MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,478 this week

Compulsion (1959)

 -  Biography | Crime | Drama  -  4 May 1959 (Sweden)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,966 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 32 critic

Two wealthy law-school students go on trial for murder in this version of the Leopold-Loeb case.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 25 Oct 2010
 
a list of 32 titles
created 26 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Compulsion (1959)

Compulsion (1959) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Compulsion.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, James Russo
Certificate: GP Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

London, 1949. John Christie is an unassuming, middle aged man who, along with his wife Ethel, manages the apartment building at 10 Rillington Place. His unassuming demeanor masks the fact ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, John Hurt
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
The FBI Story (1959)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A dedicated FBI agent recalls the agency's battles against the Klan, organized crime and Communist spies.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: James Stewart, Vera Miles, Murray Hamilton
Hollywoodland (2006)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective examines the mysterious death of George Reeves, TV's Superman.

Director: Allen Coulter
Stars: Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Based on real life events, Assassination is set in 1974 and centers on a businessman who decides to take extreme measures to achieve his American dream.

Director: Niels Mueller
Stars: Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Don Cheadle
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Irish journalist is assassinated by drug dealers she wrote about in a series of stories.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Rogue intelligence agents, right-wing politicians, greedy capitalists, and free-lance assassins plot and carry out the JFK assassination in this speculative agitprop.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Will Geer
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Party Monster (2003)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This is the true story of Michael Alig, a Club Kid party organizer whose life was sent spiraling down when he bragged on television about killing his drug dealer and roommate.

Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
Stars: Macaulay Culkin, Wilson Cruz, Seth Green
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jonathan Wilk
...
Ruth Evans
...
...
Arthur A. Straus
...
District Attorney Harold Horn
...
Sid Brooks
...
Max Steiner
Robert F. Simon ...
Police Lt. Johnson (as Robert Simon)
...
Tom Daly
Robert Burton ...
Charles Straus
Wilton Graff ...
Mr. Steiner
Louise Lorimer ...
Mrs. Straus aka 'Mumsy'
...
Padua - Horn's Assistant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ina Balin ...
Mike's girlfriend (scenes deleted)
Edmund Cobb ...
Policeman (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

In 1924 Chicago, Artie Strauss and Judd Steiner are friends and fellow law students who both come from wealthy backgrounds. They have few true friends as they believe all their contemporaries are intellectually inferior. Within their relationship, Artie is the dominant and Judd the submissive who says he will do whatever Artie tells him. Although Judd acts intellectually arrogant to others, he also shows signs of weakness and reticence most evident to Artie. Part of their goal in life is to experience how it feels to do everything. As such, they plot to commit what they consider the perfect crime - a kidnapping and murder - not only so that they can experience the sense of killing for killing's sake, but also taunt the law with the knowledge of it and their superiority after the fact. They believe their crime is above the law. Their murder of young Paulie Kessler is not so perfect, with evidence at the scene uncovered by one of their law school colleagues, Sid Brooks, who also works ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEIRS WAS THE PERFECT CRIME they thought! They were too sure...too smart...too careful to leave a clue -- but they did! and it exploded -- The shocking story of two teenagers out for kicks...looking for thrills...and finding them! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1959 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Compulsion  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35 mm optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play included what was then a modern-day sequence. This was omitted from the film. It showed several of the characters thirty years after the story took place. See more »

Goofs

When D.A. Horn is interviewing Straus, Horn sits down in a chair that was meant for Staus and moves a floor lampshade back down that had been directing its light at that chair. Staus moves to stand beside the floor lamp. The light is then variably on and off as shots between the two change. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judd Steiner: To the perfect crime!
Arthur Straus: Crime. Oh, my wealthy fraternity brothers. 67 dollars, and a second-hand typewriter.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Orson Welles, We Did You Wrong

We can add Welles to Wilde, Monroe and others who we never respected until they were gone. His pleading for the lives of those crazy boys (as Clarence Darrow did) is an eloquent plea for the ending of the death penalty. Funny, how a barometer like the death penalty tells us so much about a society's relative civility. The US had backed away from it, but is now swinging back toward even public executions (which I would much prefer, as they show all of us how barbaric we have become).

Note that the movie dwells on their 'craziness' and 'richness', not the Jewishness or the homosexual relationships that evoked the wrath of the public in the real case. Both Dillman and Dean Stockwell do an excellent job of drawing out your anger until you find yourself one of the mob yelling for blood. To stem the tide, in comes Orson Welles. Welles' phrasing and meaningful looks struck me again with what a magnificent actor he was, as well as director.

Now I have to go read 'Compulsion', the novel around which this movie was made, to determine what was left out and if it would have contributed to some of the obviously omitted details that make this movie a little choppy. This movie performs the task that great art must take on itself: to provide us insights into life and how it should be lived. That can be done either negatively or positively, by point or counter-point.

Of course, unless you had some excellent writers and actors of the stature of Welles, you wouldn't come up to the quality of this movie. Definitely, black and white contributed to the brooding quality of the film. Color would have detracted, and you'll seldom 'hear' me say this.


20 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Roddy McDowall Broadway susanleslie2
Welles' awful melodrama computersaysno_cough
Gavin MacLeod ... Padua sm_cohn
Up 116% in popularity??? oOoBarracuda
psychiatric diagnoses? Sylviamoon
Books about this for interested readers kag2-1
Discuss Compulsion (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?