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The Hidden Master (1940)

Shows how important luck can be in a person's life.



(screenplay) (as Doane Hoag)


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Complete credited cast:
John Nesbitt ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)


This telling of life's passing parade focuses on the theme of luck as told in three true stories. In the first story which takes place in 1744, a young man working for the British East India Company is depressed about his lot with the company. He is stuck with a clerical job, rather than be assigned to military action as he had wanted. He contemplates suicide. If he is successful, he would miss the opportunity to do for the company what he wanted. Luck intervening in what would end up being those failed suicide attempts would lead to a great military life. In the second story, Dr. Wilhelm Röntgen, on November 8, 1895, is working in his lab when an old piece of chemical cardboard on his shelf falls next to an illuminated Leonard vacuum tube. This several million to one accident would lead to one of the most important discoveries within medical history. In the final story, average joe Harry Jones feels that he doesn't get any breaks in life. A wrong number telephone call he receives in ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

20 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 13: The Hidden Master  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Followed by The Seesaw and the Shoes (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Entertaining Passing Parade Entry
19 May 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Hidden Master, The (1940)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

Highly entertaining entry in MGM's Passing Parade series takes a look at three different stories involving luck. The first has a man (Peter Cushing) suffering from melancholia and decides to kill himself but it doesn't work out as planned. The second story has a doctor accidentally discovering X-rays. The third story deals with a poor father who never has any luck and this continues one night when a drunk man calls the wrong number and wakes him up. He doesn't realize at first how this is going to change his life. There's nothing ground breaking here in terms of film-making, acting or directing but these stories are interesting and entertaining enough to where you'll have no problem making it through these 9-minutes. I thought the middle story was the weakest but perhaps that's because it's only given about a minutes worth of time. The first and especially the last story are extremely well done and will have you wondering about the "luck" that happened. It was fun seeing Peter Cushing playing the man who would turn out to be Robert Clive but it's also worth noting that this story was left out of the film CLIVE OF India. The final story is without question the best as it contains some great drama and a nice twist to the luck.

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