Compulsion 59 (1959)
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Sometime Murder is Just a Way to Pass the Time.
|In this riveting true story about the notorious 1924 Leopold-loeb murder case, Orson Wells stars as the brillant Clarence Darrow whose history-making defense against capitol punishment saved two wealthy Chicago teenagers from a death sentence.System Requirements:Features: Widescreen feature with Theatrical Trailer Teaser Fox Flix: St. Valentine's Day Massacre and Murder, Inc. Running Time: 103 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE|
Editor's NoteIt's Chicago and the year is 1924. Two young men are driving recklessly at night, and almost hit a drunken pedestrian. They are wealthy law students, the flamboyant Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman) constantly goading the intensely introverted Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) to still more outrageous escapades. Smugly feeling safe in their own superiority, the pair commit murder--just to show they can. So starts this gripping fictionalized version of the Leopold-Loeb case which shocked Americans and provoked Clarence Darrow, here fictionalized as Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles), to make an impassioned plea that even these cold killers should not be hung.A tough dramatization of the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case in which two college students kidnapped and killed a boy purely for kicks. Welles plays defense attorney Clarence Darrow in this adaptation of reporter Meyer Levin's novel.
Cast & Crew
|E. G. Marshall|
|Adele Palmer - Costume Designer|
|Lionel Newman - Original Music By|
|Richard Fleischer - Director|
|Richard Murphy - Writer|
|Richard Zanuck - Producer|
|William Mellor - Cinematographer|
|William Reynolds - Editor|
Plot SummaryThe second in director Richard Fleischer's series of movies based on real life murder cases (following THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING), COMPULSION vividly recreates Chicago in the 1920s, where two wealthy psychopaths carry out a thrill killing. Fleischer draws extraordinary performances from his young leads. Bradford Dillman is dominating and dynamic as the frightening but magnetic Straus. Even more striking is Dean Stockwell; he is completely believable as the icily brilliant but withdrawn Steiner, subtly conveying initial vulnerability and growing strength. Fleischer aids both actors with his staging--flowing tracking shots to compliment Dillman's feverish movement; and subtle off-kilter camera set-ups to show the unbalanced Stockwell at home among his stuffed birds.In spite of the brilliance of the two killers, they leave some clues, enough for district attorney Horn (E.G Marshall in a fine performance) to bring them to justice. Despite their obvious guilt, lawyer Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles) takes on the case in order to save them from death row. Fleischer obtains a bravura performance from Welles, in one of his rare outstanding performances under a director other than himself.
British Academy Awards (1960)
|Richard Fleischer, Nominee, Best Film from any Source|
Cannes Film Festival (1959)
|Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman, Orson Welles, Winner, Best Actor|