Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

Yea, that's right. I follow my own blog. I noticed that some blogs I follow will occasionally show an old entry as if it was new. I wondered if that happened when you edit an old post, which I do from time to time. I wanted to make sure I wasn't causing unintentional action.

Rich widow Christine thinks she hears her dead husband calling her from the beach. She goes to investigate when she meets up with the Amazing Mr. X! Alexis, that is. I don't think they ever called him Mr. X anywhere in the film. It seems that Alexis knows much that is hidden. Christine is intrigued. She goes to visit Alexis for a reading. Seems he's a spiritualist.

Martin, Christine's fulling living boyfriend, is skeptical of this charlatan, and enlists the help of Janet, Christine's hottie little sister. Unfortunately, Janet isn't even as smart as Christine and also falls for Alexis' shtick. The cops tell Martin that Alexis is wanted in several states under a variety of names for swindling distraught widows.

Carole Landis was set to play the lead but decided to off herself instead. The older and less attractive Lynn Bari was cast instead. Sis Janet was played by Cathy O'Donnell, who overcame her bad acting handicap through sheer force of hotness and managed a fairly respectable career. Her film career ranged from The Best Years of our Lives to Ben-Hur. Not bad for talentless eye candy. Christine's frustrated boyfriend is played by old friend Richard Carlson, whom you may remember from Flat Top, Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space.

But today I want to focus on the career of Turhan Bey, Mister X himself. Throughout the 1940's he made himself a career playing mystical, magical, mysterious characters from the East. Then, like so many pretty faces in Hollywood, he turned 30 and was shown the proverbial door. He made a minor comeback doing TV in the 90's. His last role was as an angel in The Skateboard Kid II. He turned 89 last Wednesday.

I would categorize this movie as Thriller. IMDB uses Film-Noir and Horror, both of which I disagree with. It was on my Treeline horror collection, but I don't think it fits. I suppose I'll classify it as a mystery. Slow pace, uneven acting, low budget, and bad film quality, it turns out that it wasn't too bad. Fairly OK, in fact. Somewhat forgettable, but I'm still glad I saw it. AMRU 3.

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