Supernatural (1933) - full transcript

In New York city, Ruth Rogan is convicted of killing 3 of her lovers and sentenced to be executed. Meanwhile, lovely Roma Courtenay becomes a millionaire heiress when her brother dies. A spiritualist approaches Roma with an urgent message from her dead brother. He runs a rigged seance that doesn't convince Roma's boyfriend Grant but has Roma confused. Then unexpectedly, the executed Ruth Rogan's spirit takes control of Roma's body. Roma runs off with the fake spiritualist under Ruth Rogan's control. Grant desperately tries to track Roma down and return her soul.

He's lying.

I'll kill him!

He wanted me, too.

I'd do it again and again and again!

Men, I hate the whole breed.

Never mind the speeches, let me alone.

He made me do it.

No, [have nothing to say.

Don't be so serious, Judge.

It's my funeral.

Keeping me healthy to kill me.

I'm famous, Bavian.

The papers all hate me, don't they?

No, I'm not sorry.

One week more.

Six days... five days...

It goes fast, doesn't it?

Did you mail my letter to Paul Bavian?

Three more days, one for each man.

Why doesn't he come?

Why doesn't he come?
Why doesn't he come?

Stop it, stop it, stop it!

But Doctor, if you were trying to tell me
Ruth Rogen's insane, you're too late.

The courts have held otherwise.

I am not.

I am telling you she might be the cause
of other people going insane.

What do you mean?

Warden, have you ever noticed
that when a criminal is executed

for some unusual crime,

there is frequently an epidemic
of similar crimes?


A lot of imitators.

I wonder.

I wonder if they are imitators.

Perhaps their will has been subdued.

Now, Doctor, just because you are
supposed to have psychic powers.

Just a moment, please.

Perhaps they've been possessed
by another personality,

a powerful and malignant personality
without, well, without a body of its own.

- Like Ruth Rogen?
- Precisely.

Like Ruth Rogen will be tomorrow.

Well, that's a very interesting theory,
Doctor, if you can prove it.

I'm not trying to convince you, Warden,
I only want you help.

Well, what do you want of her body
after the execution?

I've been experimenting lately
with mitogenic rays.

- What are they?
- Ultraviolet rays given off by the body.

Now, if my experiments are correct,
I might be able to prevent her personality

from escaping after death
and committing other crime.

But why Rogen?

She's a proper remarkable subject.

So notorious a criminal should,
I imagine, have quite a number

of what you would call imitators.

Now, here's my point, Warden.

If there are no similar crimes committed,

well, I should at least have negative proof
that my theory is correct.


Seems sort of creepy, when you think of it.

Well, we'll see what we can do.

- Have to get her permission, of course.
- Naturally.

She's rather difficult to handle.

- You'd better let me do most of the talking.
- All right.

Come on.

Let me alone. Let me alone, I tell you.

Can't I have any peace?

Get out! Get out of here!

I'm sorry.

I thought it might interest you.

Nothing's going to interest me
except a message from the governor.

And I won't get that.


I'm afraid you won't.

You have nothing to
lose by doing what I ask.

No, and nothing to gain.

Listen to me, my body's my own.

The law gives me that much.

Take my body away
and then guarantee I can have it forever.

Funny, isn't it?

You do the laughing.

I'm offering you a chance
to do something for humanity.


There's only one of them
I want to do anything for.

Just one.

I wrote for him to come here,
but he's too smart.

The doctor may be giving you
a chance for even that.

I suppose he can bring me back
after I'm dead.

No, no, no, I didn't say that, I'm...

Well, you can't tell what he'll do.

Dr. Houston is one of
the world's greatest psychologists.

He's too modest to tell you everything.

If I thought I could come back
and walk around and talk...

...if I could use my hands,

if I could use my hands
just for a few minutes...

You have nothing to lose, Ruth.

No, I have nothing to lose.

Nothing to lose.

I'll send you a paper to sign.


Been to see her in jail, Mr. Bavian?


- Well, look...
- Be careful.

Don't do that.

You're a heartless man, Mr. Bavian.

I wouldn't treat a dog
the way you treated her.

