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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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Okay
...
Inspector Lane
...
Nurse Randolph
...
Judge
...
Prosecuting Attorney
...
Grant
...
Butch
Bert Hanlon ...
Pat
...
Rabbit
...
Tug
...
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

Country:

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

Ronald Reagan's voice can be heard as a radio announcer, a job that Reagan held before he started as a film actor. 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

'Rocks' Valentine: [to Clitterhouse] Hey, why didn't you tell us you were such a big shot? Here I think all along you was just a screwball.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik, 1st movement
(1787) (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ivars from Tasmania doesn't know what he's talking about.
10 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is an excellent gangster film. The negative reviews I've read here are the remarks of mere quibblers, people who don't have a true appreciation for the 1930's Gangster Film. I used to have a 16mm print of this film. And every time I screened it people would come up afterward and say how much they liked it. No self respecting fan of Warner's gangster films would dare say a bad word about this film and others I've seen poorly reviewed on this site. Perhaps people brought up on Good Fellas and The Godfather cannot help but try holding older films up to current sensibilities. I don't know. But I see it a lot.

Anyway, don't believe the hype: Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart are great as are the rest of the cast. Character roles are well cast. Writing is solid. There's a great scene where Bogart gets slapped for misinterpreting a double entendre.

This film has something that I think is significant for the time. It deals with possible psychological reasons for crime. The good doctor who is doing experiments to fully understand the criminal mind was probably represents some sort of extension of public interest as well as paying lip service to the growing acceptance of psychology as we currently know it. The fact that the doctor is actually corrupted by the excitement and challenge of crime and getting away with it are interesting to note and may, again, parallel public interest.

The ending has an irresistible twist as the doctor incorrigibly revels in his bizarre circumstances as the camera closes in on an excited Robinson as chaos ensues all around.

I rate this film a strong 8 and recommend that Ivars give this film another chance.


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