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The Great Houdinis

weiss melville gordon production

(ABC, 10/8/1976, 120 mins). A somewhat romanticized biographical dramatization of the life and times of the world-renowned illusionist and escape artist whose glittering career masked a deep obsession with the occult, culminated by a vow that one day he would speak from the beyond, a promise he made to his wife on his deathbed in 1926. Ruth Gordon won an Emmy Award nomination for her performance as Houdini’smother.

Production Company ABC Circle Films. Director Melville Shavelson. Teleplay Melville Shavelson. Photography Arch R. Dalzell. Music Peter Matz. Editor John M. Woodcock. Production Designer Tracy Bousman. Technical Advisor Harry Blackstone Jr.

Cast Paul Michael Glaser (Harry Houdini [Erich Weiss]), Sally Struthers (Bess Houdini), Ruth Gordon (Cecilia Weiss), Vivian Vance (Minnie), Adrienne Barbeau (Daisy White), Bill Bixby (Rev. Arthur Ford), Jack Carter (Theo Weiss), Peter Cushing (Arthur Conan Doyle), Nina Foch (Reverend LeVeyne), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Superintendent Melville), Maureen O’Sullivan (Lady Doyle), Clive Revill (Dundas Slater), Geoffrey Lewis (Dr. Crandon), Barbara Rhoades (Margery Crandon), Marilyn Brodnick (Dorothy Weiss), Patrick Culliton (Franz Kukla), Jerome Thor (Conductor), Elizabeth E. Moor (Barmaid), Jan Stratton (Hotel maid), Richard Kennedy (Pub policeman).

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