“This gift, which I never asked for and don’t understand, has brought me only unhappiness!”
A carnival mentalist (Edward G. Robinson) soon discovers that he has legitimate psychic powers, and is distressed to learn that he can predict tragic events. When he foresees the violent, imminent death of an heiress (Gail Russell), Russell’s concerned boyfriend (John Lund) suspects foul play — but Robinson remains determined to protect Russell at any cost.
This nifty little B-thriller (directed by John Farrow, Mia’s dad) packs a powerful wallop, offering plenty of suspense and tension in its 81-minute running time. Edward G. Robinson is remarkably sympathetic as an unwitting psychic who’d rather not be able to see into the future, and who resists exploitation at any cost — indeed, he’s essentially a tragic hero, given that his powers cost him his fiancee (Virginia Bruce), his integrity (no one believes him), and any chance at a normal, happy life. Gail Russell (does any actress have more expressive eyes?) is perfectly cast as a brooding heiress with much on her mind; we genuinely fear for her safety. John Seitz’s stark b&w cinematography adds to the rich atmosphere of the tale, which may lack standard noir tropes but offers a similarly bleak, fate-ridden take on the world.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Edward G. Robinson as John Triton
- Gail Russell as Jean
- John Seitz’s noirish cinematography
Yes, as an all-around “good show”.