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Toni Gerard lands in New York with 38 cents to her name and is befriended by fortune teller Madame Zenobia and a neighboring shooting gallery owner. Toni is smitten with Brad, a lawyer/suitor to Jo, one of Zenobia's "clients." When Zenobia is slightly injured, Toni takes her place and uses her newly found influence to meet Brad, and break up the budding romance between him and Jo. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard star in "The Crystal Ball," a 1943 comedy. Goddard plays Toni Gerard, a Texas beauty contestant who comes to New York with no money and consults Madame Zenobia (Gladys George) about her future. Madame Zenobia is a big fake who relies on maids and social registers for her info. She doesn't know Toni's future, but since Toni's a crack shot, she sends her to her friend who runs a shooting gallery (Cecil Kellaway) who can use Toni's shooting to attract customers. She also offers Toni a room to stay in.
Toni spots attorney Brad Cavenaugh (Ray Milland) when he escorts Jo Ainsley (Virgina Field), his client, to Madame Zenobia to ask for help finding her ring (which the maid put down the drain and then tipped off Zenobia). Toni is instantly attracted to him and pursues him in her own way. Meanwhile, the widow Ainsley is doing the same thing.
This is a silly, somewhat convoluted comedy bolstered by some delightful performances from Milland, the beautiful and effervescent Goddard, William Bendix as Cavanaugh's chauffeur, Gladys George, Cecil Kellaway, and Sig Arno, who is plagued everywhere he works by problems, thanks to Toni.
See it for the performances and for Goddard's beautiful gown toward the end of the film. What a wonderful screen presence she had.
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