Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-law student, kills an old pawnbroker and her sister, perhaps for money, perhaps to prove a theory about being above the law. He comes to police attention ... See full summary »
Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
Roderick Raskolnikov, a brilliant criminology student and writer, becomes embittered by poverty and his inability to support his family. When he sees a desperate prostitute, Sonya, degraded by a vicious pawnbroker, Raskolnikov, a proponent of the idea that some people are imbued with such intelligence that the law cannot be applied to them as to other people, decides to rid the world of the pawnbroker and thus save his family and Sonya as well from the fate poverty forces on them. When Porphiry, the police detective investigating the murder, encounters Raskolnikov, he finds a man nearly crippled by the guilt and paranoia his deed has burdened him with. But Raskolnikov clings with as much coldness and calculation as he can muster to his guiding idea, that some crimes ought not to be punished. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Josef von Sternberg was contractually obligated to make this film, and he disliked it, saying in his autobiography that it was "no more related to the true text of the novel than the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower is related to the Russian environment." See more »
[seeing Sonya searching for something a the bottom of the stair]
What did you lose?
[referring to the pawnbroker]
A ruble. It dropped out of my hand when she pushed me out of the door.
Someone ought to push her into the next world!
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One of the credits reads "Story by Dostoievsky". There is an asterisk next to this credit, and at the bottom it says, "Feodor Dostoievsky, Russia's foremost author, wrote 'Crime and Punishment' in 1866'". See more »
I must admit that I found this film to be intriguing and as a result, I liked it! One can clearly see that it's a B-film. But, who cares? It's never as cheap looking as those Monogram low-budgeters from that era and it was directed by one of the masters, Josef Von Sternberg. Peter Lorre gives a good account of himself as a man who tries to cover up a crime that he committed. He is dogged by a somewhat good-natured police inspector played by Edward Arnold and is helped onto the road of redemption by a kind, angelic prostitute played perfectly by Marian Marsh. Dostoyevsky's long novel has been adapted into a tight 88 minute feature film, which runs along smoothly and is never dull. "Crime and Punishment" is a film which is intelligently written, directed and acted.
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