MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,359 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 3,192 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 38 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...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Top 10 TV Shows

Brooke Anderson from "Entertainment Tonight" and Melanie McFarland take a look at the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014 in our new series "IMDb Countdown".

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 28 Aug 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 27 Mar 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 17 Jul 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Compulsion" on Amazon.com

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... 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth
The Broken Shore (TV Movie 2013)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An evocative crime thriller that captures the chilling action and sharp wit of Peter Temple's acclaimed novel The Broken Shore. In this gripping adaptation, Detective Joe Cashin uncovers a ... See full summary »

Director: Rowan Woods
Stars: Don Hany, Claudia Karvan, Anthony Hayes
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In Serbia, Baron Frankenstein lives with the Baroness and their two children. He dreams of a super-race, returning Serbia to its grand connections to ancient Greece. In his laboratory, ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Morrissey, Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Joe Dallesandro, Udo Kier, Dalila Di Lazzaro
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.1/10 X  

When brutal murdering starts in a small riverside town, the sheriff must investigate and face the horrific past.

Director: Bruce Koehler
Stars: Kurt Angle, S. William Hinzman, Kevin Nash
The Dark Half (1993)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A writer's fictional alter-ego wants to take over his life...at any price.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker
The Sleeper (2012)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

It's 1981 and the girls of Alpha Gamma Theta sorority are having a party. As the new pledges arrive, so does an uninvited guest. Little do the sisters know someone is watching them in the ... See full summary »

Director: Justin Russell
Stars: Brittany Belland, E. Ray Goodwin, Jason Jay Crabtree
Coffin Baby (2013)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

Hollywood, California is turned upside down by a series of strange and horrific murders creating chaos and turmoil in tinsel town. One particular victim is kidnapped, held captive and ... See full summary »

Director: Dean Jones
Stars: Bruce Dern, Brian Krause, Clifton Powell
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A Shaolin Monk comes to the United States to take care of his deceased brother's son. He establishes a school with a former student who leads him into trouble with the Russian Mafia.

Director: Peng Zhang Li
Stars: Cindy Carino, Robert Christie, Matt Harlan Cohen
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A group of forest rangers go camping in the woods, and trespass into an area where a backwoods mama likes to kill people who come onto her turf.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: John Friedrich, Adrian Zmed, Ernest Harden Jr.
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Seductive vampire Carmilla Karnstein and her family target the beautiful and the rich a remote area of late 18th century Gemany.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Ingrid Pitt, Pippa Steel, Madeline Smith
Committed I (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young woman goes in search of her midlife crisis suffering husband who left her.

Director: Lisa Krueger
Stars: Heather Graham, Casey Affleck, Luke Wilson
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young boy plants some strange seeds and they grow into a grandmother.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Dorothy McGinnis, Richard White, Virginia Maitland
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:

You know why we did it? Because we damn well felt like doing it! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1959 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Der Zwang zum Bösen  »

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

Made in 1959, some 35 years after the real murder. 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

Version of The Rope (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Mostly involving film with sensational performances by main characters and supporting cast
22 January 2007 | by See all my reviews

The film deal with two young men who murder a pal. They are law students and followers of Nietsche theories . They are investigated by an astute coroner (E.G.Marshall) . He's growing suspicion but there isn't one perfect crime . But the justice to be executed and they go on trial for killing . A famous lawyer (Orson Welles) will defend them under accusation of murderers and under death penalty . A young girl(Diane Varsi) will testify for them .

This highly interesting film is inspired on real events about Leopold-Lob killing case in Chicago of the 1920s . The film contains suspense , drama, tension , illicit love with intertwining triangles ,emotion , courtroom trial and complex intrigue maintained throughout. Besides superb performances by main roles ( Dillman, Stockell, Varsi, Welles ) and supporting casting ( Martin Milner, Robert F. Simon, Gavin McLeod among others ). Special mention to Orson Welles with a terrific acting and explaining a significant speech into criminal court . The movie is visually magnificent with an excellent black and white cinematography by William C. Mellor . Evocative and adjusted music by Lionel Newman . The motion picture is wonderfully directed by Richard Fleischer . Other versions about same events are the famous ¨The rope¨ by Hithcock with John Dall (in the character of Bradford Dillman )and Farley Granger (in the role of Dean Stockwell), ¨Swoon¨ and recently ¨Murder by numbers¨ by Barbet Schroeder with Michael Pitt and Ryan Gosling . Indispensable and fundamental seeing for court genre enthusiasts and Orson Welles fans . It's one of Richard Fleisher's best. Rating : Above average .


17 of 21 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
Books about this for interested readers kag2-1
Up 116% in popularity??? oOoBarracuda
psychiatric diagnoses? Sylviamoon
Discuss Compulsion (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?