Harry Houdini And Arthur Conan Doyle Solve Crime

By Mack Rawden 2011-02-09 18:25:59discussion comments
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Once upon a time, famed magician Harry Houdini and brilliant Sherlock Holmes novelist Arthur Conan Doyle were buddies. As sometimes happens when two people excel at their individual fields, they found understanding and comfort in their relationship. Then Conan Doyle became convinced Houdini had supernatural powers, and Houdini became convinced Conan Doyle was sabotaging the minds of his fans with psychic endorsements. Houdini spent the rest of his life debunking so-called spiritualists. Conan Doyle spent his ridiculing Houdini for not publicly owning up to his powers. It may be the strangest and most entertaining end to a celebrity friendship ever, which is why it’s getting a movie. Sort of.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dreamworks has purchased a script from J. Michael Straczynski that follows the friends as they combine forces with a psychic to investigate a string of New York homicides. Wait…what? Yes, that’s right. The coolest falling out of all-time has apparently been shelved for a fictionalized whodunit where Houdini agrees to join forces with a psychic. That’s one way to completely trample my interest level.

I love Houdini. I generally endorse his involvement in nearly everything, but it seems to me like there’s a great story without perverting the historical account. In fact, the truth actually involves horror writer HP Lovecraft as well. During this whole friendship-ending debacle, Houdini paid Lovecraft to write a fuck you letter to astrologists. Later, the two even planned an expose called The Cancer Of Spiritualism, but I guess none of that matters when you can shoehorn in some crime.
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