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The Great Flamarion

The Great Flamarion(1945)

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In 1936, a performance in a Mexico City vaudeville hall is interrupted by the sound of gunshots emanating from backstage. After the body of Connie Wallace, one of the performers, is found, the police investigate and arrest Eddie Wheeler, her husband, for strangling her. Following the departure of the police, Tony, the clown, is collecting his stage props when a man with gunshot wounds falls from the rafters. Tony recognizes the man as "The Great Flamarion," a former vaudeville marksman renowned for his skill. Certain that he will die before the police arrive, Flamarion reveals to Tony why he, and not Eddie, murdered Connie: Some time before in Pittsburgh, Flamarion worked the vaudeville circuit, with Connie and her then husband, Al Wallace, as his assistants. Connie, a scheming confidence woman always searching for an angle, tires of Al, who is weak and perpetually drunk. Determined to better her situation by using Flamarion, Connie entraps him in a love affair, seducing him despite his long-standing mistrust of women. While Connie is trying to convince Flamarion that Al must be killed because he will never divorce her, she is also having an affair with Eddie, who does a bicycle act on the same bill with them. One night, Connie finally persuades Flamarion to kill Al, and the following Saturday, Flamarion shoots Al during a performance. The coroner's inquest determines that Al was drunk during the show and that Flamarion killed him accidentally. The love-addled Flamarion wants to leave immediately with Connie, but she tells him that they must wait to avoid arousing suspicion. Instructing him to meet her in Chicago in three months, Connie tells Flamarion that she is going to live with her mother, but actually, she leaves with Eddie for a year-long tour of Central America, during which time they are married. Three months later, Flamarion arrives at the appointed meeting place and is crushed when Connie does not appear. He discovers that the address she gave him for her mother does not exist and then begins searching for her. After Flamarion has lost all his money and has even pawned his prized pistols, he learns from Cleo, another performer, that Connie is in Mexico City with Eddie. Flamarion travels there and confronts Connie in her backstage dressing room. Connie desperately tries to convince Flamarion that it has all been a mistake and that she will go away with him, but the weary marksman knows that she is lying again. Although she wrests his gun away from him and shoots him, he strangles her before climbing to the rafters to hide. His story finished, Flamarion dies in Tony's arms as the police arrive.