6.3/10
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16 user 11 critic

Miracles for Sale (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery | 14 August 1939 (USA)
Retired performer Mike Morgan sells original illusions to fellow magicians, and although he believes in the supernatural, likes to expose sham psychics. This involves him in some mysterious murders.

Director:

Tod Browning

Writers:

Harry Ruskin (screen play), Marion Parsonnet (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Young ... Michael Morgan
Florence Rice ... Judy Barclay
Frank Craven ... Dad Morgan
Henry Hull ... Dave Duvallo
Lee Bowman ... La Claire
Cliff Clark Cliff Clark ... Inspector Gavigan
Astrid Allwyn ... Mrs. Zelma La Claire
Walter Kingsford ... Colonel Watrous
Frederick Worlock ... Dr. Sabbatt (as Frederic Worlock)
Gloria Holden ... Madame Rapport
William Demarest ... Quinn
Harold Minjir ... Tauro
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Storyline

Mike Morgan creates the illusions that magicians use in their shows. While his business is Miracles for Sale, his hobby is exposing fake spiritualists. At the club, he is invited to attend the calling from the other world by Sabbatt, but Judy wants Mike to help her instead. Later that night, after spoiling an attempt on the life of Judy, and meeting Madame Rapport, Mike goes to Sabbatt's hotel only to find the doors chained from the inside and a strange voice speaking. Busting in, he finds Sabbatt strangled. While there seems to be no way for anyone from this world to commit the murder, it is only the first murder. Mike must find the how and why before Judy becomes the third and final victim. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Season's Surprise Hit! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuda na sprzedaz See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Michael Morgan seems to be loosely based on Houdini, who created illusions for his own magic act (Morgan merely sells them to others) and made a life-long dedication to exposing fake psychics and mediums. See more »

Goofs

One scene shows Morgan having some fun with a waiter by making sugar bowls disappear and reappear. The first time he does the trick it is cleverly executed, but the second and third time it is clearly accomplished with a camera effect instead of actual slight-of-hand. See more »

Quotes

Dad Morgan: [indicating the sign on his son's shop, "Miracles for Sale"] Well, if you wanted to go into business, why didn't you open a butcher shop? Now, selling meat's a business, but, selling miracles - that's monkey business.
See more »

Soundtracks

Comin' through the Rye
(uncredited)
Traditional
Lyrics from Robert Burns poem (1782]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good But Hardly Great
11 November 2004 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

I am no scholar of Tod Browning. Therefore, it's not clear to me why his career seems to have ended so early and with this movie. It's a mystery, with a bit of comedy and quite a bit of romance.

Robert Young is excellent in the lead role, and he is not an actor I ever liked much. The supporting cast is superb. The spooky looking Gloria Holden is especially effective, though listed way down in the credits.

This man directed Dracula, a very famous movie, and Freaks, a unique and endlessly fascinating movie. Why did his career end within the same decade as those two? This is, despite its name leads, a programmer. The late 1930s and the 1940s were filled with hybrids like this. Not much of a swan song, I'd say.


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