Two Quick Questions: one Vernon, one Houdini

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Postby Guest » 09/23/05 06:46 AM

1- I'm looking for the show that was aired on TV (could be PBS, History, etc) that had a documentary about Dai Vernon. I know of one, which I own, that has a brief bit about him...Bruce Cervon talks about the time a beginner shows Vernon a trick and Vernon trashes him and when the neophyte dejectedly walks away, Vernon says, "You know what his problem is? He can't take criticism." I love that story. But anyway, that one I have (can't remember if it's History of Magic or Science of Magic.

The one I'm looking for is a bio about Vernon. I think his children were interviewd and didn't have kind words about him. That's the one I'm looking for. Anybody know which show this was?

2- Also, I was reading online (think it was here in Genii Forum, but can't remember) that there was a female Houdini (not Dorothy Dietrich). She was doing her escapes around the time of Houdini (I think). There was a poster of her making the rounds. I'd like to know her stage name and real name.

Thanks in advance,
Bob Infantino
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Postby Guest » 09/23/05 06:59 AM

With respect to question 1), the Video you're probably talking about is titled "Dai Vernon - the spirit of Magic", a History Channel production, part of a series called "The Canadians". I ordered it a couple of years back directly from the History Channel's site, on VHS. It's about an hour long, and pretty interesting. Depending on how extensive your knowledge is of Vernon, you may or may not learn much - but there are lots of interesting clips, interviews, old b&w performance footage, etc. I was happy with my purchase.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 09/23/05 11:56 AM

The second performer may have been "Miss Undina," a German performer who did an imitation of Houdini's Water Torture Cell. The poster featuring her performing it has been reproduced several places. A restored copy sold at the Sid Radner auction in Las Vegas about a year ago for $20,000.
Another female escapologist was "Minvera." I believe she was British and married for a time to Guy Jarrett.
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Postby Guest » 09/26/05 03:56 AM

Thank you to T. Joseph O'Malley. I ordered the Dai Vernon video online. The reason for my interest is I'm currently reading, "The Magician and the Cardsharp" and would now like more information about this great man. Any other books, videos, or DVDs you could suggest would be greatly appreciated (I already have his magic books).

And thank you to Richard Hatch regarding the female Houdini's name. Quick question: is the correct spelling "Minvera" or "Minerva" ??

Thank you again,
Bob
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Postby Richard Hatch » 09/26/05 07:25 AM

Whoops, "Minerva"! According to Bart Whaley's WHO'S WHO IN MAGIC, she was the daughter of a Mr. Snelling of Newcatsle and toured Europe with her escape act. Moved in 1907 with her husband "Vano" to the US which we also toured. Divorced Vano in Chicago in 1909, married Guy Jarrett in 1911 and separated from him in about 1919.
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