Not that it's any of my business.

It certainly isn't.

Just the same,
I know what goes on in my house,

and if any man treated me
the way you treated her,

- I'd have shotten him.
- Stop it. You've been drinking.

What if I have?

I'm thinking of that poor girl.

She's waiting there, waiting in jail,

to the death chair waiting for them
to come and fetch her.

Go to bed, you'll sleep it off.

You're no gentleman.

Oh, there are all of my pets out again.


Why don't you clean the transom
once in a while?

Then you can see more clearly.

Well, I just looked in because I thought,
why, you might have been in bed.

What do you want?

There's a letter for you.

Why, it's been here the whole afternoon.

It's from the poor creature.

How do you know?

The handwriting!

This is a lie.

Her finger marks were found on his throat.

She must be crazy,
why should I tell the police?

She may be crazy, but you're not!

What do you mean?

You're not going to get within reach
of those hands of hers, are ya, dearie?


Can I do anything?

No, thanks, Grant.

Better alone for a while, Grant.

Well, that's over.

How about a little snack?

I starved all through the funeral.

Grant, we've got to do something
to help Roma.

I know we have, Doctor.

What about a trip? A sea trip?

Fine, we can take the yacht!

- What about Bermuda?
- Yes.

have you ever eaten truffles in Bermuda?

No, I can't say I have.

Oh, Schmitt?

Schmitt? Schmitt?

Yes, sir?

Tell Henri to fry me some truffles.

- Truffles, sir?
- With butter and cinnamon.

Very good, sir.

Hello, King.

Sure you won't have anything?

No, thanks.

It seems strange that I should get back
just in time to see him die.

Long trip from South America.

I guess you had a reason for it.

Did you ask her yet?

Ask her what?

Well, to marry you, of course.

After what's happened?

Why not?

Might be the best thing for her.

Ladies and gentlemen!

You will now hear
the celebrated Courtney twins

in their famous number entitled,

"Carry Me Back to My Old Irish Mammy
in Sunny Vladivostok."

Oh, shut up, Johnny,
you're wasting this record!

Go on and sing!

All right, beautiful, hit that uke.

♪ Lay your head on my shoulder, dear ♪

♪ And we'll let the world roll by ♪

♪ There's not a thing
in this world to fear ♪

♪ For our love will never die ♪

♪ Just as long as we 're side by side ♪

Miss Courtney?

Excuse me, Miss Courtney,
but this message just came for you.

♪ So lay your head on my shoulder, dear ♪♪

Well, that closes that case.

Say, Doc, this paper says
you were at the execution

of that Rogen woman this morning.

I was.

It says she insisted you walk
to the death chamber with her.

Guess she had a crush on you.

It's a good thing
you didn't meet sooner, eh, Doc?

Tell me, Doctor, was she really crazy?

Grant, I believe she was quite sane,

but undoubtedly one of the most
dangerous women in criminal history.

Well, she's not dangerous anymore.


She may be more dangerous now
than when they had her locked in a cell.

Oh, now listen, Doc, that's too much.

Ooh, hello, Roma.

What's this?

The first of the vultures.

Well, I'm not surprised.

There will be a regular campaign
to get your money,

but I have other plans for it.

Paul Bavian, Spiritualist.

- Fraud!
- Why are you so sure?

Now listen, Roma, this fellow is
simply playing on your misfortune.

Why, it's a business with him.

Doctor, do you believe I could talk to John
if I gave him the chance?

Roma, my dear,
life does continue after death.

There's not a doubt of it.

But communication, well,
that's a different matter, unfortunately.

Why, of course.

John can't talk.

Here, I'll put an end to this right now.

Say, look here, Mr. Baboon,
or whatever your name is,

- my name's Hammond.
- What's that?


If that doesn't mean anything to you,
I'm the manager of the Courtney Estate.

I understand, yes.

And you're not going to get one cent
from this estate,

not while I'm alive and running it!

You understand?


Oh, I know your game,
widows and orphans, eh?

Well, now, just let me tell you...

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Thank you for everything, Doctor.

Anything, any time.

