Harry Houdini was performing in a circus with his wife when he began dreaming about an even bigger career. This film recalls the highlights of his career, including his 1912 stunt that established him as the world's greatest escape artist. In that instance, Houdini had himself lowered into New York's East River in a crate that was wrapped in chains. In less than a minute, he escaped and came to the surface as both an admired and famous man. Archival footage and dramatic re-creations performed by professional escape artist Bob Fellows allow viewers to revisit some of Houdini's major stunts. On-camera interviews with such people as illusionist David Copperfield, psychic claims investigator James Randi, and many others shed light on Houdini's performing techniques. Actor Mandy Patinkin narrates this probing looking into this performer's life.