The Veil – The Crystal Ball (1958)

vcrystalball05Frenchies Edmond Valier and Marie are have a tête-à-tête, french for sucking face big time.  Valier says, “What would I do without you?” and Marie tells him he’ll have to figure that out because she is getting married.  If that isn’t bad enough, she is marring his publisher / employer Charles Montcour because he is rich. This couldn’t have come up a little earlier?


She insists they can still be friends, however — just what every guy wants to hear.  In fact, she was nice enough to buy him a going away present.  She opens a case and hands him a crystal ball.  If it’s blue, then he will have a set of three.  She says, “It is a symbol of the future, and to commemorate our past.”

After Marie leaves, he looks for an appropriate place for the ball.  Fortunately, just outside his door there is a stand that seems to have been designed specifically for a crystal ball. As he gazes at the ball, his uncle Andre (Boris Karloff) arrives.  Andre proclaims the crystal ball to be like Marie, “Lovely, but quite useless.”


We are 7-10 splitsville.

Andre suggests that Valier get right back on the whores again and that he has just the little black book to help him. In fact Uncle Andre has a date that night, which I really don’t want to even think about.  Shudder.

Somehow, Valier ends up in the humiliating position of having tea with his former girlfriend and her fiancee (i.e. his publisher) who is pressing him to produce a new book.  Valier says, “If it doesn’t come, it doesn’t come” possibly explaining Marie’s switch to team-Montcour.  After Montcour goes on and on about how lucky he was to take Marie from Valier, he says that he is going to London and Amsterdam for two weeks and that he would like Valier to keep Marie company.

Valier has writer’s block despite having been handed several cuck-porn scenarios, so goes out into the garden to gaze into the crystal ball.  In the ball, he sees Montcour kissing Marie goodbye.  He is so distracted that he is soon surrounded by crumpled up paper. This seems to be set before typewriters, so his hand must be very sore from the writing.  Or maybe his hand is sore because it is tissue paper. [1]

vcrystalball22Andre comes again to visit Valier who is exhausted and unshaven.  He has brought the crystal ball into the house. He is concerned that he is going insane because he can see Marie in the crystal ball.  He is so busy that he never gets around to visiting Marie before Montcour returns to town.

Montcour, the man Marie dumped Valier for, now accuses Valier of shacking up with Marie while he was out of town.  Valier admits that Marie has been having an affair, but with yet another man in Paris.  Every day while Montcour was gone, she went to see him.


Charles does not believe him, but Valier says that he witnessed it.  As proof, he shows Charles the crystal ball.  Valier sees Marie kissing the other man, but Montcour can’t see anything.  They go to Paris and find Marie with the other man.

vcrystalball37That night, Valier smashes the crystal ball.  The end.


  • [1] See, I mean he was masturbating.  Masturbating because his girlfriend left him. Just masturbating and masturbating and masturbating all day into tissues.
  • Available on YouTube.

The Veil – The Doctors (1958)

vdoctors01In a small Italian shack in a small Italian village, a mamasan or mamacita[1] or whatever the hell they have in Italy is praying hysterically. The bambina Francesca is sick. The womenfolk call for the menfolk to go get the doctor while they weep and pray hysterically.

Dr. Carlo Marcabienti (Boris Karloff) [2] is being visited by his son Angelo Marcabienti (nobody).  Angelo is also a doctor, but a city slicker who regards his father’s patients as peasants, whereas his kindly father regards the peasants as patients.  His father’s maid Maria suggests young Angelo could take his father’s place in the village.  Having been off the farm, he is far happier in the city working at a slick hospital with cool sterile equipment and hot sterile nurses.

Carlo’s driver Giuseppe takes him on a shack-call to a local hypochondriac. While he is away, Angelo tries to convince Maria to tell Carlo he should retire and go to live with in the city with him.  They are interrupted by Tony Bianchi who wishes the doctor to check on his sister Francesca.  Since Carlo is out, Angelo offers to go see her. When Carlo gets back from his call, he sends Giuseppe to give Angelo a ride back since there are gale-force winds outside.

vdoctors14The simple Bianchi family are wary of this whippersnapper looking at Francesca.  They seem to have a hard time accepting that the young man is a doctor.  He examines the child and determines that she requires immediate surgery despite having no insurance. Her father refuses to allow the procedure, still insisting that she needs the real doctor.

