The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  30 July 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,506 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.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gale Page ...
Nurse Randolph
Henry O'Neill ...
Prosecuting Attorney
Thurston Hall ...
Maxie Rosenbloom ...
Bert Hanlon ...
Curt Bois ...
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Billy Wayne ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


. . . a thunderbolt of thrills and intrigue


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


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Release Date:

30 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


After the New York production, the studio had some difficulty obtaining the movie rights to the play because Barre Lyndon retained control of the movie rights and placed the play on the open market. See more »


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 »


'Rocks' Valentine: Okay, Jo, make a deal with this guy. He's getting in my hair.
See more »


Featured in Bullets Over Hollywood (2005) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A Man of Science
15 April 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse that Warner Brothers presented in 1938 is an adaption of a British play which had been done in London a few years back with Sir Cedric Hardwicke in the title role that Edward G. Robinson does here. Of course the difference in personal styles and country cultures made it a different Clitterhouse than originally presented.

But both are medical doctors doing research into the pathology of the criminal mind. How better to do it than to become a criminal oneself in the interest of science. He does some burglaries on his own and then with the unsuspecting help of police inspector Donald Crisp finds a fence in the person of Claire Trevor and the gang she does business with.

He works his way into the mob earning everyone's trust even though they find the "professor" a little eccentric. All that is except Humphrey Bogart who resents his presence.

It's an interesting idea for a story and the film does have some good plot twists that I'm sure the audience won't figure out if they haven't seen it. The key to remember as Robinson remembers that at all times he's a man of science.

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