On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about ...
See full summary »
After taking 20 dollars from his employer to go on a date with plans to repay it the next day, an auto mechanic falls into increasingly disastrous circumstances for more and more money which rapidly spirals out of his control.
In flashback from a 'Rebecca'-style beginning: Ellen Foster, visiting her aunt on the California coast, meets neighbor Jeff Cohalan and his ultramodern clifftop house. Ellen is strongly ... See full summary »
Barbara Carlin attends her own funeral and returns home suspecting that her husband, Rod Carlin, had tried to do away with her, and is also (rightfully) curious as to just who was the woman... See full summary »
Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »
On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf...then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about such things. After more ghostly manifestations, Christine and younger sister Janet become enmeshed in the eerie artifices of Alexis; but he in turn finds himself manipulated into deeper deviltry than he had in mind...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Martin and the detective break up the séance, Martin explains to Christine that he has investigated her previous husband's (Paul) past. Instead of referring to the previous husband as "Paul", he refers to him as "Martin" (his own character's name). See more »
Alexis, do you think I'd make a good celestial companion?
Darling, I think you'd be wonderful!
And we'd love each other through all eternity?
Oh, even longer!
See more »
Nocturne for Piano, Op. 9, no. 1, in B-flat minor
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Heard in a flashback sequence about Paul's previous wife See more »
Well FIlmed Occultism Thriller
As others have commented, the cinematography, lighting, set decoration, art direction, special effects, and location footage on this film are far, far above the quality one would normally expect for a B-movie -- and surpass even the level of many A-movies of the time period. Additionally, anyone interested in how subjects such as occultism, seances, mediums, magic, superstition, stage magic, seers, and prophets were treated in the mid 20th century film will certainly wish to see it.
Don't let the silly science-fiction title fool you -- the UK release, as "The Spiritualist", comes much closer to the heart of this story than its silly US title, "The Amazing Mr. X." Plot-wise, the presentation treads a fine line between functioning as a semi-documentary exposure of fraudulent spiritualists (as in the earlier "Mystic Circle Murders" with Betty Compson and Mrs. Harry Houdini), presenting the apparitions "straight" (as in a standard horror film), and leaving the reader guessing as the plot takes one looped turn after another and ends with a detective-noir closure (as in Hitchcok's "Rebecca").
Turhan Bey is wonderfully nuanced as the mystic. He alone makes the movie worth seeking out.
A big tip-of-the-hat should also go the stage magician Harry B. Mendoza for his lovely bit-part work as a detective who used to be a stage magician. Mendoza builds his character's history subtly, rolling a coin for almost a minute before his prestidigitation becomes a subject of discussion, making it look like a mere nervous habit instead of the highly trained feat it really is. Then he begins to produce cigars -- an endless supply of them! -- and during the whole demonstration, he keeps up a constant flow of on-topic plot exposition dialogue. What a wonderful little turn!
All in all, this is a movie that is watchable on many levels and for many reasons. I agree with other commenters that a fully restored version with technical commentary would be well received.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this