When Giuseppe arrives, Angelo sends him right back to get his father.  Carlo arrives and Angelo tells him his diagnosis is diphtheria.  Angelo complains, “What’s wrong with these peasants?  A child choking to death for lack of a simple tracheotomy and they wouldn’t let me touch her!”  Carlo never says a word.  He draws the curtain and he and Angelo get to work.

After the operation, the family rushes in to see Francesca and Carlo returns home. Back at casa de Marcabienti, Angelo thanks his father for showing up when he did.  But Carlo says he has been snoozing all this time.

He wasn’t the only one.


  • [1] Hours of research reveal that mamasan actually refers to an Asian pimp, and mamacita does not refer to a mother, but to a hot tamale.  The phrase I couldn’t remember, mamma mia, is the only correct usage of the bunch.  But I didn’t see the movie.
  • [2] I’ve gained a new respect for Karloff’s acting ability after only four episodes of this series. He has played a variety of characters and not lazily fallen back on his creepy reputation. However, he made zero effort at an Italian accent here. I can only assume that is why they loaded him up with the most Italian moniker since Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The Veil – Food on the Table (1958)

veilfood15Strange things afoot:

  • This was the third episode blogged, but first watched because Amazon screwed up the episode order and descriptions.
  • Boris Karloff had a mustache in the introduction, but did not in the episode.
  • Karloff is credited as Capt. John Elwood on IMDb, but when his first mate enters his cabin, Karloff addresses him as Mr. Elwood.

As he is packing for the end of this trip, we see a snake slither into Karloff’s suitcase.  I would have expected a Captain to have a duffel bag or steamer trunk, but I guess he knows luggage like only a man who has been to sea can.  He asks the crewman — who he now calls Logan — to take the suitcase to his house as he has to stop by the office to file a report.

veilfood25Elwood’s wife had heard that the ship had been struck with the plague. Logan assures her that it was no plague, merely a hurricane and an infestation of poisonous snakes that both came aboard in Florida.  Two men died and 3 others survived being bitten.

We see that Elwood has made time to drop by The Captain’s Harbor Inn before going home to Mrs. Elwood.  As he is regaling the other old salts with the story of the snakes and hurricane, lovely serving wench Bessie enters with a tray of drinks.  He says he missed her most of all and smacks her on the ass, which seems pretty racy for 1950’s TV (although not so titillating when performed by Boris Karloff).

veilfood1Things get frosty pretty quickly when Ruth Elwood comes to the Inn to purchase a bottle of wine.  Bessie tells her the Captain might be late as he is hanging out with the guys. Ruth can tell by the long table set up for a party that he won’t be home for dinner.  When Elwood spots her, he accuses her of spying on him and tells her, “to expect me when you see me.”  He closes the door on her like Michael Corleone.  She responds by angrily yanking off the tablecloth, sending all the dishes crashing to the floor.

Back at casa de Elwood, he tears into his wife for humiliating him in front of his friends. She apologizes, but Elwood says he is “sick of your apologies, sick of your excuses, sick of you, Ruth!”  He says he’s felt trapped since marrying her, and that he only married her to get money for a ship.  She gets very emotional, and it really is kind of heartbreaking.  She did love him even though her friends laughed at her for being duped.  She is worried now about “drying up into a bitter old woman.” [1] She begs for them to start fresh.  “Help me,” she pleads.

veilfood2Oh my God.  How could this get any more tragic for her?  Oh yeah, she reaches into his suitcase, a snake bites her, and she dies.

Correction — surprisingly, Ruth is still alive after the commercial.  Even she is surprised that John did not let her die so that he could be free.  She takes it as a sign that they can have a fresh start.  In his face, you can see, “WTF was I thinking?”

