The movie I am looking for consists of two stories which are almost separate, almost as if someone took two movies and concatenated them.

In the first part of the story, the protagonist learns to hypnotise people. I don’t remember much from this part except that I think he also hypnotised a cat and a dog.

But I remember the second part better: The protagonist somehow acquired the ability to read minds (he just “hears” other people’s thoughts). He proves this to his girlfriend, who thinks “touch my hand” and he does, and then “kiss me” and he does. He goes on to help the police sort criminals from innocents by reading their thoughts during interrogations.

Later at a restaurant, he “overhears” someone’s thoughts of plotting a murder. The alleged murderer comes up with the idea of burying evidence in his garden. He runs off to alarm the police and an investigation occurs in which no evidence buried in the guy’s garden is found. It later turns out that the guy is actually an author and the murder plot was for one of his crime novels. He writes under a pen name, which I believe was “Lex Fortis”.

I believe the film may have been released in the 70s or 80s, but this is a guess. It’s definitely older than 1995.

Any ideas?

  • It’s called “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones”. So it’s a comedy? That’s odd because there is an old episode of Twilight Zone that is almost identical to what you described (a guy can suddenly hear thoughts, overhears plans for a crime, turns out to have misunderstood). The TW episode however was not a comedy. I recall it very well because he got the powers after having thrown a coin that landed on its edge, then at the end, when he lost the ability, he threw a coin that landed flat. So does Merlin Jones also fit the first part of your question as well? – Synetech Dec 8 '12 at 1:12
  • @Synetech: Yes, although according to the summary on IMDb I seem to have got the order wrong. Apparently the mind-reading part comes first, the hypnotism part is the second part. – Timwi Dec 8 '12 at 16:20

A friend of mine found it for me. It’s called “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” and it’s as old as 1964...

  • A Disney classic ... the sequel is great, too (The Monkey's Uncle). – jlmcdonald Dec 7 '12 at 20:52

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