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 ...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film's television premiere took place in Los Angeles Wednesday 26 June 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it was first shown in Philadelphia 22 March 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), and in New York City 12 December 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
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 »
You'd like my father. He thinks everybody in New York oughta' be shot - and he's dying to start the movement.
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Clever variation on the amateur sleuth movies so popular at the time. Morgan (Young) is an expert magician who devises tricks for other illusionists, and also arbitrates between greedy tricksters and genuine psychics. In fact, the script goes to some lengths to allow for real psychic experiences, probably so as not to offend believers. Anyway a dislikable trickster is murdered under mysterious circumstances, while fetching ingénue, Judy Barclay's (Rice) life is threatened. But why, and by whom. Now Morgan has to play amateur detective and unravel the various strange happenings.
MGM produced, so no production corners are cut. This shows up in several fairly elaborate sets. The magician theme cries out for noirish touches that are occasionally present, but not enough to create real atmosphere. Nonetheless, there are enough spooky twists to keep up a good level of moody suspense. The plot's pretty involved, as might be expected with all the tricks going on. So you may need the proverbial scorecard. Still, a couple scenes are really jarring, especially the splayed bodies inside diabolical designs.
In the lead, Young is super-smooth and likable, while spook girl Holden (Madame Rapport) gets to look other-worldly. There's some humor, but thankfully it's not clownish as was common for these amateur sleuth films. Anyway, the 70-minutes amounts to an imaginative little B-entry for a studio that did not specialize in them.
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