He heads down to the Inn where he hears the Widow Smith had an uncle die and leave her £20,000.  Back at home, he is suddenly very attentive to Ruth, even asking her to come along on his next voyage.  She does come with him, but soon is sea-sick, and later, sea-dead. [2]

veilfood3After a respectable year, Elwood feels he can get on with his life.  The Widow Smith has been dropping by, and tonight he is attending a dinner for his former first mate who is now a captain.  As the group is preparing to go to the table, all the dishes crash to the floor just as when Ruth had done it a year ago.  Bessie is suspected, but resets the table.  This time, as the group watches, the dishes are again flung to the floor.

All the men turn to Elwood, suspecting that this is the work of the ghost of his dead wife and that he must have killed her.  His next ship sinks with one casualty — Capt. John Elwood.


  • [1] Note that, by the actors’ ages, Ruth is 32 years younger than her husband.  If this were remade in the 21st Century, she would be playing his mother.
  • [2] In a moment of blatant exposition, Elwood opens a drawer and pulls out a bottle for no other reason than to show the viewer.  Even better, the bottle has a skull & crossbones and the label just says POISON.  Who would buy this product?  When exactly do you think, “Need me some poison.”
  • IMDb and YouTube.

The Veil – Girl on the Road (1958)

An Edsel cruises by a sporty little number by the side of the road.  Her stalled car is also pretty sporty [1].  John Prescott takes a look under the hood.  Not seeing a big on/off switch, he is as baffled as I would be.  Unlike my typical situation, however, the first words out of Lila’s mouth are not “I have a boyfriend.” Thinking maybe she is just out of gas, he dips a stick in her gas hole. He finds it bone-dry so pushes her car literally an additional 2 inches off of the road, crumpling her license plate.[2]

They head over to the Roadside Inn for a couple of martinis.  When Lila sees the bartender making a call and hears the name Morgan Debs, she tells John they have to leave.  She makes him drop her off at a garage, but tells him to meet her at Lookout Point at 9:00.

That night, John parks at Overlook Point.  Soon, Lila emerges from the trees.  She tells John she has always loved this spot.  “It is here that I brought all my problems, here that I came to celebrate my small triumphs.[1]”  But one night something terrible happened, she says. Just then, wheelchair-bound Morgan Debs (Boris Karloff) rolls up.  He’s in a car, but veilgirlroad18he still rolls up; just not in the wheelchair.

John goes to Debs’ car.  Debs tells him the woman he was to meet here will not show up; that she agrees John should go on his way.  John tells the old man that Lila is here with him now.  When he looks back at the car, though, it is empty.  John dutifully goes to the police station. The sheriff is no help, so John goes to see the mechanic where Lila took her car.  He also knows nothing.  The trip isn’t in vain though as John gets clubbed senseless.

When he awakens the next morning, he takes the inn-side road back to the Roadside Inn.  He roughs up the bartender to get Lila’s address.  He goes to her home and is welcomed in by Lila’s mother.  She says Lila is in her room upstairs and goes to get her.

While waiting, John looks at a photo of Lila.  He is shocked when he sees Morgan Debs roll in to the living room; although less shocked than if he had been in the car again. Debs admits he ordered his chauffeur to beat him.  Then he reveals that Lila has been dead for three years.  She drove her car off Lookout Point killing her and leaving Debs in a wheelchair.  veilgirlroad08Debs produces some old newspaper clippings that describe Lila’s death.  Judging by the 5,000 point font, she is apparently the only person ever to die in this town.

Debs says this happened once before.  She appeared at the site of her death, then disappeared.  He says he had hoped this time would be the end of it.  Well how does he know this isn’t the end of it?  Lila’s mother was driven mad by her daughter’s death. That explains why she claimed Lila was upstairs.  Having the crazy-lady live in a 2-story house with her caretaker in a wheelchair seems to be just asking for trouble.  “I’ve fallen and you can’t get up.”

John describes the Triumph that Lila was driving.  Debs confirms that was her car, but says it has been lying at the base of Lookout Point for three years.  John goes to see for himself and finds the Triumph with the same crumpled license plate; though covered by cigarette butts, whiskey bottles and used condoms.

