DirectorLewis D. Collins CinematographyArchie Stout LanguageEnglish
WriterHarry Stephen Keeler, Sing Sing Nights, Charles Logue, Marion Orth Release date1934 GenresMystery, Drama, Crime Fiction CastConway Tearle (Floyd Cooper), Ferdinand Gottschalk (Prof. Varney), Hardie Albright (Howard Trude), Jameson Thomas (Robert McCaigh), George Baxter (Krenwicz), Berton Churchill (Governor Duane) Similar moviesEyes in the Night (1942), Mystery House (1938), Sinner Take All (1936), The Patient in Room 18 (1938), Phantom Killer (1942)
Sing sing nights 1934 mystery
Sing Sing Nights is a 1934 American film directed by Lewis D. Collins, based on the 1927 novel by American Author Harry Stephen Keeler (Hutchinson 1927, Dutton 1928, Ward & Lock 1929).
Three men have been convicted of the same murder of the, admittedly, quite reprehensible Floyd Cooper, and sit on death row awaiting execution the following morning. However, only one bullet could have struck the victim first, so only one of the three men is actually guilty of murder, since "the other two shot into a corpse," and so must be innocent; but which two? Professor Varney's machine, a kind of lie detector, will determine who is guilty as each man tells the story of how he came to know, hate, and kill the victim.
Differences from novel
The film reflects and expands on the framing story, but omits original tales told by the three prisoners in Keeler's novel: The Strange Adventure of the Giant Moth,The Strange Adventure of the Twelve Coins of Confucius, and The Strange Adventure of the Missing Link. The second of these stories, The Twelve Coins, was the basis for the 1935 Bela Lugosi film The Mysterious Mr. Wong. The opening credits of Sing Sing Nights state that the film was "suggested by the novel by Harry Stephen Keeler." The original name of the victim, Howard Craynell is changed to Floyd Cooper in the film, as is the name of the novel's character Eastwood, who is called Howard Trude in the film, and whose nationality is also changed from English to American. The nationality of the character McCaigh is also changed, in this case, from American to English. Finally, there is the added detail that only one man is actually guilty and the identity of the guilty party is determined by means of a lie detector.