Cinema: Fortune Cookie

Seven Faces of Dr. Lao. Over the rim of a hill near Abalone, Ariz., rides a bearded Chinese thaumaturge, 7,321 years old. He sits astride a small yellow mule, a goldfish bowl mounted on his saddle. To light his pipe, he conjures up a flame on the end of his thumb. Strangest of all, beneath the wrinkled makeup gleams the familiar sardonic smile of Tony Randall, an actor usually involved in fantasies that psychiatry can cure.

In this movie version of Charles G. Finney's unearthly 1935 novel The Circus of Dr. Lao, Randall solves other people's "plobrems." The film is a veritable...

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