The Evil Mind
At what point does ambition turn to addiction? In "The Evil Mind" (1934), Claude Rains plays Maximus, a charlatan psychic who unexpectedly experiences true clairvoyant visions that bring him wealth and fame—and threaten to tear his life apart. Despite the urgings of his wife, played by the lovely Fay Wray, he can't seem to break free from the source of his psychic powers: a mysterious woman with whom he feels an inexplicable bond.
Starring 20th Century powerhouse actors, "The Evil Mind" (a.k.a. "The Clairvoyant") is a must-see for any fan of vintage films. Though Fay Wray's breakthrough role was in the 1928 silent film, "The Wedding March", she's best known for her immortal performance as Ann Darrow, King Kong's blonde and quite audibly shrieking love-interest, the role that earned her the honor of being the Original Scream Queen long before Janet Leigh ever hit the showers. (After her death in 2005, the Empire State building extinguished its light for a full 15 minutes in tribute of her passing.) Yet as the warm and elegant Rene, Wray sans gorilla is perhaps even more to fun to watch—and to hear: when she isn't screaming you can enjoy the classic elocution that helped her transition successfully from silent films to talkies.
Claude Rains is another compelling reason to make time for "The Evil Mind". More often recognized today for his appearance as the corrupt but affable Captain Renault in "Casablanca" (1942), the British native started young in theater and, after fighting in WWI, he attended acting lessons and established himself as a leading stage actor who taught a young Lawrence Olivier and John Gielgud at the Royal Academy. He emigrated to the States and in 1933 "appeared" as the mad scientist in Universal's "The Invisible Man". Despite the attempts of Universal execs to typecast him as a horror guy, he went on to play a wide range of characters in 40 or so films that included several notable titles: "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), "Now Voyager" (1942), "Phantom of the Opera" (1943), "Notorious" (1946), "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962), and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965).
Stephen SheppardClinical psychologist Stephen Sheppard of the University of Utah Drug and Alcohol Clinic discusses addiction and the film “The Evil Mind.”
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