Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A couple of Constance Cummings movies I've briefly mentioned before

Tomorrow's star in TCM's Summer Under the Stars is Constance Cummings. There are a couple of interesting movies airing that I saw years ago but haven't seen in ages, and have only given the one-paragraph treatment to elsehwere in the blog.

First up is The Mind Reader, at 9:00 AM. This one stars Warren William in the title role, playing a carnival phony mind reader tricking the small-town folks. Cummings plays one of those small town denizens, sees the act and falls in love with William, only to try to get him to go straight when she realizes his act is a fake. He tries, but soon learns it's easier to make a living as a phony mind reader to the bored housewives with money to burn. As I said four years ago when TCM ran this movie for Warren William's day in Summer Under the Stars, Stephen Sondheim picked it when he was a Guest Programmer back in 2005, which is when I first saw the movie. I can't recall whether I've watched any of the TCM showings since then. I'm not even certain how many there have been.

Later, at 6:30 PM, there's a movie that might be even more obscure, The Guilty Generation. Cummings plays the daughter of one of those upper-class gangsters, the kind that decamp to Florida like Lew Ayres' character in The Doorway to Hell. It's there that she meets architect Robert Young. He's taken up architecture largely to get away from his family's legacy, since his father is a gangster, too. As you can guess, the two fall in love, which presents all sorts of problems since the families (at least the fathers; there's a sympathetic grandmother) don't like the idea. You can see the ending coming a mile away, but it's still an interesting enough movie.

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