The Crystal Ball (1943)

80-82 mins | Comedy | 22 January 1943

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HISTORY

During production, this film's title was changed from The Crystal Ball to Redheads Are Dangerous, and back again to The Crystal Ball. A pre-production HR news item noted that Ginger Rogers was originally considered for the lead role, while a modern source noted that Charles Boyer was intended as her co-star. The film marked Helen Walker's feature film debut. According to a HR news item, the picture was originally to close with a train sequence, but the script was rewritten as all forms of transportation were restricted due to the war. The picture was among a package of films that were produced by Paramount Pictures, Inc. and purchased by United Artists in 1942 for release under the Cinema Guild label. ...

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During production, this film's title was changed from The Crystal Ball to Redheads Are Dangerous, and back again to The Crystal Ball. A pre-production HR news item noted that Ginger Rogers was originally considered for the lead role, while a modern source noted that Charles Boyer was intended as her co-star. The film marked Helen Walker's feature film debut. According to a HR news item, the picture was originally to close with a train sequence, but the script was rewritten as all forms of transportation were restricted due to the war. The picture was among a package of films that were produced by Paramount Pictures, Inc. and purchased by United Artists in 1942 for release under the Cinema Guild label.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1942
---
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1943
p. 3
Film Daily
20 Jan 1943
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 1941
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1942
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 1942
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
3 Sep 1942
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1943
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
23 Jan 1943
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Oct 1942
p. 960
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jan 1943
p. 1125
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Mar 1943
p. 1218
New York Times
19 Feb 1943
p.22
Variety
20 Jan 1943
p. 9
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Gene Merritt
Sd rec
Sd rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
process photog
MAKEUP
Dir of makeup
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Redheads Are Dangerous
Release Date:
22 January 1943
Production Date:
20 Jul--early Sep 1942
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
United Artists Productions, Inc.
6 December 1942
LP11875
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80-82
Length(in feet):
7,324
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8686
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After her emerald ring disappears one day, wealthy New York City widow Jo Ainsley is advised by her maid to seek the help of Madame Zenobia, a medium, to find it. Unknown to Jo, her maid deliberately hid the jewel and is working with Zenobia, who tells Jo that her missing ring can be found in the drainpipe of her sink. Back at home, Jo is happy to find the emerald ring exactly where Zenobia said it would be. Later, Zenobia meets Texas beauty contestant Toni Gerard, and gets her a job as a shill at a shooting gallery run by Pop Tibbets. On her first day on the job, Toni falls in love with one of the shooting gallery customers, Brad Cavanaugh, who is Jo's attorney. After Zenobia injures herself in a fall, she drafts Toni to impersonate her at an upcoming charity ball. Before the ball, Toni is sent out to interview some of the expected guests and extract personal information about them, which she can later use at her fortune-telling booth. Her first interview is with Brad's personal valet, Biff Carter, who tells Toni that his boss has a buckshot scar on his body in the shape of a heart. During the party, Toni looks into her crystal ball and advises Brad to purchase a particular parcel of land for Jo. Zenobia, who scripted Brad's fortune, knows that the government is considering buying the land for a defense plant, and hopes to earn a profit by selling it to Jo. The next day, Toni, as herself, goes on a date with Brad, and they fall in love. Brad's good fortune runs out, ...

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After her emerald ring disappears one day, wealthy New York City widow Jo Ainsley is advised by her maid to seek the help of Madame Zenobia, a medium, to find it. Unknown to Jo, her maid deliberately hid the jewel and is working with Zenobia, who tells Jo that her missing ring can be found in the drainpipe of her sink. Back at home, Jo is happy to find the emerald ring exactly where Zenobia said it would be. Later, Zenobia meets Texas beauty contestant Toni Gerard, and gets her a job as a shill at a shooting gallery run by Pop Tibbets. On her first day on the job, Toni falls in love with one of the shooting gallery customers, Brad Cavanaugh, who is Jo's attorney. After Zenobia injures herself in a fall, she drafts Toni to impersonate her at an upcoming charity ball. Before the ball, Toni is sent out to interview some of the expected guests and extract personal information about them, which she can later use at her fortune-telling booth. Her first interview is with Brad's personal valet, Biff Carter, who tells Toni that his boss has a buckshot scar on his body in the shape of a heart. During the party, Toni looks into her crystal ball and advises Brad to purchase a particular parcel of land for Jo. Zenobia, who scripted Brad's fortune, knows that the government is considering buying the land for a defense plant, and hopes to earn a profit by selling it to Jo. The next day, Toni, as herself, goes on a date with Brad, and they fall in love. Brad's good fortune runs out, however, when a government investigator accuses him of buying the land with the intent of fleecing the government. Hoping to clear his name, Brad seeks out his fortune-telling advisor, taking Jo and Toni along with him. Toni later asks Zenobia to confess her guilt, but Zenobia, fearing trouble, locks Toni in a closet and flees. Jo finds Toni and tells her that she knows that she was working with Zenobia. Toni then threatens to tell the police about Zenobia's scheme unless the seer clears Brad's name and leaves town. With the help of Biff's intervention, however, Brad and Toni are reunited, and they embrace and kiss.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.