Review of The Man From Beyond for the UK

It is not widely known that The Man From Beyond (TMFB) was released in the UK shortly after Houdini’s untimely death in 1926.

In a 2015 post, our friend, John Cox asked the question:

So who released the film in the UK in ’26, I wonder?

I shared with John that TMFB (5,700 feet) was reviewed and picked up by a London-based company (i.e., Unity Film Company) at a Trade Show on May 20, 1926 for release on Dec. 27, 1926.

[1927 The Kinematograph Year Book]

What I didn’t share was the actual review (page 64 below) from the May 20th, 1926 Kinematograph Weekly No. 986 that I obtained in 2015 from the British Film Institute:

There is another mention on page 62 in the same 1926 Kinematograph issue:

“Films at a Glance – Continued.”

Title and Renter:  MAN FROM BEYOND, THE  (Unity)

Running Time and Certificate: 60 min ()

Stars: Houdini

Type: Sensational drama

Remarks: Poorly constructed return-from-the dead story with rescue from waterfall climax.

Box-Office Angle: Mediocre popular book-ing.

Do you agree with the review?

6 thoughts on “Review of The Man From Beyond for the UK

  1. Yes–I saw it on Netflix a few years ago and it left me cold. HH looked a bit paunchy around the midsection. He didn’t appear to be leading man material in an adventure flick. In the Grim Game and Terror Island, he was fit and trim.

    Last night I watched the original 1968 Planet of Apes with Charlton Heston on the Sundance Channel. At the age of 48 when he made that film, Chuck looked fit and trim in that tight fitting astronaut jump suit. He tossed the football and frisbee between shots and it showed.

    • Not sure what version you saw on Netflix, but the best image quality and most complete version of this film is Houdini The Man From Beyond Restored. In this version, you can see what “paunchy” Houdini is doing without the image shaking all over the place. In the future, I may do a blog about scenes missing and censored on other versions.

  2. It didn’t look bad when it was on Netflix. I wasn’t aware of censored scenes. Harry was a bit of a prude so I can’t imagine scenes that were too racy. Maybe too gory? According to Silverman he was injured when shooting the scene where he was chopped out of the ice.

    No CGI back then. You took your chances.

  3. This more great work, Joe.

    TMFB is not a great movie on it’s own terms, but I do love it because it’s clearly Houdini’s most personal and it gives a real sense of who he was, what fascinated him, at the start of the 1920s.

    The Niagara Falls sequence is top notch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *