Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is bringing the long-lost Harry Houdini classic The Grim Game (1919) back to the public eye in a world premiere screening during 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival held March 26-29 in Hollywood. This much-sought-after film - a complete print of which was only recently rediscovered and brought to TCM for restoration - features the escape artist and legendary illusionist in one of his few starring roles. The film was discovered and the restoration was produced and restored by award-winning film preservationist and silent-film scholar Rick Schmidlin, whose credits include such landmark restorations as The Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894/'95), Greed (1924), London After Midnight (1927), Touch of Evil (1958) and Elvis: That's the Way It Is - Special Edition (1970).
"The discovery, restoration and screening of The Grim Game is the perfect embodiment of the TCM mission to celebrate our cinematic heritage and share it with new audiences," said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. "We are thrilled to be collaborating with some of the most important figures in film preservation in order to bring this timeless classic back to the screen for the first time in decades."
In The Grim Game, Houdini plays Harvey Hanford, a young man who is framed for murder. As Hanford escapes from the police and goes after the gang of men who framed him, the movie offers numerous opportunities for Houdini to display his own skills as an escape artist, illusionist and stunt man. Among the most remarkable sequences is a mid-air collision between two airplanes that was actually a real accident caught on film and used in the story.
During the world premiere screening at the festival, composer Brane Zivkovic will be on hand to conduct a live performance of his new score for the film. Additionally, The Grim Game will make its world television debut on TCM later in the year.