THE AMAZING MR X
US, 1948, 78 minutes, Black and white.
Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O' Donnell, Richard Carlson, Donald Curtis.
Directed by Bernard Vorrhaus.
1. Stylish B-budget film noir? The late 1940s?
2. The mansion, the sea and the cliffs, the beach? The interiors? Alexis’ home and the interiors? The devices for the spiritualist? Costumes and fashion? The musical score?
3. The title, the focus on Alexis, his appearance, his ability to appear and disappear, his manner, charm, speaking? The spiritualist and psychic? The audience being impressed as were the characters? The detective wanting to expose him? The audience learning of his devices, his cameras, his screens, his ability to appear suddenly, the turban hiding the microphone in his ear, the closed safe and the device to get out the back, recordings and images?
4. Christine’s story, her age and experience, wealth, Paul and his death, her grief? His music? Martin as a lawyer? His manner, the proposal, the ring? Yet her brooding, walking along the beach, the encounter with Alexis, his understanding what had happened to her? His card, the decision to visit, his comfort, explanations? Her wariness about Martin? The voices and the music in the house? The ghostly presence? Her relationship with Janet, the younger sister, confiding in her?
5. Janet, younger, the bond with Christine, discussions with Martin, going to the detective? The decision to visit Alexis, the pretence, writing her question, forgetting her identity, listening to Alexis, his understanding of her, charmed, Martin and the detective waiting and her walking past, her devotion to him?
6. Paul, not dead, the murder of his previous wife, his plans for Christine, setting up the recordings in the basement, the music, his voice, ghostly appearances? His appearance at Alexis’s house, timely, using Alexis and the threat to expose him? Alexis to court Janet, the murder of Christine, Janet’s inheritance?
7. Martin, started lawyer, love for Christine, with the detective, the testing of Alexis, Paul’s appearance? Janet finding him in the crisis? Coming for Christine?
8. The detective, exposing the spiritualist, the visit, Paul’s appearance?
9. Alexis, his assistant, her getting all the information, his finding it? His shrewdness in reading people? His being trapped by Paul, agreeing? The attraction to Janet? Christine falling down the cliff, his helping to rescue her? Confronting Paul, donning the black clothes, shooting, threats to Paul? His being shot, turning out the electricity, dying in Janet’s
10. Christine, the final confrontation with Paul, believing him, going down the path, drugged, falling down the cliff, rescued and saved?