On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about ... See full summary »
Flamarion, expert marksman, is entertaining people in a show which features Connie, beautiful woman and her husband Al. Flamarion and Connie fall in love and decide to get rid of the ... See full summary »
Erich von Stroheim,
Mary Beth Hughes,
Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather-noisy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. Two days later, she awakens in a different house ... See full summary »
Joseph H. Lewis
Dame May Whitty,
On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about such things. After more ghostly manifestations, Christine and younger sister Janet become enmeshed in the eerie artifices of Alexis; but he in turn finds himself manipulated into deeper deviltry than he had in mind... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When Martin and the detective break up the séance, Martin explains to Christine that he has investigated her previous husband's (Paul) past. Instead of referring to the previous husband as "Paul", he refers to him as "Martin" (his own character's name). See more »
Alexis, do you think I'd make a good celestial companion?
Darling, I think you'd be wonderful!
And we'd love each other through all eternity?
Oh, even longer!
See more »
As others have commented, the cinematography, lighting, set decoration, art direction, special effects, and location footage on this film are far, far above the quality one would normally expect for a B-movie -- and surpass even the level of many A-movies of the time period. Additionally, anyone interested in how subjects such as occultism, seances, mediums, magic, superstition, stage magic, seers, and prophets were treated in the mid 20th century film will certainly wish to see it.
Don't let the silly science-fiction title fool you -- the UK release, as "The Spiritualist", comes much closer to the heart of this story than its silly US title, "The Amazing Mr. X." Plot-wise, the presentation treads a fine line between functioning as a semi-documentary exposure of fraudulent spiritualists (as in the earlier "Mystic Circle Murders" with Betty Compson and Mrs. Harry Houdini), presenting the apparitions "straight" (as in a standard horror film), and leaving the reader guessing as the plot takes one looped turn after another and ends with a detective-noir closure (as in Hitchcok's "Rebecca").
Turhan Bey is wonderfully nuanced as the mystic. He alone makes the movie worth seeking out.
A big tip-of-the-hat should also go the stage magician Harry B. Mendoza for his lovely bit-part work as a detective who used to be a stage magician. Mendoza builds his character's history subtly, rolling a coin for almost a minute before his prestidigitation becomes a subject of discussion, making it look like a mere nervous habit instead of the highly trained feat it really is. Then he begins to produce cigars -- an endless supply of them! -- and during the whole demonstration, he keeps up a constant flow of on-topic plot exposition dialogue. What a wonderful little turn!
All in all, this is a movie that is watchable on many levels and for many reasons. I agree with other commenters that a fully restored version with technical commentary would be well received.
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