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The Crystal Ball (1943)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 22 January 1943 (USA)
Girl loses beauty contest, becomes a fortune teller.


Elliott Nugent


Virginia Van Upp (screenplay), Steven Vas (from a story by)


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Credited cast:
Ray Milland ... Brad Cavanaugh
Paulette Goddard ... Toni Gerard
Gladys George ... Madame Zenobia
Virginia Field ... Jo Ainsley
Cecil Kellaway ... Pop Tibbets
William Bendix ... Biff Carter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yvonne De Carlo ... Secretary (scenes deleted)
Maude Eburne ... Apple Annie Character (scenes deleted)


Toni Gerard lands in New York with 38 cents to her name and is befriended by fortune teller Madame Zenobia and a neighboring shooting gallery owner. Toni is smitten with Brad, a lawyer/suitor to Jo, one of Zenobia's "clients." When Zenobia is slightly injured, Toni takes her place and uses her newly found influence to meet Brad and break up the budding romance between him and Jo. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"I've Got a Message for You...YES YOU!"




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 January 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bola de Cristal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was one of two dozen Walter Wanger/Harry Sherman/Cinema Guild films, originally released by United Artists, re-released theatrically in 1948 by Masterpiece Productions, and ultimately sold by them for USA television syndication in 1950. It was first telecast in Los Angeles Sunday 19 March 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Philadelphia Sunday 16 April 1950 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Chicago Monday 8 May 1950 on WENR (Channel 7), in Albuquerque Tuesday 23 May 1950 on KOB (Channel 4), in Atlanta Wednesday 7 June 1950 on WSB (Channel 8), in Phoenix Wednesday 21 June 1950 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Cincinnati Saturday 24 June 1950 on WKRC (Channel 11), in Detroit 2 July 1950 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in Cleveland Sunday 16 July 1950 on WXEL (Channel 9), in Pittsburgh Thursday 17 August 1950 on WDTV (Channel 3), in both New York City on WCBS (Channel 2) and in San Francisco on KGO (Channel 7) Saturday 9 September 1950, and, finally, in Boston Sunday 10 December 1950 on WNAC (Channel 7). See more »


Mic shadow visible in upper left of frame as Milland and Goddard step into elevator. See more »


Toni Gerard: It's, uh... it's almost like fate, isn't it?
Madame Zenobia: Hmm. Fate's fine as long as you take it by its own two horns and make it come your way.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a crystal ball & astrology diagram background. See more »


Deep in the Heart of Texas
Written by Don Swander (music) and June Hershey (lyrics)
See more »

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User Reviews

Far-fetched but moderately entertaining comedy
24 May 2016 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

Beauty contestant Paulette Goddard has run out of money in New York. Since she is also a sharpshooter, she lands a job at a shooting gallery, where she spots handsome lawyer Ray Milland, whose rich girlfriend happens to be a client at the fortune teller next door.

Goddard soon finds herself substituting for said fortune teller and using her disguise to capture Milland's attention. The ensuing comedy of mistaken identity and mixed motives is somewhat slow to get rolling but does have a few hilarious moments.

William Bendix is lots of fun as Milland's rough-around-the-edges valet and bodyguard. Virginia Field is also quite good in the thankless role of Milland's over-solicitous girlfriend—who can really blame her for being a bit snotty when Ray's head is turned by newcomer Paulette?

There's a kind of subplot involving a real estate transaction that almost gets Milland in trouble with the feds….but the main attraction is the two stars and their mildly amusing process of figuring each other out.

Cute exchange when they're riding together in the car… Milland:"Where you from, Miss Gerard?" Goddard: (four rapid hand claps). Milland: "Oh, Texas, huh?" Goddard: "Deep in the heart of!"

Overall it's no classic but it's certainly easy to watch, especially for fans of handsome stars in slightly obscure comedies.

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