houdini's ghost wrote:I worked on the movie Fairy Tale, uncredited, as Harvey Keitel's Houdini advisor. I brought in Stanley Palm and Dorothy Young. Dorothy showed Harvey how Houdini made an entrance, how he moved.
That's great, sorry you weren't credited, though; I've known a couple of folks in similar circumstance. Come to think of it, I guess I could say the same about a few network television appearances by those who performed routines I provided.
If Mel Gibson was on set while you were there, did he perform his spoon bending trick? I think I saw it twice, and admit that it fooled me, but later (I believe
) I worked it out. I understand he may do a little more magic as well, but have no idea when or from whom he picked it up, if he's not self-taught.
You are, of course, entirely correct about speculation regarding the "Mene Tekel" effect. You're kind in your reference to Ernst. What he clearly did in the book was, in fact, tell a bald-faced lie. Houdini himself makes reference to the trick in (I think the second?) Conjurer's Magazine
In his description, as I recall, the very expression "Mene Tekel" (I have to smile at the word choice) was the same one mysteriously written on the board when he saw Berol perform (and then decided to purchase it for himself).
I don't have the magazine before me, but I seem to remember his describing its having been demonstrated in a room such as a parlor or hotel lobby, rather than the stage. The memory may be completely erroneous. With age and pain medication, my mind has become, of all the things I've ever lost, the thing I miss the most.
I look forward to your book, but will have to put it on hold because of dental work for two family members, plus two medical visits of my own to pay for next week. My ready cash, for the most part, was also invested in our new Internet ventures. I'm sure I'll find your (Houdini's) Bert Reese discussion very interesting as well.
By the way, I was fortunate to have (by lucky circumstance) a private screening of Fairy Tale when it was first released. I recall having immediately after written a review in which I complimented Mr. Keitel on his performance as "a very likable" Houdini, and what I regarded as probably the most realistic ever to appear on the screen. So, job well done!
I'll hold off on the article, but might make mention of the mystery (and my guesses regarding its modus operandi) in one of my own books. After reading your work, I may elect to do the article after all, if our opinions differ to any significant degree as to the method.
Thanks for responding.