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Compulsion (1959) Poster

(1959)

Trivia

Although the story was obviously a thinly-disguised recreation of the Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murder case, the legal department of 20th Century Fox was still concerned about a possible lawsuit from the still-living Leopold. A great effort was made not to mention Leopold or Loeb in the movie, press releases, and interviews. However, there was apparently poor communication with the advertising department, since when the movie came out, newspaper ads stated, "Based on the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case." Leopold sued the filmmakers. He did not claim libel, slander or anything false or defamatory about the film. Instead, he claimed an invasion of privacy. The court rejected his claim in part because Leopold had already published his own autobiography "Life Plus 99 Years", publicizing essentially the same facts.
This is the second of four Hollywood film adaptations of the Leopold-Loeb murder case. The first was Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), the third Tom Kalin's Swoon (1992) and the fourth Barbet Schroeder's Murder by Numbers (2002).
In later years, Richard Fleischer would make two more films about real life notorious murders - The Boston Strangler (1968) and 10 Rillington Place (1971).
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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.
During his closing arguments speech Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles) mentions that he has practiced law for 45-46 years. Welles, however, was only 43 years old when the movie was made.
Although top-billed, Orson Welles doesn't appear in the film until one hour and five minutes have passed.
The first film ever produced by Richard D. Zanuck.
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Bradford Dillman in his autobiography says that he and Dean Stockwell never got on Stockwell had previously played his role on stage, and had wanted his Broadway co-star Roddy Mcdowall for the movie. Stockwell and Dillman would work again sixteen years later on the little -seen South African thriller " One Away".
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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.
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Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman were given a special three -way acting award at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.
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Three actors in the movie later portrayed murder victims in the TV series, "Columbo." Martin Milner in "Murder by the Book" - (Directed by Steven Spielberg) Bradford Dillman in The Greenhouse Jungle" - (murdered by "Dial M for Murder" star Ray Milland) Dean Stockwell in "The Most Crucial Game" - (Stockwell also played a murder suspect in "Troubled Waters")
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The film takes place in Chicago in 1924.
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Made in 1959, some 35 years after the real murder.
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Because Orson Welles was having tax problems during the production, his entire salary for the movie was garnisheed several hours after photography was completed. This upset Welles so much that during the subsequent looping session to rerecord improperly recorded dialogue, Welles suddenly stormed off the studio and left the country. All that was left to fix was twenty seconds of unclear dialogue in Welles' climatic courtroom speech. But editor William Reynolds managed to fix this problem without Welles. Reynolds took words and pieces of words Welles had spoke earlier in the movie, and pieced them one by one into those last twenty seconds.
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For some reason the appropriately gravelly voice of actor/wrestler Henry Kulky, nicknamed "Bomber" playing the part of a speakeasy waiter, is dubbed by another actor.
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Average Shot Length & Median Shot Length = ~11 seconds.
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