The Magic of Houdini

Watch The Magic of Houdini

  • 2014
  • 1 Season

The Magic of Houdini is a thrilling and insightful documentary series that explores the life and legacy of the legendary magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. Presented by actor and magician Alan Davies, the series follows Houdini's fascinating journey from his humble beginnings as the son of Hungarian immigrants to his rise as one of the most famous and elusive performers in history.

Throughout the series, The Magic of Houdini takes a close look at Houdini's astonishing feats of magic and escape, from his daring underwater escapes to his death-defying stunts in the air. The show also delves deep into Houdini's personal life, examining his relationships with his wife Bess, his mother, and his fellow performers. Through interviews with historians, magicians, and Houdini enthusiasts, the series offers a fascinating glimpse into the man behind the myth.

One of the key themes explored in The Magic of Houdini is the impact of Houdini's Jewish heritage on his life and work. Born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, Houdini grew up in poverty in New York City, where he faced discrimination and anti-Semitism. As he rose to fame, Houdini used his performances to challenge stereotypes and combat bigotry, becoming a role model for Jewish Americans and a symbol of the power of perseverance and hard work.

Another important aspect of the series is its exploration of the technology and innovation that enabled Houdini to perform his incredible feats. From the hydraulic apparatus that allowed him to escape from the famous Water Torture Cell to the cutting-edge equipment that helped him fly through the air, Houdini was always pushing the boundaries of what was possible with the technology of his time. The show explores how Houdini's innovations paved the way for modern magic and influenced generations of magicians and escape artists.

Throughout The Magic of Houdini, viewers are treated to rare archival footage and photographs, as well as dramatic reenactments of some of Houdini's most famous stunts. The show also features interviews with modern-day magicians, who discuss Houdini's enduring legacy and how he continues to inspire them in their own performances. As Alan Davies travels from New York City to Budapest to London, he brings Houdini's story to life in a way that is both entertaining and educational.

Overall, The Magic of Houdini is a must-watch for anyone interested in magic, history, or the art of performance. With its mix of fascinating archival footage, insightful interviews, and thrilling reenactments, the show offers a comprehensive and engaging portrait of one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century. Whether you're a long-time fan of Houdini or just discovering him for the first time, this series is sure to captivate and awe audiences of all ages.

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Episode 1
1. Episode 1
April 20, 2014
From his most famous escapology stunt, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, to the momentous showdown of the Daily Mirror Challenge performed at London's Hippodrome, this film takes a journey through the life of the diminutive magician born Erich Weiss.
  • Premiere Date
    April 20, 2014