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Dr. Crippen (1963)

The real-life story of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was hanged in London in 1910 for poisoning his wife so he could be with his young lover. But was he truly guilty of murder?

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Coral Browne ...
...
R.D. Muir (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
...
Captain McKenzie
John Arnatt ...
Paul Carpenter ...
Bruce Martin
Oliver Johnston ...
Lord Chief Justice
John Lee ...
Harry Fawcett
Olga Lindo ...
Mrs. Clara Arditti
...
Mrs. Jackson
...
Mr. Tobin
Edward Underdown ...
The Prison Governor
Douglas Bradley-Smith ...
Hamilton Dyce ...
Dr. Rogers
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Storyline

A dramatization of Britain's notorious Crippen murder case. American-born Hawley Harvey Crippen (nicknamed "Peter"), a mild-mannered, middle-aged doctor who made his living in London selling quack remedies, was convicted and hanged in 1910 for poisoning his wife, Belle, dismembering her body and burying the remains in the coal cellar of their home before fleeing England with his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, only to be arrested aboard ship while en route to North America. The movie opens with the start of Crippen's trial in the Old Bailey; flashbacks provide a look at the misery of Crippen's marriage to the overbearing Belle, a failed music-hall performer with an eye for younger men, and how Crippen found true love in the person of his young secretary, until events reached their dreadful climax. That Crippen caused his wife's death, there is little doubt, but this movie wonders: Was it a deliberate act? Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The crime of the century! Was he really guilty? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

3 June 1966 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Crippen  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

DNA testing has divided opinion as to the guilt of Dr Crippen - There are a wealth of resources to follow, far exceeding the scope of this entry. Examples of questions raised both before and after DNA testing have been: The 'remains of Crippen's wife Cora' were in fact those of a man? Why were said remains filleted? Where were the bones? See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not a One Man Woman
(uncredited)
Music by Ken Jones
Lyrics by Dominic John
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User Reviews

 
A simple, sober and sympathetic movie
10 February 2016 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Poor "Dr. Crippen". As the character himself says, he's gone down in history as some kind of monster, not that far removed from Jack the Ripper. Robert Lynn's simple, sober film sets out to redress the balance. painting Crippen as more sinned against than sinner. Yes, he killed his wife and dismembered her corpse but did she drive him to it and was the killing itself an accident as he ultimately claims? There is no doubt as to which side Lynn's film is on.

It's an intelligent little picture if, in the end, not a particularly exciting one and it's very well played by Donald Pleasence, (Crippen), Samantha Eggar, (Ethel Le Neve, his uncomprehending mistress) and Coral Browne, (his shrew of a wife). The fine black and white cinematography is by Nicholas Roeg.


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