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The Mind Reader

(1933 b 70')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on Vivian Cosby's play, two con artists go into fortune telling; Chandra marries, and his wife finds out he is a fake. He gives it up, but they go back to it on Park Avenue with serious consequences.

After failing at carnival tricks, Chandra (Warren William), Frank (Allen Jenkins), and Sam (Clarence Muse) go into fortune telling. Instead of burning people's questions, Frank secretly reads them to Chandra. Chandra sees a big change for Sylvia (Constance Cummings). Frank steals a purse, and Chandra promises to return it. Sylvia thanks Chandra and says she lost her job. She offers to type his letters, and he hires her. Frank warns Chandra about the Mann Act. Chandra tells Sylvia they were brought together by a universal force - love. Sylvia finds Frank reading notes to Chandra and says he is dishonest; but Chandra calls it advertising and kisses her. A police chief threatens to arrest him, but Chandra stops his pulse for two men. Chandra sees a jewelry store window broken, as Frank does it. The grateful police chief asks for a private reading. Frank shows Chandra a ring he got, and Chandra uses it to marry Sylvia. Sylvia hears Frank tell Chandra to get the ring back, or they'll go to prison. Jenny (Mayo Methot) comes in and tells Chandra he spoiled her life by saying who to marry; then she jumps to her death.

Chandra stops Sylvia from getting on a train. She says he is a lying cheat, and he promises to give it all up. Chandra tries to sell brushes door-to-door. He sees Frank working as a chauffeur. Frank and Chandra get an article printed in one newspaper, and Frank gives it to his employer. Frank gives Chandra information. Chandra as Dr. Munro does a reading for Mrs. Austin (Natalie Moorhead) for $50 and sees her husband with a girl from the follies. Mrs. Austin calls her friends. Sylvia reads of seven broken homes because of Dr. Munro. Frank gets information from Park Avenue chauffeurs. Ann Holman (Ruthelma Stevens) offers Dr. Munro $1,000, and he tells of her husband's mistress, enabling her to catch him in the apartment. Sylvia goes to Dr. Munro, as Don Holman (Earle Foxe) threatens him. Chandra pulls a gun, and in the struggle he kills Holman. Sylvia is questioned by the police and learns that Dr. Munro is her husband.

In Juarez Chandra drinks and reads of Sylvia's murder trial and her illness. He works with Frank and Sam but then admits he is crooked and shows how. Chandra goes to the New York District Attorney and confesses he killed Holman in self-defense in order to clear Sylvia. Chandra visits Sylvia in the hospital and tells her to divorce him; but she says he needs her. Chandra tells Frank and Sam he is going to prison for 2-10 years.

In this Depression story desperation leads to dishonesty. Some take the wrong advice and suffer; wives find out things their husbands don't want them to know. Seeing his wife's life endangered, Chandra finally gives up.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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