Crime Ring


1h 9m 1938

Brief Synopsis

A reporter fights to expose a phony psychic ring.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cheating the Stars
Genre
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Jul 8, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Newspaper reporter Joe Ryan and District Attorney Thomas Redwine make a deal whereby Joe will have access to jailed actress Judy Allen in exchange for help on a tough racketeering case. By promising that she and her chorus girl friends, who were picked up during a nightclub raid, will be freed from jail, Joe persuades Judy to use her acting skills to impersonate a fortune-teller in an undercover operation. With assistance from ventriloquist Kitty, Judy, becomes "Haidee," a fortune-teller working out of a shop that is lined with hidden cameras and microphones. Shortly after opening for business, Buzzell, a phony private detective, shows up demanding "protection" money. In the meantime, Joe's close friend, Phoebe Sawyer, a very wealthy widow, is talked into visiting "Marvin, the Sightless Seer" by her maid. Unaware of the tricks that he is using to obtain information, the usually skeptical Phoebe is impressed by Marvin's apparent ability to "see" her life. While Marvin and his cohorts, lawyer Ray Taylor and financier Lionel Whitmore, plot to send Phoebe to a remote island and steal her fortune, Joe sets himself up as a fortune-telling dupe. Under an assumed name, Joe buys phony mining stock from a crooked securities company, saying that Haidee had sent him. Later, with Buzzell as his witness, Joe accuses Haidee of fleecing him. Although Buzzell falls for the ruse, Jenner, his immediate boss, becomes suspicious and has his henchmen, Dummy and Slim, take Joe "for a ride." Joe is saved by the police, but Redwine, realizing that the thugs's lawyer, Ray Taylor, will demand a writ of habeas corpus, decides to incarcerate them temporarily in a mental asylum. In the meantime, Whitmore hires a forger to sign Phoebe's name to papers that give Taylor power of attorney over her assets. When Joe finally hears of Phoebe's sudden voyage, however, he tells her the truth about Marvin and asks her to join the investigation. Whitmore, believing that Phoebe has sailed, has Marvin murdered and orders Taylor to liquidate her bank accounts. While Dummy and Slim are released to trap Whitmore, Phoebe confronts Taylor, who is arrested by Redwine. Judy and Kitty are kidnapped by Whitmore and taken to Phoebe's, where they eventually are found and rescued by Joe and the police.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cheating the Stars
Genre
Crime
Mystery
Release Date
Jul 8, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Cheating the Stars. Motion Picture Herald's "In the Studio's Cutting Room" adds Paul Guilfoyle, Rollo Lloyd, Vivian Oakland, Jack Carson and Fern Emmett to the cast, while Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items add Phyllis Kennedy and Helen Jerome Eddy. Their participation in the final film has not been confirmed.