6.3/10
465
16 user 10 critic

Miracles for Sale (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime , Mystery | 14 August 1939 (USA)
Retired performer Mike Morgan sells original illusions to fellow magicians, and although he believes in the supernatural, likes to expose sham psychics. This involves him in some mysterious murders.

Director:

Tod Browning

Writers:

Harry Ruskin (screen play), Marion Parsonnet (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Young ... Michael Morgan
Florence Rice ... Judy Barclay
Frank Craven ... Dad Morgan
Henry Hull ... Dave Duvallo
Lee Bowman ... La Claire
Cliff Clark ... Inspector Gavigan
Astrid Allwyn ... Mrs. Zelma La Claire
Walter Kingsford ... Colonel Watrous
Frederick Worlock ... Dr. Sabbatt (as Frederic Worlock)
Gloria Holden ... Madame Rapport
William Demarest ... Quinn
Harold Minjir Harold Minjir ... Tauro
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Storyline

Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend the calling from the other world by Sabbatt, but Judy wants Mike to help her instead. Later that night, after spoiling an attempt on the life of Judy, and meeting Madame Rapport, Mike goes to Sabbatt's hotel only to find the doors chained from the inside and a strange voice speaking. Busting in, he finds Sabbatt strangled. While there seems to be no way for anyone from this world to commit the murder, it is only the first murder. Mike must find the how and why before Judy becomes the third and final victim. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuda na sprzedaz See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Sully is listed in studio records as the bus driver, but he was replaced by Matt McHugh. A modern source lists Fred Warren as police surgeon, but the role of the coroner (the only surgeon in the movie) was played by E. Alyn Warren. See more »

Goofs

One scene shows Morgan having some fun with a waiter by making sugar bowls disappear and reappear. The first time he does the trick it is cleverly executed, but the second and third time it is clearly accomplished with a camera effect instead of actual slight-of-hand. See more »

Quotes

Dad Morgan: [in his son's shop: looking at a stage prop skull which moves its jaws up and down] You must've been a woman. You know you're dead, but you're still trying to talk.
See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' through the Rye
Original lyrics from Robert Burns poem (1782]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Dense Disappointment Considering Cast, Director, and Production
27 August 2015 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

A Good Cast and an Excellent Production Design Highlight Director Tod Browning's Last Film. However, Much of the Horror and Mystery are Diluted with the Constant Debunking Dialog and Denouements.

The Suspension of Disbelief is Constantly being Undermined by Voluminous Verbiage and Demonstrations About How All of This is a Bunch of Hooey. One Atmospheric Scene After Another is Quickly Talked Out and We're On to Another.

It is All a Bit Complicated, and that Doesn't Help, with Red Herrings and Disguises. It's a Bumpy Affair and Most of the Entertainment Value is Lost Among the Cerebral and Stoic Conceit.

Some of it Might be Attributed to the Motion Picture Code that was Adamant About Exposing Spiritualism. Religion of Any Sort Other than Judeo/Christian was Meant with Dedicated Disdain.

Overall, the Movie is Worth a Watch for the Cast, the Sleek Production, and Tod Browning's Steady and Surreal Hand, but as a Whole it is a Rather Dense Disappointment.


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