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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 30 July 1938 (USA)
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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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carl Laemmle Jr., Paramount and MGM bid for the rights to the play. Laemmle bought them for over $50,000. He then turned them around and sold them to Warners in return for the loan of Paul Muni for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", a film that never got made. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie there is a montage of newspaper headlines, the word PSYCHIATRIST is mis-spelled in the headline. See more »

Quotes

Dr. T.S. Clitterhouse: Now, just relax, counselor. Nothing to be jittery about.
Grant: My dear boy, I've had over a hundred clients face the electric chair. I've never been jittery.
Dr. T.S. Clitterhouse: But your clients were.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Bullets Over Hollywood (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am!
(1919) (uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
Refrain sung by Allen Jenkins as a signal
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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-


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