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The Crystal Ball (1943)

 -  Comedy  -  22 January 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 238 users  
Reviews: 10 user

Girl loses beauty contest, becomes a fortune teller.



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Credited cast:
Brad Cavanaugh
Toni Gerard
Madame Zenobia
Virginia Field ...
Jo Ainsley
Pop Tibbets
Biff Carter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Secretary (scenes deleted)
Maude Eburne ...
Apple Annie Character (scenes deleted)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

22 January 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crystal Ball  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of several Paramount Pictures productions purchased by United Artists for theatrical release in 1942-1943. See more »


Mic shadow visible in upper left of frame as Milland and Goddard step into elevator. See more »


Toni Gerard: It's almost like fate, isn't it?
Madame Zenobia: Fate's fine. As long as you take it by its own two horns and make it come your way.
See more »

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User Reviews

The plot is beyond silly...but Paulette makes a charming schemer...
2 August 2011 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

THE CRYSTAL BALL has such a hackneyed plot about a conniving woman out to get herself a wealthy husband (in fact, two women with the same idea), but the plot complications have serious undertones and there's not enough witty banter to make it digestible. Audiences must have been starving for light, fluffy nonsense like this during WWII, but despite some funny moments it's nothing but a predictable romantic comedy.

What does help are the performances of Paulette Goddard, Ray Milland and Virginia Field as the romantic trio. Lost in the shuffle are William Bendix, Cecil Kellaway and other supporting players who have very little to do but stand around agape at the stupid plot whose ripest comic moments include a waiter who inevitably trips and falls whenever Goddard is within close range.

Paulette is a down on her heels gal with 38 cents in her pocketbook who needs help from fortune-teller Gladys George (totally wasted). When GG becomes ill, it's Paulette who is designated to take her place as the crystal ball fortune-teller who gets involved in the budding romance between rich playboy Milland and his widowed sweetheart Field.

None of it makes any sense and the situations are played for screwball comedy effect with only a couple of successful moments where the comedy is pitched to the right key. Both stars try hard, but the material is really beneath them.

However, fans of Goddard and Milland will find it easy enough to forgive the nonsensical plot and enjoy the stars at their physical peak.

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