6.2/10
370
15 user 9 critic

Miracles for Sale (1939)

Not Rated | | Mystery | 14 August 1939 (USA)
Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Love Letters (1945)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards
Fast Workers (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Gunner and Bucker are pals who work as riveters. Whenever Bucker gets the urge to marry, which is often, Gunner will hit on his girl to see if she is true or not. So far, Gunner has not ... See full summary »

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: John Gilbert, Robert Armstrong, Mae Clarke
Iron Man (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Prizefighter Mason loses his opening fight so wife Rose leaves him for Hollywood. Without her around Mason trains and starts winning. Rose comes back and wants Mason to dump his manager Regan and replace him with her secret lover Lewis.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lew Ayres, Robert Armstrong, Jean Harlow
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Thrown out of the Riviera, a family of grifters meets a lonely, vulnerable rich old woman and insinuate themselves into her life while they sponge off her.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Gilbert Pratt, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roland Young
Certificate: Passed Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Sue Tally waits for a brother she hasn't seen in twenty years to meet her in a French hotel. By proving her identity, she'll share in a $2,000,000 inheritance. But others are anxious to get... See full summary »

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Jean Muir, Ricardo Cortez, Ruth Donnelly
Trade Winds (1938)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Kay Kerrigan commits a murder and then changes her hair color, assumes a new identity and flees the country by ship. She's unaware that she's being followed by Sam Wye, a skirt chasing ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Fredric March, Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A magician seeks vengeance upon the man who paralyzed him and the illegitimate daughter he sired with the magician's wife.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lon Chaney, Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan
Man Hunt (1941)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders
The Sea Wolf (1941)
Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer "Ghost," captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield
Ivy (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An Edwardian belle meets a rich bachelor, but what to do about her husband and her lover?

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall
The Uninvited (1944)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Film-Noir | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Florence Rice ...
Judy Barclay
Frank Craven ...
Dad Morgan
...
Dave Duvallo
...
La Claire
Cliff Clark ...
Inspector Gavigan
Astrid Allwyn ...
Mrs. Zelma La Claire
Walter Kingsford ...
Colonel Watrous
Frederick Worlock ...
Dr. Sabbatt (as Frederic Worlock)
...
Madame Rapport
...
Quinn
Harold Minjir ...
Tauro
Edit

Storyline

Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend the calling from the other world by Sabbatt, but Judy wants Mike to help her instead. Later that night, after spoiling an attempt on the life of Judy, and meeting Madame Rapport, Mike goes to Sabbatt's hotel only to find the doors chained from the inside and a strange voice speaking. Busting in, he finds Sabbatt strangled. While there seems to be no way for anyone from this world to commit the murder, it is only the first murder. Mike must find the how and why before Judy becomes the third and final victim. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuda na sprzedaz  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Sully is listed in studio records as the bus driver, but he was replaced by Matt McHugh. A modern source lists Fred Warren as police surgeon, but the role of the coroner (the only surgeon in the movie) was played by E. Alyn Warren. See more »

Goofs

One scene shows Morgan having some fun with a waiter by making sugar bowls disappear and reappear. The first time he does the trick it is cleverly executed, but the second and third time it is clearly accomplished with a camera effect instead of actual slight-of-hand. See more »

Quotes

Quinn: [a dead body at the crime scene has suddenly disappeared] Fine police department we are: even dead guys disappear on us. I don't like this magic stuff!
Inspector Gavigan: Don't let anything funny happen, because if you do, I'm gonna' say a few magic words over you and your JOB will disappear!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It's Magic
20 March 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Tod Browning's final feature length film is a dandy. It seems someone is killing off New York City's prestidigitators, and one of them, Mike Morgan (Robert Young) wants to know why; plus he may be the next victim. As Red Buttons used to say, "Strange things are happening." Murder victims disappear; murder victims reappear as apparitions. Never fear. Police Inspector Marty Gavigan (Cliff Clark) is hot on the case with his at times able assistant Detective Quinn (William Demarest).

A mysterious blond, Judy Barclay (Florence Rice), dashes from a taxi cab seeking sanctuary in Mike Morgan's abode of tricks and treats. Who is after her? Why is she interested in Mike Morgan? What is her relationship to the other magicians of New York City? The plot thickens as one by one some of the questions are answered, but not all until the very end. Mike Morgan is a topnotch magician who doesn't believe in the hocus-pocus of fake mediums out to scam innocent citizens. Yet so much is cloudy and mysterious he and the Inspector contact spiritualist Madame Rapport (Gloria Holden). Even though rapport with her is lacking, they hope to flush out the killer and uncover the motive behind the crimes.

With Tod Browning's circus background, the magic tricks and other special effects sequences are given an authentic presentation. Given the technological limitations of the day, some of the feats of magic shown are amazing. Another positive note, all the ethereal occurrences are explained through reasoning by Mike Morgan.

Robert Young shines in the lead role. Later, he became typecast twice. First as the perfect father, Jim Anderson, in "Father Knows Best" and then as everybody's perfect family doctor, "Marcus Welby, M.D." Many of the present generation don't realize that he had a long, successful screen career previous to his TV roles. He made many good movies, in particular the noir thrillers "They Won't Believe Me," and "The Second Woman." Florence Rice too turns in a fine performance. She failed to survive the 1930's because critics claimed she was in films as a result of her father's (Grantland Rice) influence. That's a pity since she showed so much promise.

For some reason, mystery movies of the 1930's required a dumb detective, most of whom acted so stupid that they became annoying rather than funny. This time around the supposed nitwit turns out to be the great character actor William Demarest. As always, he really can deliver the laughs.

The prestidigitator Tauro is played by Harold Minjir who usually overacts in his many supporting film appearances. This time, maybe because Tod Browning keeps him in check, he turns in an effective performance.

And, oh, yes, look for Charles Lane the indefatigable as the Fleetwood Apartments desk clerk, still alive at 101 and still available for work.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Miracles for Sale (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?