Okay, as I only yesterday started a dedicated Houdini section of Travalanche in honor of Houdini’s birthday, and today is Paul Michael Glaser’s birthday it seemed especially appropriate to give a quick shout to the 1976 bio-pic The Great Houdini.
I was already a fan of the Tony Curtis Houdini bio-pic from watching it on television. Imagine my excitement when they announced this new made-for-tv verison starring Paul Michael Glaser at the full height of Starsky and Hutch mania! Being all of 11, I ate it up at the time, but in retrospect it seems to me Glaser played it too broadly comical (Houdini was a VERY serious fellow) and (as so many do when they play Houdini) too smart-mouthed Brooklyn. (Houdini was the son of a strict rabbi who grew up in Wisconsin). But it has an all star cast! With Sally Struthers from All in the Family as Houdini’s wife Bess, Ruth Gordon as the famously Oedipal Houdini’s mom, Vivian Vance as her nurse, and Peter Cushing as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Written and directed by Mel Shavelson!
A memorable tv experience for this show biz loving lad. Watch it for yourself here.