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Sinister Hands (1932)

During a séance at an elderly millionaire's house, the millionaire is murdered. The detectives investigating the crime discover that everyone who was at the séance had a motive for killing the man.



(adaptation), (story "The Seance Mystery")

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Cast overview:
Detective Capt. Herbert Devlin
Ruth Frazer
Judge David McLeod
Swami Yomurda
Nick Genna
Betty Lang (as Gertie Messinger)
John Frazer
James P. Burtis ...
Detective Watkins (as Jimmy Burtis)
Richard Lang
Vivian Rogers
Lillian West ...
Mrs. Lang
Fletcher Norton ...
Monroe, the Butler
Mary Browne
Russ Coller ...
Tommy Lang (as Russell Collar)

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During a séance at an elderly millionaire's house, the millionaire is murdered. The detectives investigating the crime discover that everyone who was at the séance had a motive for killing the man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

22 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Case of the Sinister Swami  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(International Recording Engineers)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. Its earliest documented telecast in the New York City area presently stands at Tuesday 26 September 1950 on WATV (Channel 13). See more »


[first lines]
Mrs. Lang: No, I couldn't get it Swami.
Swami Yomurda: He would not give it to you?
Mrs. Lang: Not only that, he was cruel in his refusal, abusive.
Swami Yomurda: The present is filled with evil foreboding Mrs. Lang.
Mrs. Lang: What do you see Swami?
Swami Yomurda: I see great trouble, disaster, I see the cause of your present unhappiness. I see great crowds, confusion and excitement, I see a tall dark man, who will have great influence in your life.
Mrs. Lang: Can you tell me who this man is Swami?
Swami Yomurda: The magic ball is still, the face is shadowy, the name eludes me. ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Formula Works, Sort Of, Watson (Watkins)
25 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Apparently this was an early "talky" and that might account for the long pauses between speeches and the stilted acting. It's a typical who done it, with the long list of suspects. There are two points where the head detective stops the show and explains who each of them is and what they did. It has the last drawing room thing which is kind of fun, actually. I wouldn't want this on a regular basis, but it's kind of cool. The plot involves a murder during a séance (which the detective pronounces "see ons." There is a swami and a silly detective who is continuously being called Watson instead of Watkins. He is incompetent and no help. It's as if the police trained in a guy for his comedy relief. There are a couple gangsters (one named Lefty Louie), and a bunch of other saps, including a virginal secretary with horn rimmed glasses and a prissy suit. Anyway, they are all kept in place so one has to have done it. It has a somewhat satisfying conclusion. As with most of these stories or books, we need to keep rethinking things. It's an OK film with an interesting cast.

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