I'll see you to the door, Doctor.

- Thanks.
- Excuse me, Roma.


I've been thinking about that letter.

You heard what Nick and the doctor said.

Dr. Houston said there was an afterlife.

I'm going to that medium.

Roma, you're only making things
harder for yourself.

I don't care.

Will you go with me?

Of course, I will.

I just dropped in to see
if you got your phone message.

Yes, I did, thank you very much.

Now drop out again.

Miss Roma Courtney is calling on you
at half past nine.

Ain't that nice?

You ain't going to forget
your old landlady, are you?

- Never.
- Is that a promise?

Absolutely. Now get out, and hurry,
I have a lot of work to do, come.

Work to do, eh?

Yes, I suppose you've got
to get all your wires in order

so that you can give her
a fake message from her brother.

Fake message?

Fake message, huh?

What do you mean by that?

I know all about Miss Courtney.

Poor thing, with all her sorrow,
she doesn't know what she's doing.

I think I ought to tell her,
as one woman to another.

She's got a lot of money.

She'll never miss it.

How much are you going to get?

Enough for both of us, eh, dearie?

So you're going to try blackmail, ah?

- Now is that nice?
- Blackmail?

Oh, no, dearie,
I wouldn't do anything dishonest.

With all I know about you,
I wouldn't tell the police we're partners.

Partners, eh?

I knew I wouldn't have to force you,

You're a gentleman!


What'd you got in your hand,
you young devil?

Oh, it's all right.

It's only a scratch.

You wouldn't hurt an old friend,
would you, dearie?

It's only a joke, isn't it?

It's only a joke!


Only a joke.

Thank you.

Mr. Wilson?

Many distinguished people
have signed this register.

You were very wise to come, Miss Courtney.

The invisibles who speak through my lips
have given me no peace.

Your brother John has been most persistent.

Are you sure?

Are you sure it is my brother?

Well, perhaps you'll be
the best judge of that yourself.

All right, we will.

What do we do now?

Mr. Wilson, if you will pardon me,

I'm very sensitive as
well as being psychic.

Hostility effects me the same
as static effects radio reception,

so if you'll pardon me,
for Miss Courtney's sake,

would you please keep an open mind?

- Please, Grant.
- All right, I'm sorry.

When I see it, I'll believe it.

Well, perhaps tonight, you may even see.

We were stupid to come, Roma.

- Why, this fella's a fake.
- Maybe.

I must be sure.

I must ask you, Mr. Wilson, to please turn
out this light when I go into a trance.

I must warn you, listen carefully,
the message may be brief.

I suppose that's my cue.



Can you hear me?

Listen, you must guard yourself.

Hammond wants our money.

He murdered me.

You are next.

John! John!

Roma, are you all right?

Did you see it?

It was John.

Yes, dear, I saw.

What happened?

You know what happened,
you cheap faker.

Almost scared her to death
with your phony tricks.

- Ms. Courtney.
- Grant, wait.

What happened?

I'll call you.

Mm, mhm.



"Cheap faker," eh?


This is the way to morning room.

He's probably gone to bed.

- Good evening.
- Reynolds, Dr. Houston in?

He's in the laboratory, Miss,
he can't be disturbed.

Please don't go in there!
Dr. Houston made strict orders.

You can't go in there, please!

We'd better wait outside.

Come on, we shouldn't be here.



- What are you doing here?
- I'm sorry, we...

Get back, please!


That woman, she just moved.

No, dear.

She's dead.

It was merely a galvanic action.

Now, Roma, please go.

- No, I must talk to you.
- Not here, dear, please.

Well, doctor, what's the matter?

I've been conducting
a very trying experiment, Grant.

The woman in there
was Ruth Rogen.

You remember, the case.

Yes, I do.

Well it may sound crazy, but...

There's danger of contagion.

No, dear, not from the body.

That's harmless.

But there's...

there's something else.


Please, Roma.

Tell me, Roma, why did you
come here tonight?

We went to see
that Spiritualist, and...

and I saw John.

But it was all staged.

I've been trying
to convince Roma.

It couldn't have been.

