Episode 144: Houdini (1953)

Gather round, ladies and gents, gather round! Hear the most amazing podcast ever seen on stage! Thrill to the death defying escapes from logic and narrative flow that Max and Mike will astound you with! Quake with fear as Bumpy the Wonder Pony hangs suspended over a tank filled with truly cranky piranha . . . and then is promptly eaten to the delight of the children! Tremble with ontological doubt as we continue our interest-defying series “Semi-Real People” with this week’s astounding entry “Houdini”! Gasp as you see Tony Curtis try to convince you he’s a Hungarian-American legend of escape artistry! Puzzle, if your heart can stand it, over what Janet Leigh is doing in this movie! Search, if you dare, for any actual nuggets of biographical facts in this most Hollywood of biopics! Quiver at the sight of costumes by Edith Head! Nod thoughtfully at the razor-sharp arguments marshalled before you! Without the use of a net! Or Frankie! Step right up, don’t be shy! Free chunks of piranha-chewed pony for the kiddies! And by the way … is THIS your card?

Poll question: Has a movie adapted from another source (be it book, video game, theme park ride or breakfast cereal) ever EXCEEDED your expectations? If so, what movie?

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4 thoughts on “Episode 144: Houdini (1953)”

  1. Regarding your poll question -I will say that I thought the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie exceeded expectations. The ride is cute and silly. I thought the movie would be kind of dopey. It was actually a fun adventure. Liked the second one too.

  2. Hi, Val. Good example! I liked the first “Pirates”, too, but I thought they went downhill pretty quickly after that. The less said about the “Haunted Mansion” movie the better.

  3. I am with Val with the Pirates of the Caribbean movie, though I was really surprised how much I liked Hellboy one and two… no others were made after that as far as I am concerned. OMG – Haunted Mansion, Tomorrowland… soon Jungle Cruise! Ugh!

    I am surprised you did this bio of Houdini and not the TV movie with super star Micheal Glaser as the title role!

    1. Hey Vince, BumpyBux for you! I, too thought “Pirates” was a lot better than it had any right to be, though it caused a slew of worse ideas to follow. We didn’t pick the Paul Michael Glaser one as this is the classic and it was a stark contrast to a lot of the more serious movies we’d done. Thanks, as always for listening and commenting!

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