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THE MYSTIC (1925)


gagman66
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:) Somewhat obscure Tod Browning feature with Aileen Pringle and Conway Tearle. This was a really enjoyable film. Perhaps not quite as macabre as many of Browning's other typically bizarre productions. Some of the story seems to be missing, maybe a reel in between, but it is still holds up alright. My first glimpse I believe of Miss Pringle who was coming off big hits with Elinor Gliyn's *SIX WEEKS (1924),* as well as King Vidor's *HIS HOUR* and *WIFE OF THE CENTAUR* with John Gilbert that same year.

 

A Suspenseful programmer, about a group of con artists, who go from small time circus side shows with their spooky physic act, to ripping off unsuspecting upper crust society folk. Michael Nash (Tearle) a crafty thief, is the mastermind who co-heir's a shady Gypsy troop into being his partners in crime. The lovely Zara (Pringle) whom he falls in love with, is the lynch-pin to his schemes. "The Mystic" who is soon revered for her amazing power to contact the spirit world. She rises to quick heights of fame.

 

All is going well, when Michael suddenly has some unexpected misgivings on running away with the inheritance of a young woman Doris Merrick (Gladys Hulette) who he actually respects. Zara suspects that there is more to her and Michael's relationship than her being his self appointed personal protector, and the old green eyed monster rears it's ugly head. Meantime, the girls legal guardian Bradshaw (David Torrence) has gotten wise to the whole business and alerts the authorities. Zara Fox's Michael, but He convinces her that his Love is genuine, and the couple plan to give the loot back to Doris. But fellow miscreants Zazarack and Anton (Mitchell Lewis and Robert Ober), don't buy the change of heart, and demand their un-fair share. Just then the police storm in and kayos ensues! Have had this movie for about 3 years, but had never gotten around to looking at it before.

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Prince,

 

I doubt that this is one of the first remaining MGM Silents that Warner's/TCM would consider pulling out of the vaults. Aileen Pringle is not well known at all today, even among Silent film fans. As I said, this was the first time I had ever seen her outside of still photos. Plus the film is missing a chunk of the story in the middle. Tod Browning as director would need to be the selling point.

 

All of last year we only got one new MGM Silent. That being Rex Ingram's *THE MAGICIAN* in March. I hope there will be a few others in 2011. To be fair, there were many other Silent premier's and returns of several films not aired in many years. Rather than *THE MYSTIC,* I would prefer to see *HIS HOUR,* or if it exists, *WIFE OF THE CENTAUR.*

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