Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Ameicans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. ... See full summary »
Torch singer Joan Gordon, tiring of her relationship with small-time hood and racketeer Eddie Fields, flees to Montreal and becomes the mail-order bride of down-to-earth farmer Jim Gilson. ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
The Baron is a banker, in Vienna, who works at at very fast pace. He appreciates beautiful women, but fires the beautiful Miss Frey as he considers her a diversion to work. Susie sneaks ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Cassie has come to New York and goes to work as a model where her friend Gladys works. She falls in love with wealthy young Jerry who is already married. Gladys has the same probelm with ... See full summary »
At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells ... See full summary »
Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Ameicans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. The carny, renamed Chandra, falls for one of his marks, Sylvia, but their love is tested when he brings tragedy to other peoples' lives and she asks him to go straight. Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
Stephen Sondheim picked this movie as the initial film on his special night as the Turner Classic Movies programmer, March 22, 2005. The cable network TCM was honoring him on his 75th birthday. See more »
F.R. Franklin aka Frank:
[to Chandra Chandler as he's being led away to prison to serve a 2-10 year sentence]
It sure is tough to be going away just when beer is coming back.
See more »
The Stars and Stripes Forever
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played by the band during the painless dentist segment at the beginning See more »
Warren William turns in a superb performance. Allen Jenkins, always fun if a bit tedious in later comic gangster tales, does fine. The fine black actor Clarence Muse is given a meaty role and does beautifully by it. And Constance Cummings, whom I saw several decades after this in a magnificent performance on Broadway, is excellent.
This is a dark, twisting tale. William is a grifter who's tried a few rackets before he hits on mind reading. He and Jenkins pull some shady business in Cummings's hometown (emphasis on town) but she falls for him. She thinks he's the real thing, for a while, and he tries hard to go straight for her.
There is no wrong move. It's taut and disturbing. Roy del Ruth was a sensationally good director at this time, though this is darker than what he generally worked with.
No happy Hollywood ending is slapped on. William is seen about to pay for his evil ways but it sure doesn't look as if he is going to get a last-minute reprieve, nor does he seem particularly changed in his soul.
Keep an eye out for this one!
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