The show depicts the life of immigrant Ehrich Weiss as both the man and the magician behind the global escapologist phenomenon that was Harry Houdini. In episode one, the mini-series picks up at the start of Houdini's career, following his unsuccessful time as a circus performer and moves forward to showcase his world-wide fame and super stardom (illustrating some of his famous illusions and tricks), even diving into his later years where he discovers and struggles with the ideas and people of the spiritualism movement in episode two.
This is not the first medium to have brought Houdini back to life, many biographical movies, plays, and books were made after his death in 1926, the most well-known being the 1953 version, entitled Houdini (played by Tony Curtis). In the 52 years he was alive, Houdini acted in many films and wrote his fair share of books and articles. Cosimo is proud to offer two classic titles written by Houdini: The Right Way to do Wrong: An Exposé of Successful Criminals, and Miracle Mongers and Their Methods: A Complete Exposé.
In this 1920 book, Houdini uncovers the mysteries behind such extraordinary feats as fire-eating, sword-swallowing, snake-charmers, and strong men. More than a simple expose of stage trickery, though, this is a brisk history of such oddities throughout history and around the world, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, from the culture of the Native Americans to that of Japan. This is a fascinating work of the strange and seemingly inexplicable made plain and understandable.
The legendary Harry Houdini started the tradition of magicians debunking charlatans and revealing secrets of the trade that continues today. But Houdini went even further here, in this delightful 1906 novelty: he revealed the working secrets of thieves, swindlers, and con artists. Culled from his conversations with "the chiefs of police and the most famous detectives in the world," Houdini's tales of the tricks of the trade of beggars, pickpockets, and burglars are instructive and amusing.
To watch full episodes of "HOUDINI" on the History Channel, visit the show's video page.