I saw John and so did you,
and you know it.

Wait a moment, dear.

How do you know
it was staged, Grant?

He said John was murdered
by Hammond.

Isn't that enough?

Murdered by Hammond?

That's absurd.

Roma, you don't believe
anything like that for a moment.

I don't know what to believe.

It was John talking, and...

Hammond was with him
when he died.

Oh, oh, I don't know.

Roma, dear girl, we've all known
Nicky Hammond far too long

to believe anything like that
without real proof.

Of course, the whole thing's a trick
to get money out of Roma.

I wonder if it is a trick.


Invite him to your house
for another séance.

Then, if he should...


let's wait and see.

That's strange,
those windows are shut.

Mm, and cold as ice.

Roma, you must go at once!

I'll arrange for your séance.

What do you say
the name of this man was?

Paul Bavian.


Get out of here, Grant, quickly!

What are those marks?

Ruth Rogen.

She tried to get possession
of Roma's body.

Thank heaven she failed.

Hello, Sickle.



This is Dr. Houston speaking.

Will you please send immediately
for the body of Ruth Rogen?

Yes, I have finished.

At once, please.


At Ms. Courtney's house?

At eight o'clock?


Yes, I understand,
I'll be there.


Good bye.

Thank you,
now the contact is completed.

As you know,
spirit communication

may take any one of many forms.


moving lights, voices

raps, materialization,

or automatic writing.

In automatic writing,
the medium himself,

while in a trance,
writes the message.

Consequently, this method
may be open to question.

Independent writing,

the messages received
independently of the medium.

Consequently, tonight,

we will experiment
by this means.

But I warn you again,
I promise you nothing.

The invisible
that you wish to hear from

may not be able to reach me.

But if I succeed,

My reward lies in the knowledge
that I have been of service

to a gracious lady.

Also, I feel very flattered
that so eminent a scientist

such as Dr. Houston

would be present

at a Seance conducted by
someone with a person

as myself.

I would like to have a handkerchief
from you, if you please.

One of yours will do.

- Hm.
- Thank you.

It will eliminate any idea of trickery.

If you'll excuse me a moment,
I want to light the incense.

It will assist me in concentrating.

Would one of you be
good enough to turn out

the overhead lights?

This is gonna turn into a job.

What's this?



Hey, look here.

You can't get away
with this, you know.

You think you can blackmail me?

Come on, get up.

- Get up, get up, get up!
- Hammond, control yourself.

- It won't do any good.
- It's all right.

Get him out of this house,
or I'll throw him out.

Well the whole thing's

Nobody would believe
such a charge for a moment.

Doctor, quick, she's fainted!

Roma, Roma!

Grant, take her over
to the sofa.

Quick, quickly!

No, no, no, here.

I knew something like this
would happen.

what's the matter with her?



Thank you
for a wonderful séance.

Well it's a pleasure
to serve you.

The whole thing's
nothing but trickery.

Now get out!

You keep out of this.



Dr. Houston, Dr. Houston!

- What?
- Something terrible has happened.

It's Mr. Hammond.

- I think that he's dying.
- Dying?

I think perhaps I'd better go.

Yes, let's both go.


Come on.

- Where's Ms. Courtney?
- She's just leaving

- with that gentleman, sir.
- Leaving?

Roma, come back!



I've got the license number,
we can trace it.

- We've got to!
- Come on!

This... this isn't the place,
is it?


Wait there for me.

- How much is this?
- Dollar and a half.

- Too much.
- Make it a dollar.

Well this can't be yours.

Of course it is.

Nice, isn't it?

Come in.

How did you know
about this place?

Belonged to a friend of mine.

Ruth Rogen.

Did you know her?

Why, yes, I did.

Oh interesting.

How well did you know her?

If you don't mind,
I'd rather not discuss that.

Why not, there's nothing
to be afraid of now, is there?

Why should I be afraid?

Some men were, I hear.

She told me of one.

So much afraid of her
he gave her away to the police.

Do you suppose he'd be
afraid now if he thought

Ruth Rogen were alive?

Why... no.

