The Crooked Circle

Overview

The "Crooked Circle" gang consists of a dozen or so hooded villains, all of whom have sworn revenge on the Sphinx Club, a dedicated anti-criminal organization. It's difficult to differentiate the heroes and the villains without a score card: sinister swami Yoganda C. Henry Gordon, for example, turns out to be an operative for the secret service. The story comes to a head in a supposedly haunted house, where hero Brand Osborne Ben Lyon and heroine Thelma Irene Purcell try to make sense of things before ending up ...
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Overview

The "Crooked Circle" gang consists of a dozen or so hooded villains, all of whom have sworn revenge on the Sphinx Club, a dedicated anti-criminal organization. It's difficult to differentiate the heroes and the villains without a score card: sinister swami Yoganda C. Henry Gordon, for example, turns out to be an operative for the secret service. The story comes to a head in a supposedly haunted house, where hero Brand Osborne Ben Lyon and heroine Thelma Irene Purcell try to make sense of things before ending up victims of the Crooked Circle. Rather top-heavy with comedy relief, the film features ZaSu Pitts and James Gleason during their usual ZaSu Pitts and James Gleason imitations. The Crooked Circle was written by Ralph H. Spence, who borrows heavily from his own stage comedy-melodrama The Gorilla.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
"Old dark house" fans and those who like their mysteries liberally sprinkled with over-the-top comedy may enjoy The Crooked Circle, but even they may find it to be too annoying. Crooked has a kind of interesting premise: a gang of villains declares war on an a group of amateur detectives who are out to get them. It's ridiculous, as these groups are really presented as clubs, the kind of treatment they would later receive in super-hero comics aimed at kids; but the fact that it's ridiculous could have been used to good effect. Instead, the writers and director H. Brcue Humberstone just accept it at face value, and then throw a plethora of lame jokes into the script, mixing in all the familiar ingredients associated with mysteries that take place in haunted houses. The result is a mess in terms of plot, and a disaster in terms of dialogue. The characters are thinly drawn, and the comedy is strained at best and irritating at worst. The cast includes such notables as ZaSu Pitts, James Gleason and Ben Lyon, but no one is doing very good work here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/29/2005
  • UPC: 089218469397
  • Original Release: 1932
  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Time: 59:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 97,916

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ben Lyon Brand Osborne
ZaSu Pitts Nora
James Gleason Crimmer
Irene Purcell Thelma
Raymond Hatton Harmon
Roscoe Karns Harry
Berton Churchill Col. Wolters
Robert W. Frazer The Stranger
Spencer Charters Kinny
Ethel Clayton
Henry C. Gordon Yoganda
Frank Reicher
Christian Rub
Technical Credits
H. Bruce Humberstone Director
Robert Kurrle Cinematographer
William Sistrom Producer
Ralph Spence Screenwriter
Tim Whelan Sr. Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [1:21]
2. Chapter 2 [8:50]
3. Chapter 3 [9:47]
4. Chapter 4 [10:55]
5. Chapter 5 [9:12]
6. Chapter 6 [9:36]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapter Index
   Catalog
      Action/Adventure
      Comedy
      Silent Films
      Horror/Sci-Fi
      Drama
      TV Shows
      Mystery/Thriller
      Serials
      Classic Exploitation
      New Cinema
      Family
      Westerns
   Coming Attractions
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