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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 July 1938 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,439 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 11 critic

Black comedy about a brilliant Park Avenue doctor who becomes a criminal in order to do research into the criminal mind.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Okay
...
Gale Page ...
Nurse Randolph
Henry O'Neill ...
Judge
...
Prosecuting Attorney
Thurston Hall ...
Grant
Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom ...
Butch (as Maxie Rosenbloom)
Bert Hanlon ...
Pat
Curt Bois ...
Rabbit
...
Tug
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Popus
Billy Wayne ...
Candy
Edit

Storyline

Dr. Clitterhouse is fascinated with the working of the criminal mind. His interest is so deep that he finds the best way to observe criminals in action is to become one himself! Whilst robbing a safe at an exclusive party he stumbles across an organized gang trying to the same thing. He teams up with the gang to observe them in action but one of the members, Rocks Valentine would like nothing better than to see Clitterhouse out of the way. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

. . . a thunderbolt of thrills and intrigue

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nearly all of the characters' names are changed from the original play on which the film is based. See more »

Goofs

At about 80 minutes into the film, the prosecutor cross examines the incomprehensible expert witness. In the first shot, the prosecutor unbuttons his jacket. In the next shot, he unbuttons it again. See more »

Quotes

Tug: [to other gang members about Clitterhouse] Hey, that stuffed shirt's got something on the ball!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

The Last Rose of Summer
(uncredited)
Lyrics from a poem by Thomas Moore (1805)
Music attributed to George Alexander Osborne
Sung by contralto in opening of film
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whether He's Sane or Insane, Edward G. Robinson Is Terrific
26 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a fun movie!

Edward G. Robinson plays a respected doctor who decides that the only way to truly understand criminal behavior for an academic study he is writing is to become a criminal himself. He joins a thieving ring run by Jo Keller (Claire Trevor, looking hotsy-totsy) and proceeds to both help the thieves with their crimes while at the same time studying them for the biological and psychological effects of their actions. Trouble arises when Jo's right-hand man, played by Humphrey Bogart, begins to feel like a third wheel, and blackmails Robinson when he discovers his true identity.

This film is a real treat. It's funny, creepy and suspenseful, all at the same time. Robinson begins to enjoy being a criminal, and his detached approach to crime makes him capable of committing murder without a second thought. Is he sane or insane? That's the question a jury must answer at the film's climax, and one the viewer still won't be able to answer after the movie's over.

Robinson, Trevor and Bogart have enough chemistry together to start a fire, and the three of them would team up again 10 years later for another terrific film, John Huston's "Key Largo." Anatole Litvak provides the fluid direction.

Grade: A-


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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