Originally posted by Robert Allen:
- name unknown- This was a 30's ish movie. I can't recall the name of the movie or any of the actors so I can't look it up in IMDB, but it was about a state magician who discovers he has the ability to hypnotise people. Several tragic events happen as the result and I think he ends up a broken man, but again I haven't seen this for 30 years.. The name Svengali comes to kind, but I don't know if this is that movie.
The name of the movie you're thinking of is The Clairvoyant (aka The Evil Mind) released in 1934. In this summary from IMDB we read --
Maximus is a low budget trickster who puts on a fake clairvoyant act with his young wife Rene. Act turns to reality when, in the presence of another young lady(Christine), he starts to make startlingly correct predictions. His name becomes famous and he gets richer as he correctly predicts a train wreck and the Darby winner. Being around Christine so much causes jealousy to flare in his wife. He only manages to hold on to Rene by promising to stop using his clairvoyance. But then he abruptly predicts a horrific mining accident with 200 deaths. He attempts to warn the miners himself but they reluctantly return to work. When the accident does occur, Maximus finds himself on trial as its cause.
Here's the cast:
Claude Rains as Maximus
Fay Wray as Rene
Mary Clare as Mother
Ben Field as Simon
Jane Baxter as Christine Shawn
Athole Stewart as Lord Southwood
C. Denier Warren as J.J. Bimeter
I've have a VHS copy of the film and am fascinated by it because it dwells on the system work of the Maximus and Rene. Humorous blunders and missteps are part of their fledgling act until... DUH-DUH-DUN!
You can rent it from some of those indie movie rental places.