Death Defying Acts Movie Review

Guy Pearce plays Harry Houdini. Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Mary McGarvie a psychic. As Houdini travels with his show he exposes mediums as fakes. Zeta-Jones has a look about her to put a man in a trance with her smile. The movie from the beginning does not hide the art of performance and staged tricks both from Houdini and the psychic Mary McGarvie. The story moves along as a date is set for the psychic to speak with Houdini’s dead mother and Houdini will give her Ten thousand dollars. The story is narrated by Mary McGarvie’s daughter Benji McGarvie (Saoirse Ronan)who has been learning the fine art of performance from her mother. Her narrating gave the movie a child innocence that I think worked well. I would think Harry Houdini fans would like a story about the famous magician. I enjoyed it but I wished for more of the characters since there was very little about his famous escaping performances. It did focus on Houdini and his mother which drove his interest into spiritualism. I did some reading on the Internet. I found very interesting that every year since Houdini’s death there has been a seance. On the day of his death October 31 yes! Halloween. Its said that before his death Houdini and his wife Beth had a code so she would know if it was Harry Houdini himself. Beth Houdini held yearly seances for ten years but there was never any sign and she said goodbye to her husband. The seances continued till this day. Maybe this year Harry Houdini will find a way to speak to us from the other side. Happy Halloween!


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