Compulsion 59

Directed By: Richard Fleischer Starring: Orson Welles

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Product Overview

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


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 202308331
UPC 024543238515
UPC 14 00024543238515
Format DVD
Release Date 5/23/2006
Rating NR
Theatrical Release
True Story
Editors Note
Note It'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.
Plot Summary
Summary The 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 Even more striking is Dean Stockwell; he is completely believable as the icily brilliant but withdrawn Steiner, subtly conveying initial vulnerability and growing strength.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.
USA Today "...The film strongly castigates capital punishment....There's good acting..." 07/14/1995 p.14D
New York Times "COMPULSION moves with invisible elegance through three distinct point of view....Three heroes, three moral perspectives -- smoothly linked by Fleischer into a subversive whole." 05/23/2006 p.E5
Uncut 3 stars out of 5 -- "Orson Welles effectively steals the show with a ruminating, then barnstorming turn..." 10/01/2010
Sight and Sound "[T]he film is dominated by Dean Stockwell's rivetingly skin-crawling performance...." 11/01/2010
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "Superbly acted by Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell, the mid-section grips as the authorities close in." 11/01/2010
Richard Fleischer
Orson Welles
Cast & Crew
Adele Palmer - Costume Designer
Dean Stockwell - Actor
Diane Varsi - Actor
E. G. Marshall - Actor
Lionel Newman - Original Music By
Orson Welles - Actor
Richard Fleischer - Director
Richard Murphy - Writer
Richard Zanuck - Producer
William Mellor - Cinematographer
William Reynolds - Editor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1959
Catalog ID 2233851
UPC 00024543238515
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 103 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language English
Available Subtitles Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
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
ReviewSource And You Call Yourself a Scientist!
Review Impressive as the performances of Stockwell and Dillman are, even more memorable is that of Orson Welles as the boys' attorney. Leopold and Loeb were defended by Clarence Darrow, who saved them from a death penalty via an astonishing address to the court, which lasted three days. Here, the speech is compressed into a breathtaking ten-minute oration, and is delivered by Welles in an absolutely spellbinding piece of acting.
ReviewRating 9
Product Attributes
Actor Welles,Orson
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress Absorbing version of Leopold-Loeb story with standout Welles performance.

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