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The Amazing Mr. X

USA 1948
produced by
Samba Pictures/Eagle-Lion
directed by Bernard Vorhaus
starring Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O'Donnell, Richard Carlson, Donald Curtis, Harry B.Mendoza, Virginia Gregg
written by Crane Wilbur, cinematography by John Alton

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Although engaged to lawyer Martin (Richard Carlson), Christine (Lynn Bari) can't let go of the memories of her deceased husband Paul, even though he died 2 years ago. This goes so far that she, living by the sea, thinks she's hearing his voice over the sounds of the ocean. Much to the concern of Martin & her little sister Janed (Cathy O'Donnell).

One day, when she thinks she hears the voice exceptionally clear, she meets psychic Alexis, who offers her his help, & seems to know quite a lot about her. At first, Christine of course dismisses him, however when that same night she thinks the spirit of Paul is haunting her bedroom, she decides she should at least give Alexis a try ... & soon she becomes addited to the man's psychic powers.

Janet & Martin though grow suspicious about the mystery man, & together with private eye Hoffman (Harry B.Mendoza) they make up a ploy to unmask Alexis as a fraud - which involves Janet searching Alexis' advice in the guise of a cheated wife. However, for Alexis, trained in the art of conning people, it's an easy task to see through their game, & with his charms he wins Janet over to his side, so Martin's & Hoffman's plan seems to backfire on them.

A few days later, Alexis puts on a seance for Janet & Christine, calling Paul's spirit. & though a total hoax, it proves to be most impressive, & Alexis is professional enough to not let himself be caught cheating by Martin & Hoffman, who dash in all of a sudden. However, when they request him to make another seance in their presence - a situation he hasn't accounted for - he seems to find himself at the end of his line ... but the seance - much to his own surprise - proves to be a smaching success, as not only Paul's voice can clearly be heard, but for a moment, Paul can even be seen, before disappearing (into thin air ?).

But how ? The answer is quite simple, Paul (Donald Curtis) - a con-man in his own right - has only faked his own death, but now he wanted to get back in on the act to extract some more money from Christine, but has found Alexis' operation already running & decided this woukld be a fine bandwagon to hop on.

Their plan now involves driving Christine insane & to suicide, while Alexis is to marry Janet to get to her money - but murder was never in Alexis' bag of tricks, & he feels so at unease with their plan that he saves Christine from her first suicide attempt.

It is then that Janet finds out about Paul & Alexis' set up, involving Paul with a microphone hidden somewhere in the cellar, speaking to Christine over some speakers hidden in her room. The found- out Paul immediately wants to shoot Janet, but Alexis, having changed sides by now, catches a bullet meant for her & with his bag of tricks he uses to haunt people can divert Paul's attention from Janet long enough for the police to arrive - even if it is with his dieing breath.

 

Nicely shot & darkly lit - almost noirish in style - little spooker that has maybe one plottwist too many to stay wholly believable, but is engaging enough in story & atmosphere to stay wholly enjoyable.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD