Lobby Display: The Real Aeroplane used to advertise “The Grim Game”

When the Princess Theatre of Denver booked “The Grim Game”, T. A. Sullivan, the house’s enterprising manager, looked about for something novel in the way of publicity stunts.

Now the wreck of an aeroplane, a most thrilling and convincing sequence, is one of the film’s notable features, so Mr. Sullivan conceived the idea of getting a real wrecked aeroplane and setting it up in the Princess’ lobby.

He found one, just where we don’t know, and soon had the big machine mounted as you will see by the accompanying illustrations.

There could be no mistaking the fact that the machine had been wrecked.  It looked as if had been through the world war, for it was battered and banged and its paint had long since disappeared.  The crowds which began to collect the moment the machine was exhibited convinced Mr. Sullivan that he had picked a winner, but he did not stop with just showing the frame of the plane.  The big powerful gas motor was carted to the theatre and placed on exhibition also.

The Princess had a crowd of men and women about its lobby every hour of the “The Grim Game’s” showing.

[Motion Picture News November 8, 1919]

The Bear Trap

Picture four saplings bent to the ground, each with stout rope attached, formed with a loop in the center and held down by a trigger to which is attached a large chunk of meat.

Houdini comes hurriedly toward bear trap, jumps over it and exits running.

Suddenly men appear from behind trees and pounce upon Houdini.  There is a big fight but Houdini is overpowered and held to the ground by the men.  The men place Houdini near center of trap; they hold him down while binding one rope after another to his hands and feet.  Houdini is stretched between the four saplings. The men then rise and let Houdini’s body shoot upward.

You can guess what happens next.  That’s right, Houdini releases himself, drops to the ground, and runs out in direction of lodge.

[Paraphrased from Paramount Files at Margaret Herrick Library]


This is just one of the exciting escape sequences from the “The Grim Game”.

Here are some others:

Over the Edge With Death Below and Imprisonment Above!

Houdini is taken to an asylum.  He breaks away.  All exits blocked, he makes his way to the roof.  He is pursued by the attendants, one of whom has seized a straight-jacket. He is overpowered.  

Picture the attendants putting the straight-jacket on him and binding his feet with a long rope.

When, they finish binding him, Houdini, with superhuman effort, rolls over, he throws himself over the edge of the roof.  The attendants catch hold of the rope and hold him just below the cornice, suspended, head downward, in midair.  The attendants on the roof tie a half hitch around the chimney to hold Houdini and he begins to sway back and forth at the end of the rope tied to his feet, which he braces against the cornice to prevent them pulling him back on the roof.

With all the strength at his command, he releases himself from the jacket.  He then bends his body upward and grabs hold of the rope which is tied to his feet.  Holding on with one hand, he unties his feet with the other, kicks off his shoes and then drops his feet down and swings from one end of the rope.  A small window below his body offers a means of escape.  He swings like a pendulum at the end of the rope and catapults his body through this small window.

The attendants on the roof feeling his weight released rush to the edge of the roof expecting to see him dashed to pieces below.  This gives Houdini the opportunity to escape.

You can guess what happens next.  That’s right, Houdini on the run, scales a wall by pulling himself up and disappears over the other side.

[Paraphrased from Paramount Files at Margaret Herrick Library]


This is just one of the exciting escape sequences from the “The Grim Game”.

Here are some others: