MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 10,707 this week

Compulsion (1959)

Approved  |   |  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 3,398 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 39 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

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 20 May 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 08 Nov 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 3 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... 

Swoon (1992)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Kalin
Stars: Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, Ron Vawter
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three performers for six roles: this is the game of the film. A melodrama about two love triangles. In the first, Hagalin is killed by his mistress and her lover. In the second, attorney ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Orson Welles, Juliette Gréco, Bradford Dillman
Compulsion I (2013)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

The lives of two female neighbors intersect when their individual obsessions begin to unravel.

Director: Egidio Coccimiglio
Stars: Heather Graham, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kevin Dillon
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A series of brutal murders in Boston sparks a seemingly endless and increasingly complex manhunt.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, George Kennedy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three men case a small town very carefully, with plans to rob the bank on the upcoming Saturday, which turns violent and deadly.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Egan, Stephen McNally
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing is the true story of Evelyn Nesbit Shaw, a beautiful showgirl caught in a love triangle with elderly architect Stanford White and eccentric young millionaire Harry K. Thaw.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Ray Milland, Joan Collins, Farley Granger
Arena (1953)
Drama | Sport | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Rodeo rider's marriage is endangered because of his commitment to the sport.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Gig Young, Jean Hagen, Polly Bergen
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ambitious cowboy will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including using the affections of two women.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Don Murray, Richard Egan, Lee Remick
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go to far and kill one of his migrant workmen, the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Orson Welles, Colleen Miller
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mark Conrad, a habitual drunk and troublemaker with a shady past, is expelled by Hong Kong police after one too many bar fights. He's sent to Macao on the Fa Tsan, a ferry owned by Captain ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Curd Jürgens, Orson Welles, Sylvia Syms
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American adventurer investigates the past of mysterious tycoon Arkadin...placing himself in grave danger.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Peter van Eyck, Michael Redgrave
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Directors: Richard Fleischer, Elmo Williams
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Juliette Gréco, David Wayne
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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
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:

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

In his treatment of the Leopold-Loeb case, Rope (1948), Alfred Hitchcock used his famous "ten-minute takes" and segued from one to the other with a "natural wipe" generally focusing on the back of one of the character's suit jackets. Perhaps as an homage to The Master, this film's director, Richard Fleischer, uses a "natural wipe" focusing on the front of Bradford Dillman's suit to end a scene. See more »

Goofs

When D.A. Horn is interviewing Straus, Horn sits down in a chair that was meant for Straus and moves a floor lampshade back down that had been directing its light at that chair. Straus 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 Rope (1939) 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.


21 of 34 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
Similar to Rope? victord
Discuss Compulsion (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?