who is both manipulative and vulnerable. Guy Pearce is equally convincing as Houdini, portraying the famous magician as both charismatic and haunted.

Timothy Spall provides the perfect foil to Zeta-Jones and Pearce, bringing a groundedness and realism to the role of Benjamin. Saoirse Ronan also shines as Benji, depicting a young girl who is wise beyond her years and shares her mother's fascination with the supernatural.

Death Defying Acts is a captivating film that explores themes of love, loss, and illusion in a visually stunning and emotionally resonant way. It is a must-see for fans of historical dramas, romance, and magic.

Death Defying Acts is a 2007 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8 and a MetaScore of 48.

Death Defying Acts
Where to Watch Death Defying Acts
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (10,463)
  • Metascore