Friday, February 11, 2011

The Clairvoyant



The Clairvoyant is a film you probably have never heard of unless you are a fan of Claude Rains or Fay Wray. Or you just happened to have come across somehow. One day I was looking around Amazon to see what Fay Wray films are available on DVD and The Clairvoyant came up. The plot sounded interesting and Claude Rains is in the film as well so that did not hurt. Luckily I did not have to buy the DVD or even download it, I recently bought an app on my iPhone called Movie Vault which contains hundreds of old movies. The app does not have popular films the films are ones that could be considered cult hits or not the best.
            Rains plays a phony psychic named Maximus who along with his wife Rene (Fay Wray) perform mind reading shows in English music halls. Rene stands next to plants in the audience and Maximus pretends to read their minds. When Rene does not get to the balcony in time Maximus focuses on a young woman named Christina Shaw in the audience. All of the sudden he is able to go into a real psychic trance.
            Later on, Maximus, Rene, and Maximus’ mother are on a train. They run into Christine and all of sudden Maximus predicts the train will be in a terrible accident. He pulls the emergency switch stopping the train. The psychic, his wife, and mother along with Christine exit the train. When they arrive at a train control center they hear of the train’s crash. Christine’s father owns a newspaper. She convinces him to run Maximus’ story. The story makes Maximus famous.
            Maximus’ next predition is of a horse race. The horse he picks wins. After the race he is invited to a gentleman’s club to give a speech. Christine goes to the club even though she is not supposed to be there. He sees his mother’s face on hers for a moment; his mother will. She dies trying to stop him from using his powers.
            The psychic’s third vision gets him into serious trouble.
            I found The Clairvoyant- though short and not many things excellently explained- to be entertaining. This is an early British sound film so it is not as good as many American films being made at the time. Claude Rains never fails to give a great performance. You can believe him to be a phony clairvoyant who loves his wife. Fay Wray was a great actress and she was so pretty. It is a shame (and not a total shame) that she will always be known as Ann Darrow from King Kong, Ann just screamed all the time which did not allow Wray to act with lines too much. She was very good as Rains’ wife Rene. It was sad to see her so upset with Christine always hanging around her husband.
            The Clairvoyant is a film to watch if you are into film history. The film is a bit suspenseful and interesting to sit through. It is available to view on Youtube in full