Famous illusionist Harry Houdini is the focus of this collection of his surviving films, made before his premature 31 October 1926 death.
2008 DVD edition
Houdini: The Movie Star (1918-1923), black & white, color-toned black & white, color-tinted and color-toned black & white, 450 minutes total, not rated,
including The Master Mystery (1918-1919), color-toned black & white and black & white, 238 minutes, not rated, an exerpt from The Grim Game (1919), color-tinted black & white, 5 minutes, not rated, Terror Island (1920), black & white, 55 minutes, not rated, The Man From Beyond (1922), black & white, and color-tinted and color-toned black & white, 68 minutes, not rated, Haldane of the Secret Service (1923), black & white, and color-tinted black & white, 84 minutes, not rated, and Slippery Jim (1910), black & white, 10 minutes, not rated.
Kino International, K563, UPC 7-38329-0563?-?.
Three single-sided, dual-layered, Region 0NTSC DVD discs, 1.33:1 aspect ratio image in full-frame 4:3 (720 x 480 pixels) interlaced scan MPEG-2 format, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English language intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops; three slimline DVD keepcases in cardboard slipcase, $39.95.
Release date: 8 April 2008.
Country of origin: USA
This DVD collection offers the serial The Master Mystery (1918-1919), an incomplete but reconstructed version from 35mm footage once held by Douris UK Ltd. (now held by the Cohen Media Group); the surviving 35mm footage from The Grim Game (1919) held by George Eastman Museum (5 minutes); Terror Island (1920) from an excellent but incomplete 35mm print (missing reels three and four) held by the Library of Congress; the best available edition (of several) of The Man from Beyond (1922), having been mastered from the Library of Congress preservation version prepared from surviving 16mm print materials; and Haldane of the Secret Service (1923) from a very-good 35mm print held by Cinema Arts.
The supplemental material includes documentary footage of Houdini escapes (circa 1907 through 1923), an audio recording of Houdini introducing his “Water Torture Cell” (1914), Slippery Jim (1910) a Houdini-inspired comedy, an examination of film scenes censored by the New York State Censor Board with correspondence, Houdini’s illusion “Metamorphosis” performed by Houdini’s brother Hardeen (4 minutes), image galleries, and film notes.
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Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 0NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.