21 December 2013 | bkoganbing
38 cents to her name
Paulette Goddard and Ray Milland did several films during the Forties enough they should qualify as a screen team. The Crystal Ball has them as a former beauty contest winner who is down to 38 cents to her name as she arrives in New York. She's befriended by Gladys George who is a fortune teller and also by Cecil Kellaway who runs a shooting gallery and she works for both at times.
Enter Ray Milland lawyer whose main client is Virginia Field, oil heiress and believer in the occult and various folks who make their living off the same. Goddard takes one look at Milland and decides he's the one.
Getting him away from Field will be a problem though. So in a series of Lucy like stunts she does everything she can to win Milland including accidentally giving him some inside information concerning his client's estate. And Field who has her hooks into Milland ain't giving up without a fight.
Always amusing and around is William Bendix playing Milland's chauffeur, butler, and general all around factotum. There isn't a movie or television show that he was in that something special wasn't added.
I think The Crystal Ball might have been a classic if someone like Mitchell Leisen or George Marshall had directed it. It's amusing enough, but lacks that classic spark.