A good one with Erich von Stroheim as a man obsessed with a wanton woman played by Mary Beth Hughes. John “Perry White” Hamilton has a blink and you’ll miss him part as a coroner.
The scene is a vaudeville theater in Mexico City in 1936. During Tony The Clown’s performance shots ring out followed by a scream. The body of Connie Wallace (Mary Beth Hughes) is found. Her jealous husband Eddie is arrested. Turns out she was strangled, not shot. Some of the other performers thought she had it coming to her. It was just a matter of time.
Someone is watching it all from above the stage. The cops make their arrest and everyone but Tony is gone. The man falls from above. Tony recognizes him as The Great Flamarion (Erich von Stroheim). As he lay dying he tells Tony his story.
Flamarion is a sharpshooter and has a highly successful act. His assistants are Al (Dan Duryea) and Connie Wallace. They were a third rate dance team until Flamarion hired them for his act. Al likes his booze and Flamarion almost fires them. Connie threatens to leave Al but he says he won’t let it happen. He knows all about her shady past with manipulating men for their money.
She puts the charm on Flamarion. He was double crossed by a woman fifteen years ago and ever since he’s been a loner. He’s put away a lot of money in the bank. She keeps working on him until she breaks through his barrier. She also lays the charm on Eddie Wheeler who does a bicycle act.
One night she tells Flamarion she had a dream that Al was drunk on stage and Flamarion accidentally killed him. Al keeps boozing it up and she keeps working Flamarion and Eddie. Flamarion finally loses his resistance to her and tells her he had the same dream. He doesn’t have a clue that she’s got Eddie in her web. Now his downward spiral begins.
The last section is really good as Flamarion’s obsession completely takes him over. See this one.