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Terror Island (April, 1920)

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Harry Houdini in Terror Island

Released during April, 1920: Escape artist Harry Houdini stars in a South Seas adventure performing dangerous stunts on camera as part of the plot for this treasure hunt adventure.

Directed by James Cruze

The Actors: Harry Houdini (Harry Harper), Jack Brammall (Tom Starkey), Lila Lee (Beverly West), Wilton Taylor (Job Mourdant), Eugene Pallette (Guy Mourdant), Ed Brady (Captain Marsh), Frank Bonner (Chief Bakaida), Ted Duncan (First Officer Murphy), F.A. Turner (Mr. West), Rosemary Theby (Stella Mourdant).


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Harry Houdini's Greatest Escape

In 1878 Samuel and Cecilia Wiess left Budapest, Hungary for the United States, settling in Appleton, Wisconsin with their five sons and one daughter. Erik, one of the boys, wanting to escape the dire poverty that he was raised in, created a magic act with a friend for the vaudeville circuit, and hit the road in search of fame and fortune. His vaudeville magic act evolved into an escape act, where he would challenge anyone in the audience to bring their own handcuffs to the show and try to keep him from escaping their tight grip. He later added an escape from a strait jacket, and eventually jail cells, locked safes and anything else that the public would believe to be 'escape-proof.' Erik chose 'Harry Houdini' as his stage name in honor of the great French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, and by the time he was 24 years old his act was a famous part of vaudeville. He made this movie in 1920, at the age of 46, during the height of his fame. It would be 6 years later on Halloween night in 1926 that he would be performing in Detroit, Michigan when a fan would ask him if he could punch him in the belly like on his stage act. The distracted Houdini told him 'yes', but did not prepare for the punch, and was injured enough by it that he later died of peritonitis. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter drizzled on it and watch possibly the first demonstration of a television in a motion picture, and even better . . . the greatest legend of magic and escape that has ever lived, the Great Harry Houdini.

Harry Houdini in Terror Island
Harry Houdini in Terror Island
Ed Brady
Ed Brady as Captian Marsh
Eugene Pallette
Eugene Pallette as Guy Mourdant
Eugene Pallette
Eugene Pallette
F.A. Turner as Mr. West
F.A. Turner as Mr. West, Lila Lee's father, captured by the South Sea natives
Frank Bonner
Frank Bonner as Chief Bakaida
Harry Houdini and Lila Lee
Harry Houdini and Lila Lee aboard his submarine
Harry Houdini
Harry Houdini in Terror Island
Harry Houdini with television
Harry Houdinin displays a live television picture of the street outside his laboratory.
Harry Houdini trapped
Harry Houdini is trapped in a choke grip on the South Seas Island
Jack Brammall as navy man Tom Starkey
Jack Brammall as Tom Starkey
Lila Lee and Harry Houdini
Lila Lee asks Harry Houdini for help in freeing her captured father
Lila Lee
Lila Lee as Beverly West
Lila Lee
Lila Lee in Terror Island
Rosemary Theby and Lila Lee
Rosemary Theby and Lila Lee
Rosemary Theby as Stella Mourdant
Rosemary Theby as Stella Mourdant
Wilton Taylor
Wilton Taylor as Job Mourdant in Terror Island
Wilton Taylor
Wilton Taylor