Magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, from the Houdini Museum in Scranton, announce the finding and restoration of the long lost Houdini silent movie from 1919, “The Grim Game”.
Hollywood, CA, USA, January 24, 2015 — Houdini Museum: After 98 Years Houdini’s 1919 Lost Silent Film “The Grim Game” Finally Uncovered and Restored To Premiere in Hollywood.
Magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz, from the Houdini Museum in Scranton, announce the finding and restoration of the long lost Houdini silent movie from 1919, “The Grim Game”. When asked how they feel about the release of this long lost part of Houdini History, Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz from The Houdini Museum in Scranton, PA commented, “This was one of the most sought after items in Houdini History. It has always been considered his best movie. We are so proud to have accomplished this. To know that essentially every magician in the world big and small, will get the thrill of viewing this wonderful Houdini movie because of us. This includes future magicians for all time, as well as millions of non magicians.” The first showing to be in Hollywood at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival March 26-29 in Hollywood.
Although Houdini’s movie Grim Game was made in 1919, 96 years ago, it’s been unavailable until now. The only complete copy of the film was hidden in the collection of juggler Larry Weeks (http://larryweeks.info) who said that he got it from Houdini’s wife after Houdini died. Dorothy and Dick had kept a friendly relationship with Larry Weeks and that is what helped to make this happen. Brookz commented, “I have known Larry since I was in my early teens. Larry trusted us and knew we would never do any thing that was not in his best interest. He knew with us involved it would be done in a proper way to protect his legacy.” Our show business contact for negotiations, film producer Rick Schmidlin, was exactly the right person to bring this project to fruition. Rick had to jump through a lot of hoops and clear several hurdles with tough negotiations. In the end, Rick put the pieces together to get the film, have it restored and added an original movie score. The wonderful thing is that the film content is complete., although it required a lot of restoration. This restored film will also have an musical score composed by Brane Zivkovic an award winning film, television, and theatre composer, which ads much to the viewing pleasure.” This was all done with financial help from Turner Classic Movies.
The Houdini Museum located in Scranton, PA (http://houdini.org) is the only building in the world dedicated to Houdini. It has been put together by well known professional magicians Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz. The Houdini Museum has taken on the responsibility of taking care of the abandoned Houdini Grave site and recently replaced Houdini’s missing bust that was destroyed 40 years ago by vandals. Dorothy Dietrich (http://dorothydietrich.com) is considered the leading female magician and escape artist in the world having been called “the First Lady of Magic,” and “The Female Houdini.” She has appeared in countless Television specials including “You Asked For It”, a Bill Cosby Special, Montel Williams, “The Tomorrow Show”, “Atlantic City Alive”, “Just For The Record, the Best Of Everything”, “Evening Magazine”. etc. She was Special Guest Star in HBO’s “The World’s Greatest Escapes,” costarring movie legend Tony Curtis, in which she escaped hanging from the bottom of a parachute ride hundreds of feet in the air while hanging from a singe piece of rope that was set on fire and she is the only women in history to accomplish The Jinxed Bullet Catch in the mouth, the one stunt Houdini backed out of. The stunt has killed over 13 men and injured many others. This stunt q1`was done at Resorts International in Atlantic City. Both stand as world records to this day. When not doing crazy stunts such as these she travels with a magic show that features doves, a duck, a rabbit and two pet poodles. When in her home town of Scranton she appears on a regular basis on stage of The Houdini Museum. Dick Brookz (http://dickbrookz.com) has been a professional magician his entire life. He has fronted for Bobby Darin, Jack Jones, Neil Sedaka at performed at such venues as #1 Fifth Ave, The Rainbow Grill, The Americana Hotel and Casino in Puerto Rico, Aruba Hotel and Casino, etc.
Rick Schmidlin is a film preservationist, silent film scholar, and a producer-director whose work has focused on restorations, reconstructions and documentaries. Early on Rick was the assistant light director at The Whiskey A Go Go on Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood. Later as a lighting director Rick toured the U.S. and Europe numerous times with several celebrated punk bands. In 1982 Rick produced music videos for the bands. Rick quickly developed a career in film full time and In 1986 he became assistant to the producer on David Cronenberg’s “The Fly”, The location manager on the feature film “Hoosiers”. After working on those films Rick produced the long form home video “The Doors Live At The Hollywood Bowl” which was voted #1 non-theatrical of 1987 by Video magazine. He also later produced four other major projects for The Doors and MCA Home Video including “Doors Collection” a special edition Laserdisc/ DVD. He also produced the film “The Doors:The Soft Parade – A Retrospective” (1991). During 1987 Rick was personal assistant to Frank Zappa, helping him develop his video enterprise. From 1987-1992 Rick created ‘Easyriders Video Magazine’ – the first subscription based video publication and produced, directed and wrote 13 hour-long Harley Davidson videos. One project Rick is very proud of is that he produced and directed two documentaries on the breaking of the motorcycle land speed record (322 mph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, narrated by Peter Fonda. In 1998 Rick produced the re-edit of Orson Welles “Touch Of Evil” which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto Film Festivals. He received special awards from The National Society of Film Critics, The New York Film Critics Circle, The Boston Society of Film Critics and The Los Angeles Film Critics Association for “scholarship and integrity”. In 1999 Rick produced the reconstruction of the Erich von Stroheim 1924 classic “Greed” for Turner Entertainment and Turner Classic Movies. The American premier was at the Telluride Film Festival and the European premiere Venice Film Festival. Special presentation where at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Italy, The Berlin Film Festival and the Moscow International Film Festival. Rick received from The National Society of Film Critics their ‘Film Heritage Award’ and from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association a special award for a “meticulous reconstruction”. He also re-edited the concert film “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is”. Rick Schmidlin produced a Special Elvis Presley Theatrical Edition of “Elvis, That’s The Way It Is” for Turner Entertainment and Turner Classic Movies. This film was completely re-cut and remixed. Included in this new version are nine additional new musical performances and many personal moments of Elvis working with his band that have been never been seen before. It premired before 2,500 screaming fans in Memphis on August 12, at The Orpheum Theater as the main theme of “Elvis Week 2000″. Schmidlin produced the restoration in 2000 of “The Dickson Experimental Sound Film” (1894Ð95 is the first known film with live-recorded sound) that was selected for inclusion in the United States National Film Registry. More recently Schmidlin has led a team of restorers in reconstructing (from stills and shooting continuity scripts) the famous lost horror film “London After Midnight” starring Lon Chaney and directed by Tod Browning. Schmidlin has received the Special Award from the New York Film Critics Circle, a Special Citation from the National Society of Film Critics, and a Special Citation from Los Angeles Film Critics Association for his work on Touch of Evil. For his work reconstructing Greed he, along with Roger Mayer and Turner Classic Movies, won a Special Citation from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. In 2001 he received the Rondo Award from the Classic Horror Film Board for London After Midnight that he produced for TCM. Rick is the only filmmaker to ever receive awards for two consecutive years from The National Society of Film Critics and The Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Pictures at Link to The Grim Game posters (http://houdini.org/thegrimgameposters.html)
The Houdini Museum
1433 N. Main Ave.
Scranton, PA 18447