The Strange Mr. Gregory (1946)

THE STRANGE MR. GREGORY (1946)
(a.k.a. THE GREAT MYSTIC)
Article #1697 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-6-2005
Posting Date: 4-5-2006
Directed by Phil Rosen
Featuring Edmund Lowe, Jean Rogers, Frank Reicher

A hypnotist-magician experimenting with suspended animation falls in love with a married woman. When she rejects him, he plots to fake his own death in order to frame her husband for murder.

This starts out pretty good; Edmund Lowe (who has played magician-hypnotists before in CHANDU THE MAGICIAN and THE SPIDER) is a lot of fun to watch in the title role. Unfortunately, the script isn’t quite as good as it could have been, and the movie loses steam in the second half. Part of the problem is that some of the story elements just don’t make much sense; in particular, I’m not sure what Gregory’s motivation is for his testimony at the murder trial (disguised as his own brother), or why he found it necessary to murder the one person he does. I’m also unsure of the extent of Gregory’s power; he apparently has a little ability with black magic, but he doesn’t appear to be using it in any consistent fashion. It’s at its best when Lowe is on the screen, but we see less and less of him as the story progresses.

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