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Dr. Crippen (1963)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  3 June 1966 (Finland)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 176 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

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:
...
Coral Browne ...
...
...
R.D. Muir (as Sir Donald Wolfit)
...
Captain McKenzie
John Arnatt ...
Chief Inspector Dew
Paul Carpenter ...
Bruce Martin
Oliver Johnston ...
Lord Chief Justice
John Lee ...
Harry Fawcett
Olga Lindo ...
Mrs. Clara Arditti
Elspeth March ...
Mrs. Jackson
Geoffrey Toone ...
Mr. Tobin
Edward Underdown ...
The Prison Governor
Douglas Bradley-Smith ...
Dr. Pepper
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

Taglines:

If you want to remember your wife, send flowers. If you want to dismember her... see DR. CRIPPEN See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

3 June 1966 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Crippen  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Olga Lindo. 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

 
Bloodless Passion
28 October 2013 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A dour little movie, with flat out ugly photography and ill-matched pairings. In short, the 90- minutes is something of an ordeal to sit through, that is, if you have the usual movie expectations. I don't know what the director told lead actor Pleasance (Crippen), but he acts like he swallowed a lemon throughout, even when in the loving company of the luscious Eggar (Ethel). I know he's supposed to be repressed, but his permanent paralysis appears unreal. Then too, seeing this unpleasant little middle-aged man paired with the lovely young Eggar amounts to more than a stretch. Then there's Belle (Brown), his boisterously unfaithful wife. About five-minutes into the film and I was hoping someone would strangle her and rescue my ears. The movie's only mystery is why it took him so long.

The case itself, from books I've read, was pretty much open-and-shut against the doctor. Certainly he had reasons to commit the crime, which coincides with the movie. However, I suspect the element of doubt about his intentions that the movie introduces was an invention to add a provocative note to an otherwise unremarkable screenplay. Certainly, Crippen is presented as a somewhat sympathetic character by movie's end, which looks like a belated effort to humanize an otherwise one-note performance. Anyhow, the lead characters come across more like stereotypes than real people. And that along with the truly grim-faced production amounts to a forgettable movie experience.


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