37 user 15 critic

The Clairvoyant (1935)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 15 July 1935 (USA)
A fake music-hall clairvoyant meets a woman, and suddenly his predictions seem to come true ...


Maurice Elvey


Charles Bennett (by), Ernst Lothar (based on the novel: "The Clairvoyant" by) (as Ernest Lothar) | 2 more credits »

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When corpses drained of blood begin to show up in a European village, vampirism is suspected to be responsible.

Director: Frank R. Strayer
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas
Bank Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A 1930s British summer Bank Holiday starts at midday on Saturday with a rush for the trains to the sea-side. Doreen Richards under the name Miss Fulham is off with friend Milly to a beauty ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: John Lodge, Margaret Lockwood, Hugh Williams
Romance | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a dancer disappears from a theater, her former lover asks lawyer Clay Dalzell to investigate, leading him on a trail of murder and deception.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Paul Kelly
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The Dead End Kids
49th Parallel (1941)
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral U.S.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey
Doctor X (1932)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wisecracking New York reporter intrudes on a research scientist's quest to unmask The Moon Killer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women he meets through the personal columns of newspapers. He announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Paul Henreid
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A blind detective and his seeing-eye dog investigate a murder and discover a Nazi plot.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Donna Reed
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An investigative reporter romances a suspected smuggler's daughter.

Director: James Cruze
Stars: Ben Lyon, Claudette Colbert, Ernest Torrence
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman is haunted by recurring nightmares, which seem to be instigated by her late husband who supposedly was killed in a fire.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Robert Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck, Judi Meredith


Complete credited cast:
Claude Rains ... Maximus
Fay Wray ... Rene
Mary Clare ... Mother
Ben Field Ben Field ... Simon
Jane Baxter ... Christine
Athole Stewart Athole Stewart ... Lord Southwood
C. Denier Warren C. Denier Warren ... Bimeter


Maximus, a small-time music hall mind reader, has frightening flashes of precognition; but he cannot predict or control them ...until he realizes he has them in the presence of Christine, attractive daughter of a publisher, who makes Rene, his equally lovely wife, wretchedly jealous. But worse trouble comes to Maximus when he's accused of causing a disaster he predicted. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

15 July 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Evil Mind See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Maximus: Darling, you're being rather childish.
Rene: It's only because I love you rather a lot.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Scratchy multi-generation prints shown on TV under the title The Evil Mind are from a 68 min. reissue with different titles than the British original. See more »


Edited from Le tunnel (1933) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Do you really want to know the future?
22 May 2013 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is a superb early film starring Claude Rains, where he gives a performance which is a true tour de force. In it, he plays a stage performer who does a music hall act as a clairvoyant, jointly with his wife, played by Fay Wray. The techniques used for faking the clairvoyant insights on stage are largely those used by Erik Jan Hanussen (1889-1933), Frederick Marion (real name Josef Kraus, born 1892 in Prague, who was known personally by a close friend of mine who assured me of his genuine abilities), and other famous clairvoyants for their stage shows, where the associate asks the blindfolded clairvoyant in a complex code whatever she is holding in her hand, which belongs to a member of the audience. However, Rains has occasional outbursts of genuine clairvoyance (as both Hanussen and Marion also did), something which his grandfather had also had, and which led to his ruin, says her other ominously. This film is based on a novel, of which I have long had a copy, by the Austrian writer Ernst Lothar (1890-1974) set in Germany and entitled DER HELLSEHER (THE CLAIRVOYANT), published in Berlin in 1929. The English translation by Beatrice Ryan came out in 1932, and the film was released two years later. The story in the film however is transposed from Germany to England, and greatly changed. There can be little doubt that Hanussen was the direct inspiration for this tale. Istvan Szabo made his film HANUSSEN in 1988 about the same man, who became Hitler's favourite clairvoyant but was murdered in 1933 by the Gestapo. Perhaps because he had written this revealing novel, Lothar became a banned author in Nazi Germany. Like Hanussen, Rains in the film starts as an obscure performer but through massive publicity becomes wealthy and influential. His fame commences when he correctly predicts a terrible train crash at Manchester, Then he predicts a Derby winner (in the novel it was the 'German Derby', though I know nothing about German racing and cannot say where such a race may have been held before the War, though I have never heard of a 'German Derby' in contemporary times), the odds on whom are 100 to 1. The horse wins, and the whole country becomes hysterical with awe and adulation for Rains. However, as with all clairvoyants, Rains cannot control his 'gift' and despite constant pleas to use it, he is powerless to turn it on and off, as it just comes unpredictably. That is why Madame Blavatsky had to fake things, because you cannot be a medium or a clairvoyant in fits and starts, you have to be continuous in order to satisfy the impatient and demanding public, and no clairvoyants have the ability to do that. The only solution is to intersperse the real thing with faked incidents, but then they are inevitably exposed and discredited. The character Christine, played by Jane Baxter, has a psychic resonance with Rains and when she is present, she triggers his genuine clairvoyant insights. When she is absent, he is rendered powerless in that respect. His wife naturally becomes very jealous, because Christine is highly attractive. Fay Wray, by birth a Canadian, manages a perfect English understatement in the film when, to express her obsessive love for her husband, she says to him while turned away from him: 'I'm rather in love with you.' How English can you get? It is amazing that she managed to get her upper lip unstiffened so that she could go on to appear in KING KONG. Perhaps she was saving her real emotions for a gorilla. Some girls are like that, and we normal guys will never understand what they see in such brutal, coarse and hairy types. (Nor will I ever understand why women like men with rough three-day stubble on their faces, considering how scratched they get when kissing such a creature. It must be some form of masochism which needs to be studied by psychologists. And speaking of ultra-submission, has anyone ever studied the writhing motions of Fay Wray and Jessica Lange when in the presence of King Kong? What does it mean?) But to return to the demure but insanely jealous Fay Wray of this film: one can't but notice how dark her hair is. Surely that is not the Fay Wray we thought we knew. Rains's mother in the film is played by Mary Clare, that great specialist in faces of doom. Here she moderates those talents but does manage some doom and gloom observations and some highly ominous looks, all very effective in building the tension. The film was directed by the talented Maurice Elvey, director of 196 films commencing in 1913, many of which are lost. Elvey often rose to great heights, as for instance in his HINDLE WAKES (aka FANNY HAWTHORNE, 1927) and his film of Stefan Zweig's novel BEWARE OF PITY (1946) where Lilli Palmer plays the girl in the wheelchair with perfect pathos. Here, Felix Aylmer plays the terrifying prosecutor when Rains is prosecuted for causing a mining disaster at Humber Tunnel for ostensibly causing panic by predicting the collapse of the tunnel. But then Jane Baxter enters the courtroom, triggers Rains's genuine clairvoyance again in front of the judge and jury, with dramatic results. The comic actor Graham Moffatt makes his second uncredited screen appearance in this film as a page boy. It was Rains's fifth film and certainly one the best performances of his career. This film is a gem.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed