Ken Silverman on: the filming of Houdini's escapes
He was exhausted. In his diary he keeps remarking, "Got to stop doing this." Bess remarks in some of her letters that survive, "Harry looks so exhausted. Hes so tired," and so on. He was looking for less demanding ways of earning a living. It was one of the reasons he got into the movie business. He thought he would film his escapes and therefore he wouldnt have to do them any more. I mean, he could just show them to audiences, and also theyd be preserved for history. Didnt work out that way. I mean, he developed an act that was 15 minutes of real escapes, live escapes, and 15 minutes of filmed escapes. Audiences didnt like it. Managers complained, and he had to give it up. But, you know, in the back of his mind was that he could do it just once more, record it, and then he wouldnt have to do it again.