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 »
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J. Evan Bonifant,
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 investigation, trial and final fate of the two men. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the real killers, appear in archival footage sampled in the film. These shots, and most of the other footage in the film, were provided by the Chicago Historical Society. See more »
The two lead characters use a telephone with Touch Tone dialing-systems and other modern devices (TV remote controls, ballpoint pens, etc), even though the film is set in the early 1920's. The placement of such anachronistic objects was deliberate on the part of the filmmakers. See more »
Puzzling revisionist return to 1920s Chicago, wherein a couple of vicarious thrill-seekers and gay lovers graduate from breaking storefront windows to masterminding the murder of a young boy (within the pretense of a kidnapping-for-ransom job). True story of convicted murderers Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. is given a stark, visually arresting and stylish look, but the men themselves are annoyingly enigmatic. The pair are seen as lustful and reckless, yet they're also in denial over their actions, their religion (both were Jewish) and their homosexuality. The film doesn't equate their self-denial with anything substantial (not their upbringings, their behavior in public or private, nor their state of wealth), and the intrinsic aloofness keeps the picture from being a gripping document. Some of the details of the case are confusing as presented, either brushed passed without great thought or left deliberately ambiguous (as with the prosecutor's claim the young victim was sexually abused, something we don't see). There are mordantly amusing asides (such as Leopold allegedly suing the movie producer behind 1959's "Compulsion" because it portrayed him in a negative fashion!), yet the pair's prison years are hardly delved into, leaving us with less at the finish than we initially had. ** from ****
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