Stone Walls and Chains Do Not Make a Prison – For Houdini

Picture Houdini pacing up and down in the cell and then suddenly he stops, looks at his handcuffs and goes to the cell door. He peers out and sees the guard is not near.  He then sits down and begins removing his shackles. He succeeds in liberating his hands and now turns his attention to the leg irons.  He gets rid of the leg irons, runs to the door, peers out again and then sits back down on to the cot. He removes his shoe and takes the handcuffs and pries a portion of the sole of shoe revealing a steel shank in the instep.  This he pulls out.  He stands on the cot, reaches bars of window; puts cuffs on bars and using leg iron as lever begins to bend them. 

Finding that his head will now fit through the opening, he pulls himself up and wriggles his way through the bars and stands on window ledge many stories above ground.  Standing here, on the ledge, he reaches out and secures the rope of a flag pole.  He ties rope to bars of window, cuts rope with steel shank taken from shoe and begins lowering himself down to the window ledge below. Arriving on this ledge, he cuts off the end of the rope, ties it to the cell bar on this window and lowers himself again.  At each story, the rope gets shorter until finally, he is within one story of the ground. 

You can guess what happens next.  That’s right, he leaps down into the alleyway and makes a dive under a fast moving truck.  Houdini is seen clinging to bars underneath the truck as he makes his getaway.

[Paraphrased from Paramount Files at Margaret Herrick Library]


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

Here is another:

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