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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|
|Production locations||20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California|
|Cinematography||Arch R. Dalzell|
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Production company||ABC Circle Films|
|Picture format||Black and White (archive footage)|
The Great Houdinis a.k.a. The Great Houdini is a 1976 American made-for-television biographical film which is a fictionalized account of the life of the Hungarian-American escape artist and entertainer Harry Houdini. The film was written and directed by Melville Shavelson and features Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky & Hutch) and Sally Struthers (All in the Family) and originally aired on ABC on October 8, 1976.
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", with him attempting to contact his deceased mother and her 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
- Clive Revill - Dundas Slater
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