Harry Houdini: An American Patriot


The film will stream globally to an international audience of 180 million people on Prime Video. The feature-length documentary is a one-hour story that has never been told before.

When the United States enters World War One, Harry Houdini opposes Hungary, his country of birth, but when he can’t join the U.S. military, Houdini teaches U.S. soldiers his escape secrets to help win the war.

Harry Houdini: An American Patriot will include on-camera interviews with the world’s top Houdini experts. The film will also include archival stills and footage, newspapers, letters, and live footage, along with a powerful score, period reenactments, and third-person narration. The project will also contain an educational component in partnership with the World War One Centennial Commission with the National World War One Museum and Memorial.

You can support this project in these ways:

  • Check payable to Arts Wisconsin (fiscal receiver for the project), Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701-1054 (please include a note that the donation is for the Houdini documentary)
  • Credit card (Visa/MC) via MightyCause
  • PayPal

About the documentary:  Erich Weiss is known by his stage name, Harry Houdini. He is in the history books for being one of the most successful magicians ever to live. Still, the story of what he did as a Hungarian-born immigrant has yet to be told. That story is, Harry trained the U.S. soldiers and taught them his secrets; how to escape German handcuffs and how to survive underwater, among other things. He did this while opposing his birth country, Hungry, to ensure the United States’ victory. It’s the first documentary ever, not focusing on Harry Houdini’s magic, but on what he did to help the United States win World War One.

The story has deep Wisconsin roots. It will be told by Appleton Wisconsin-based Hungry Lion Productions from a hometown perspective highlighting Appleton as Houdini’s first American home. The international audience will learn about his hometown and its love for its most famous resident.

To keep up with the status of the production, click here.