Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Americans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. ...
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Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Americans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. The carny, renamed Chandra, falls for one of his marks, Sylvia, but their love is tested when he brings tragedy to other peoples' lives and she asks him to go straight.Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
Stephen Sondheim picked this movie as the initial film on his special night as the Turner Classic Movies programmer, March 22, 2005. The cable network TCM was honoring him on his 75th birthday. The reason for his choice was that the screenplay was by Wilson Mizner. Sondheim had been wanting to write a musical about Wilson and his brother Addison since reading Alva Johnston's biography of them, The Legendary Mizners, in 1953, but he didn't pursue the project fully till 1996. After several revisions under different titles, including WISE GUYS in 1999 and BOUNCE in 2003, the show finally opened off-Broadway in 2008 at the Public Theater in New York, entitled ROAD SHOW. See more »
F.R. Franklin aka Frank:
[to Chandra Chandler as he's being led away to prison to serve a 2-10 year sentence]
It sure is tough to be going away just when beer is coming back.
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This early film is rarely seen these days. Thanks to TCM, we had the opportunity to watch it. As directed by Roy Del Ruth, the film tackles the problem of the itinerant con men running wild all over the country peddling home remedies and even serving as dentists to a naive public that were easily swindled.
At the center of the story, we see a man that discovers how to make a fast buck by giving readings to unsuspecting folks for a dollar. It's the cruelest of the scams because unsuspecting people put faith in the predictions these charlatans have to offer. We get to know the fate of one woman who comes back to tell Chandra how his reading turned to be a tragedy for her.
Warren William plays the great Chandra with charm. He is totally convincing as the person who has the solution for every problem, for a price. Constance Cummings is Sylvia, the young girl whose life is changed by Chandra. Allen Jenkins plays Chandra's assistant in one of his best roles. We get to see briefly Mayo Methot in the pivotal role of Jenny.
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