In Nightmare Alley, Bradley Cooper plays a carny with a talent for manipulating people, until he meets his match with dangerous psychotherapist played by Cate Blanchett
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Bradley Cooper plays a conman in over his head in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming film Nightmare Alley.

The Academy Award nominee, 46, finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with Cate Blanchett in the final trailer for the feature adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel of the same name, opening Dec. 17 in theaters.

The trailer sees Cooper's character Stanton "Stan" Carlisle arriving at a massive secluded facility, where he's hooked up to a lie detector. "I'll ask you simple questions. You'll answer in short sentences, only what you believe to be absolute truth," a man tells Stan, as he responds: "Absolute truth... I can do that."

When asked if he's a "true medium," Stan answers, "Yes, I am." When asked if he can read minds, he says, "Yes, I can... under the right circumstances."

Bradley Cooper Nightmare Alley
Credit: Searchlight Pictures

The conversation is cut together with shots of Stan at a carnival, where he dances around a carousel with Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara), before he arrives at the office of Dr. Lilith Ritter (Blanchett), who appears to put him under hypnosis. "What do I want?" she asks Stan, who answers: "To be found out, same as everybody else."

The trailer promises some edge-of-your-seat moments, including a shady cash exchange , a house fire, vehicular homicide, electrocution and a fake ghostly possession in front of a room of wealthy onlookers, as well as appearances from Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe and Ron Perlman.

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"We've had our share of snake charmers in the past. We deal with them," says Richard Jenkins as Ezra Grindle, before Stan can be seen running through the hall of a government building, covered in blood.

In Nightmare Alley, "an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is," according to a plot description from Searchlight Pictures.

Nightmare Alley opens Dec. 17 in theaters.