Suppose you were that man.

As a matter of fact, I was.

She threatened me,
she refused to give me up.

- And she meant it.
- I can believe that.

Ms. Courtney, how did you
ever come in contact

with such a woman?

Doesn't matter...
Why the formality?

All right, Roma.

That's better.

Do I remind you of her?

I don't know,
perhaps it's being in this room.

No, you are nothing like her.

Isn't she beautiful?

Yes, but repulsive.

Like a...

female spider that kills her mate
when she's through.

She would have killed me too
if I hadn't gotten rid of her first.

You did get rid of her.

Aren't you lucky?

Lucky, yes, to be here with you.

You do care for me,
don't you, Roma?

Yes, haven't I shown you I do.

What do you mean
by coming in here?

What are you doing here?

Get out.

- Get out of my house.
- This isn't your house.

- I'm in charge here.
- Get out and let me on.

Can't you get out!


- Ah, you're crazy.
- Crazy, I'll kill you!


- I'm sorry I lost my temper.
- Sorry?

- I'm going to call the police.
- Wait a minute.

Ruth Rogen was a friend of mine.

It's all right that we're here, Max.

How do you know my name?

I never saw you before.

Are you sure?


I'm sure... get out!

Wait a minute.

I'm going to call the police.

Let's go.

Where do we go?

Why not go aboard your yacht?



Oh yes.

Let's go.


Ha-ha, ha-ha-ha.

- Ha-ha-ha.
- Ha-ha.

Are you sure we're alone?

Yes, there's no one aboard now.


Let's have a drink first, Paul.

Hm-hm-hm, all right.

Where... where's the bar?

Over there.



- Are you sure this is the place?
- Yes sir,

this is where I brought 'em.

- All right, wait for us.
- Okay.

Have you seen two people
come in here tonight?

- A man and a girl?
- Yeah, what about 'em?

- Where are they?
- Well how should I know?

I found them in Ruth Rogen's
apartment, and kicked 'em out.

- Ruth Rogen.
- What were they doing there?

They were drinking.

The girl stole the key
when I wasn't looking.

The girl?

Are you sure it was the girl?


Grant, I knew it.

It was the girl
who brought him here.

Roma couldn't have done it,

she didn't even know
about the place,

but the other one did.

The other one... did.

Grant, we've...

We've got to... find her.


- Give me a hand, will you?
- Well here, get him into

this chair here.


Take it easy now, don't worry.

It wasn't your fault.

We'll find Roma, I know we will.

That's it!

Look after him,
and see that he gets home.

Sure, he'll get home.

But what about my boat?


Wonderful wine.

And right off your own boat.

Ha-ha, ha-ha-ha-ha.

- Yes.
- Ha-ha.


What are you trying to do,
get me drunk?

No, why should I?

Exactly, why should you?

Ha-ha-ha, ha-ha.

A beautiful girl like you,

I assure you, it isn't necessary.


You know, Roma,

You're a lucky girl.

You have beautiful pearls.

You have a yacht.

And you have me.


Why, Paul, what's the matter?

For a moment when you did that
you made me think...

I thought we weren't
gonna talk about her.

Somehow everything that you do
makes me think of her.

Hm, you're still afraid
of Ruth Rogen.

No, at times, I'm afraid of you.

Afraid of me?

Why did you ever
take me to her place?

How did you ever
happen to know her?

Why is it that sometimes
you look like her?

Answer me.

You're imagining things.

I think we'd better go.

Just one last drink.

This isn't a new experience
being turned down by you.

Erg, ugh.

Now do you recognize me?

I am Ruth Rogen.

I'm gonna kill you before I leave
this body you like so much.



- Let me go, let me go!
- You don't know what you're doing.

- Let me go, get out of my way!
- Stop it!

- Now you listen to me.
- Ha-ha-ha-ha.


All right, ha-ha-ha.





Roma, darling.


Wake up.

I am awake.

- What are we doing here?
- Well don't you remember?

- No.
- He Shangai'd ya, then you fell asleep.

Ha-ha-ha, where are the others?

They left.

Well I'm sorry.

Are you?