6.7/10
389
15 user 12 critic

The Mind Reader (1933)

Passed | | Action, Crime, Drama | 1 April 1933 (USA)
Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Ameicans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Robert Lord (screen play), Wilson Mizner (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Warren William ... Chandra
Constance Cummings ... Sylvia
Allen Jenkins ... Frank
Natalie Moorhead ... Mrs. Austin
Mayo Methot ... Jenny
Clarence Muse ... Sam
Earle Foxe ... Don
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Storyline

Chandler, a con-man, and his helper Frank decide to create a clairvoyant act for the carny circuit, as a little research reveals Ameicans spent $125 million on mind-readers and astrology. The carny, renamed Chandra, falls for one of his marks, Sylvia, but their love is tested when he brings tragedy to other peoples' lives and she asks him to go straight. Written by Jon C. Hopwood

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El adivino See more »

Filming Locations:

Danville, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$154,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Stephen Sondheim picked this movie as the initial film on his special night as the Turner Classic Movies programmer, March 22, 2005. The cable network TCM was honoring him on his 75th birthday. The reason for his choice was that the screenplay was by Wilson Mizner. Sondheim had been wanting to write a musical about Wilson and his brother Addison since reading Alva Johnston's biography of them, The Legendary Mizners, in 1953, but he didn't pursue the project fully till 1996. After several revisions under different titles, including WISE GUYS in 1999 and BOUNCE in 2003, the show finally opened off-Broadway in 2008 at the Public Theater in New York, entitled ROAD SHOW. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
F.R. Franklin aka Frank: [to Chandra Chandler as he's being led away to prison to serve a 2-10 year sentence] It sure is tough to be going away just when beer is coming back.
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Stephen Sondheim (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Humoresque in G
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played during the telephone montage after Mrs. Austin's session with Dr. Munro
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Performances Highlight Gem
17 March 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mind Reader, The (1933)

*** (out of 4)

Excellent performances highlight this Warner drama about a con man (Warren William) and his assistant (Allen Jenkins) who travel town to town with a circus doing various acts to bring in money. They then notice that the mind reader gag will bring in the most and soon the alias "Chandra" starts pulling people in but there's going to be a price to pay. I had heard so many positive things about this movie that it quickly became one that I searched out and thankfully got to see due to a recent TCM showing. Fans of classic cinema should certainly keep their eyes open for this one as it lives up to its reputation and also delivers some incredible performances. The film is pretty much divided into two halves with the first one dealing with various cons being performed by William. I found all of these games to be incredibly entertaining due in large part to William being able to push them over. It's very important that we believe these cons could actually be pushed over on people and William is so good here that it's never a problem. He slides into this role and never looks back and there's no a single frame in the film where we don't believe what he's doing and saying. Constance Cummings plays the woman he eventually falls in love with and the two share some great moments together and really make their love story believable. The underrated Jenkins does a very good job as well as he has several nice comic moments. The biggest surprise comes from future Bogart wife Mayo Methot who nearly steals the film as a young woman who is given bad advice and comes to let William know about it. I won't spoil what happens but it's pretty unforgettable and she really nails the part. I think the film begins to lose some of its power during the final twenty-five minutes with the last scam starts to be too big and of course there's going to be a moral lesson to pay. Up until then the film is extremely fast, fun and most important features some terrific acting. This film certainly deserves to be better known and hopefully TCM will start to show it more often.


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