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W.S. Van Dyke
Thirteen women who were schoolmates send to a swami for their horoscopes. Little do they realize that Ursula, a half-breed Asian, is using her hypnotic powers over the swami and them to lead them or their families to their deaths. It seems that she too went to their school, but was forced to leave by their bigotry, and is exacting revenge. Will she be stopped in time to save Laura's son, Bobby? Written by
Robert Tonsing <email@example.com>
Peg Entwistle, who played Hazel Clay Cousins, committed suicide on the same day of the film's American release. She jumped off the "H" of the Hollywood sign, then "Hollywoodland." See more »
After the swami falls in the subway, a passenger train passes by. The bell on top is ringing, but it makes no sound. Perhaps the bell was turned off, like a telephone ringer, because that person does not want to be disturbed. See more »
This campy little coo-coo bird has to be seen to be believed. Beware of anonymously sent bouncy balls. I first saw this film many years ago on the early American Movie Classics (before it was destroyed by commercials and awful movies); I made of point of watching it because I was reading Myrna Loy's autobiography at the time and she mentioned this film.
Modern viewers may be a bit surprised to find that there is really nothing new in film-making; everything in the psychological thrillers and slasher films over the years that terrified you is done here, and better. Like the rest of the reviewers, I am nearly insane with wonder at what the famous missing 15 minutes might hold (I know a scene further developing the Peg Entwistle character was deleted), but the existing version of this film is a tight, entertaining hour of suspense.
Exotic and beautiful Ursula Georgi sets out across America to reek her revenge on those upper crust white gals that ousted her from her school sorority and ruined her chance in life to "pass" as one of the elite. If you can actually locate the book this is based on, it's a very enlightening read, for therein we learn that poor Ursula was whored out as a young girl. An orphanage finally placed in her in the sorority with the rich white girls to save her from her life of degradation and exploitation. I believe Ms. Loy must have read the novel, she plays Ursula with a clear awareness of the horrors of her young past. By ostracizing and then kicking her out of the sorority, the rich snobs destroyed her chance to escape and live among the rich and respectable. No wonder she is murderously furious with them. A round robin letter, horoscopes of dread, the stink-eye from Ursula and former sorority sisters end up in the obituary column one by one.
Even today, this hour long film is tensely paced and engaging. Ricardo Cortez is always a pleasure to watch, a smooth, beautiful man and a superb actor who brings a touch of class to all of his work. Young Myrna Loy is beginning to show the prowess that would make her one of the most successful of all 20th century actors. If you love 1930's films, this is a very unique and interesting one, you won't be sorry.
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