Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 2nd, 2018, 3:19 pm

A few weeks back I was able to watch an (almost) complete print of Houdini's The Master Mystery at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It was a revelation. There is A LOT more movie here than what had been released on VHS/DVD. However, it appears UCLA is not able to license or copy this important piece of Houdini and silent movie history.

If interested, I've written up the whole whatnot here:
https://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2018/0 ... a-and.html
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 2nd, 2018, 4:38 pm

This material is in the public domain and stipulations along the line of the donor's are not legally viable.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 2nd, 2018, 7:27 pm

Oh really? Now that is interesting. Thank you, Richard.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5202
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby Bill Mullins » September 3rd, 2018, 1:33 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:This material is in the public domain and stipulations along the line of the donor's are not legally viable.


Mebbe so, but OTOH you've still got to follow the University's rules to see the footage, and they are under no obligation to let anyone make a copy.

The University may continue to treat the footage as protected because --

a. They have an ongoing relationship with the original donor or original donor's family, and don't want to jeopardize that relationship (and potential future donations from the donor's family) by going against the donor's stipulations.

b. They don't want to get a reputation for going against stipulations, thus jeopardizing future bequests from other parties who might have weird restrictions they would want to put onto things they might wish to donate.

c. There may be a penalty of some sort for not complying with the stipulations that we don't know about.
(In 1933, the United Daughters of the Confederacy donated $50k to Peabody College in Nashville to build a dorm, with the proviso that the dorm was to be named "Confederate Memorial Hall". Over time, Peabody was absorbed by Vanderbilt Univ, and Vandy wanted to rename the dorm to "Memorial Hall." The UDC sued, and the courts found that Vandy either had to leave the name as is, or return the donation with interest. Vandy changed it and gave the UDC $1.2 million.)

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 3rd, 2018, 10:43 am

So I'm now hearing that I might not have my facts right in regards to why copies can't be made and there's more to the story of the UCLA Master Mystery print. I don't much more that, but I'm hoping to get to the bottom of it. Developing.

If someone has info they want to share, please email me at: johncox@wildabouthoudini.com
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 23rd, 2018, 11:49 am

Okay, with the help of John Cannon and Joe Fox, I got to bottom of where this print came from and who actually owns it. 

A Master Mystery UCLA print update.
https://www.wildabouthoudini.com/2018/0 ... pdate.html
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Chris Aguilar
Posts: 1828
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby Chris Aguilar » September 23rd, 2018, 12:38 pm

Very interesting! Enjoyed reading your article about this John.

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 23rd, 2018, 1:27 pm

Thank you, Chris.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 23rd, 2018, 2:14 pm

John, your article doesn't deal with the most obvious question and the subsequent course of action. That is to do what is done with every film release that is in this state: combine the two to produce a complete release of the film with some portions sourced from the lesser surviving print.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 23rd, 2018, 11:14 pm

I thought I did. I identified the owners of the two prints, and the potential issue with combining 16mm and 35mm. All the players are known and the pieces are there for someone with the money, the will, and the expertise to pursue just such a restoration. Let's hope someone will!
Visit my blog Wild About Harry

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8155
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 24th, 2018, 1:28 pm

JohnCox wrote:I thought I did. I identified the owners of the two prints, and the potential issue with combining 16mm and 35mm. All the players are known and the pieces are there for someone with ...
and the legal right to copy, alter or sell the work.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

User avatar
JohnCox
Posts: 964
Joined: March 21st, 2009, 3:03 pm
Favorite Magician: HOUDINI!
Location: Studio City, CA
Contact:

Re: Houdini's The Master Mystery at UCLA

Postby JohnCox » September 24th, 2018, 7:06 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
JohnCox wrote:I thought I did. I identified the owners of the two prints, and the potential issue with combining 16mm and 35mm. All the players are known and the pieces are there for someone with ...
and the legal right to copy, alter or sell the work.

Would all need to be worked out.
Visit my blog Wild About Harry


Return to “Alternative Media”