Friday, August 15, 2014

The Houdini Picture Corporation

For some reason I used to get the Houdini Film Development Corporation and the Houdini Picture  Corporation confused. I guess I sort of thought they were one in the same, they were not. They were different and had different locations. The Film Dev. Corp was run out of a warehouse in New Jersey.
The Houdini Picture Corporation had a slightly more prestigious address in NYC.

The Picture Corp was located in the Candler Building on West 42nd Street. This is one of those rare addresses that still remains today. If you've been to NYC you might have been in this building or at least seen it because the ground floor is taken up with a huge McDonalds.

The Candler Building is a high rise that was build back in 1914. It sits right in Times Square and as mentioned, houses one of the busiest McDonald's in the country.

I don't know what floor Houdini's company was located though it's a good guess that it was NOT on the ground floor. Houdini had big plans for his Picture Corporation, but those plans never came together. The Houdini Picture Corporation only put out two films, The Man From Beyond and Haldane of the Secret Service. He had plans to put out other films but it never happened.

The movie business turned out to be a lot harder than Houdini first expected. In addition, seeing Houdini's feats on the big screen, were not quite the same to his audiences as watching him do his incredible escapes live! Still, he did produce two movies and often used his magic/escapes to promote the movies.


  1. Another great blog, Dean, with no sign of tiring yet. I also believed as you did that both entities were one and the same.

    I saw The Man From Beyond on Netflix a while back and it left me cold. Houdini's acting was basically the worried, pensive look. Without much to interact with, his leading lady, Jane Connelly, looked uncomfortable whenever she was around him. I think Harry was getting too old already at 48 to be a leading action star. As a romantic lead, it helps to be young and lean and Houdini was balding and a bit paunchy by this time. He probably would have made a great Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

    1. Thanks Leo! I try to stay a week ahead with the articles. Right now I'm working on the upcoming weeks material. All that will be finished by Sunday. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to hit all 30 articles with no problem.