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Phantoms, Inc. (1945)

Approved | | Short, Crime, Drama | 9 June 1945 (USA)
This Crime Does Not Pay short subject tells the lesson of how confidence men pray on emotions and insecurities with the story of the mother of a missing soldier who is conned out of her money when seeking comfort from a fake spiritualist.

Director:

Harold Young

Writers:

Brainerd Duffield (original story), Edward Bock (screenplay)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Dorothy Adams ... Dr. Trykel's Associate (uncredited)
Morris Ankrum ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
King Baggot ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Wally Cassell ... Philip Murray Kenneson Jr. (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Detective Lester (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Gus Conklin (uncredited)
Lloyd Ingraham ... High School Principal (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Butcher (uncredited)
Frank Reicher ... Philip Kenneson Sr. (uncredited)
Arthur Shields ... Dr. Rupert Trykel (uncredited)
Ann Shoemaker ... Martha Kenneson (uncredited)
Crane Whitley Crane Whitley ... Inspector Becker (uncredited)
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Storyline

The police have files on many different types of con artists, among them fake spiritualists or psychics who prey upon the desperation of individuals looking for information as comfort. One specific individual for which they have a file is Dr. Rupert Trykel, who called himself a spiritualist, but who was really a shyster. He had stable of associates who acted both as his faithful followers to their marks, but also as researchers who dug up the most basic of information on those marks to use to feed back to the mark at their sessions. One of his marks was Mrs. Martha Kenneson, who was desperate for information on her son, Philip Kenneson Jr., a soldier who had been listed as MIA for six months when she first went to see Trykel. As desperate as Mrs. Kenneson was to find out information about her son, for which she would continually and somewhat happily pay for more and more, people like Dr. Trykel, who work just within the law, are equally desperate: desperate to maintain their con and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime Does Not Pay (#45): Phantoms, Inc. See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows Hit-and-Run Driver (1935) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Psychics are scum.
24 November 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This installment of the Crime Does Not Pay series is a warning to the public about the evils of psychics--though the story is indeed an extreme one. It begins with a grieving couple whose son has died. The wife insists that they consult a psychic and they are told some general things which please the grieving mother. At first, her husband (Frank Reicher) goes along with this but he soon realizes she's spending a fortune to get information from the psychics which anyone could know if they researched the family (which the psychic, played by Arthur Shields*, and his confederates did do). When the husband confronts the psychic, a fight occurs and soon the bodies start piling up!

This is a violent and exciting film. Hopefully it also warned some would-be victims about this racket, though I tend to believe that folks wanting to believe will usually believe--no matter what evidence you show them. Regardless, it's well made and worth seeing.

*Arthur Shields is actually the brother of Barry Fitzgerald and you can see the similarity between them--if you know to look!


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