What are some things Harry Houdini and Tony Curtis have in common?

Young Tony Curtis and Young Houdini performing Magic [German Newspaper clipping from Janet Leigh Collection at Margaret Herrick Library]

Both performed most of their own tricks/stunts in their respective films:

  • Tony Curtis performs many of the tricks of the master himself in “H o u d i n i,” the Paramount picture…This accomplishment is probably worth noting, since the illusions could so easily be faked in a medium that itself used to be known as “the magic lantern.” [Newspaper clipping from Janet Leigh Collection]  In fact, George Boston (magic instructor) and Joe Dunninger (magician who inherited some of Houdini tricks and books) were technical advisors on the magic and escapes.
  • Harry performed most of his own stunts in “The Grim Game”, despite the fact that they could easily be faked by movie magic editing and using a stunt double (e.g., plane to plane transfer).

Both performed magic tricks on the set of their respective movies:

Both got injured making their respective movies:

Both are Kings of Cards:

  • Tony Curtis King of Cards Still [Paramount Pictures Corporation]

4 thoughts on “What are some things Harry Houdini and Tony Curtis have in common?

  1. Tony’s parents were right off the boat from Hungary when he was born, and he didn’t speak English until he started school. The same was undoubtedly true of Houdini, who arrived in America at the age of four.
    Both Tony and Houdini were Jews who married Christians.
    Both Tony and Houdini rose from the very bottom to the very top.
    Congratulations, Joe, on your new discoveries (amazing how the truth makes itself known–with help from such as you–and on this wonderful website.

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