Pretty dull outing made entertaining by the lovely Eve Brent.  Sadly her scenery-chewing co-star Tod Andrews gets much more screen time.  She really is something special though, as is the TR3.  Otherwise, it is just another retelling of the old urban legend. Maybe not so old at the time, but that won’t help current viewers.


There was also a dude in this episode


  • [1] A 1955 Triumph TR3.
  • [2] Lila’s license plate is LK-333. For such a random set of characters, it shows up in a lot of places: Swatches, toilet brush wallmounts, hand lotion dispensers, art, real estate, and padlocks.
  • Written and directed by George WaGGner, screenwriter of The Wolf Man.
  • IMDb and YouTube.

The Veil – Vision of Crime (1958)


Hey, I’m over here!

Now this is what I like — 10 episodes, I’m in and out.  The Veil had studio trouble and was produced for only one partial season that never aired. [1]

Pharmacist Hart Bosworth has had a busy day at the apothecary and is closing up his shop when a woman enters with a gun — an Rx for disaster.  She puts two slugs into Bosworth.

At that same moment, aboard a ship 150 miles away, his brother George is preparing for bed.  As he goes to wash up, the water in the bowl begins swirling.  In the cloudy water, he sees a hand draw a pistol. As with every mystical entity from Gandalf to Obi-Wan, key information is withheld. Rather than the image identifying the shooter, he gets an over the shoulder view of a mystery figure shooting his brother.  He might as well have looked in the other bowl with swirling water.

He runs to the captain and asks him to turn the ship back to Dover.  That is quite impossible, but he does let Bosworth off at the next port and he catches another ship back.


No, right in front of you!

Sgt. Willmore (Boris Karloff) is inspecting the scene of the crime. Bosworth was shot through the heart and the cash drawer is empty.  He acts like it is a Holmesian act of deduction to rule this a robbery.  An ear-witness, Mrs. Klink, heard the shots at 9:45.[2]

Mrs. Klink finally gets around to saying she saw the shooter.  She saw Albert Ketch running from the shop.  The constable “rounds up” Ketch which I’m not sure you can do to a single person.  He claims he was just at the shop to collect on a bet.

The next day, George returns to see his fiancee Julie.  She confirms George’s vision that his brother was murdered.  She tells him Ketch has been arrested, but he seems strangely confident that Ketch didn’t do it.  When she asks how he knows that, he refuses to tell her; or us.  Julie wisely advises him to pipe down with the magic water bowl talk lest people think he is crazy.


We’re back here!  Follow my voice!

George goes back to the shop where Willmore and the constable are still investigating.  He tells them Ketch had nothing to do with it, but they are also skeptical.  The constable believes George is behind his brother’s murder as he is the sole heir to his estate.

At a local pub, Mrs. Klink tells George that she also saw his fiancee Julie go to the shop before the gunshots.  You might think think that would have come up in talking to the police.  She describes Julie as a scheming social climber.

Julie finally confesses to George that she killed his brother.  Now that he has inherited the apothecary, they can afford get married, and also score some Oxy.  She felt that the other women were laughing at her for not being married, that she might get another chance.  BTW, the actress was an elderly 26 in this episode.


Turn around, dumbass!

Maybe she’s right.  With his new-found wealth, George turns her in; then probably goes after a younger woman.

A fairly dull outing which does not leave me excited about nine more episodes.  There were highlights, though.  Karloff played gave a good comedic performance that I did not know he was capable of. The supporting cast was all good, except Robert Hardy as George. He had a very strange style where he rarely looked people in the eye as they spoke — no wonder he was a suspect.  In conversations, he would usually look up and to the side or stand with his back to the other person.

I also question whether it was a good choice to reveal to the audience who the killer was. It was a little bit of a giveaway anyhow because the killer’s dainty little hand in the vision indicated either a woman or Donald Trump.  I guess this is how he was so sure that Ketch was not the killer.  If that is the case, though, why didn’t he tell the police the killer was a woman?


  • [1] Something I don’t like: Amazon screwed up the episode titles and descriptions so I had to watch a second episode tonight.
  • [2] I defy anyone to watch this scene and not conclude that John Cleese is the bastard son of Boris Karloff.
  • IMDb and YouTube.

L to R: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones