The Crooked Circle (1932 film)

The Crooked Circle is a 1932 American pre-Code film, a comedy-mystery directed by H. Bruce Humberstone.

The Crooked Circle
Film poster
Directed byH. Bruce Humberstone
Produced byWilliam Sistrom
Written byRalph Spence (original screenplay)
Tim Whelan (additional dialogue)
CinematographyRobert Kurrle
Edited byDoane Harrison
Distributed bySono Art-World Wide Pictures (1932 release)
Astor Pictures (re-release)
Release date
  • September 25, 1932 (1932-09-25)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States

In 1933, The Crooked Circle was the first feature film shown on television. In Los Angeles, the Don Lee Broadcasting System showed the film on March 10, 1933 over their experimental station W6XAO, transmitting an 80-line resolution mechanical television picture to a half-dozen or fewer receiving sets in the greater Los Angeles area. The film was shown again on June 18, 1940 on the NBC Television experimental station WX2BS, now WNBC-TV in New York City.[1][2]

Characters and story

Amateur detectives in the Sphinx Club are rivals of an evil gang known as The Crooked Circle. When a Sphinx tip leads to an arrest of a Crooked Circle member, they swear revenge on Sphinx member Colonel Theodore Walters (Berton Churchill). Nora Rafferty (ZaSu Pitts) complains to Old Dan (Christian Rub) about life in creepy Melody Manor.

Brand Osborne (Ben Lyon) intends to resign from the Sphinx Club, and his replacement is the Indian Yoganda (C. Henry Gordon), who proclaims, "Evil is on the way." When Rafferty sees Yoganda's turban, she says, "I'm sorry you got a headache, sir. Shall I get you a Bromo-Seltzer?" Policeman Arthur Crimmer (James Gleason) attempts to straighten out the confusion.


See also

  • Party Girl, the first commercial comedy-drama feature film shown on the Internet


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