Crime of the Century (1996)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 September 1996 (USA)
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In 1932, the nation was shocked when the 14-month-old son of Charles Lindberg was kidnapped, held for ransom, and murdered. Two years later, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested, convicted,... See full summary »



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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. James Finn
John Harkins ...
Barry Primus ...
Ellis Parker
Lt. Gus Kramer
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ...
Commissioner ORyan
Albert Osborn Sr.
Sgt. Wallace
Lloyd Fisher
Scott N. Stevens ...


In 1932, the nation was shocked when the 14-month-old son of Charles Lindberg was kidnapped, held for ransom, and murdered. Two years later, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested, convicted, and executed. This film dramatizes the investigation against Hauptmann, the trial, and the execution, painting a picture of a corrupt police force under pressure to finger a killer framing an innocent man by manufacturing evidence, paying-off and blackmailing witnesses, and covering up exculpatory evidence. Written by Steve Derby <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The most famous kidnapping in history claimed more than one victim.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense thematic elements, including an execution scene | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 September 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lindbergh-bébi elrablása  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character, Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf played here by J.T. Walsh, was the father of Norman Schwarzkopf of Desert Storm fame. See more »


Version of The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Filmmakers fail to do compelling story justice
12 February 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Call me a bleeding-heart liberal, but I guess I'm a sucker for movies about people who are wrongly accused. This movie, however, failed to move me, even though I've read books on the subject and the case itself moves me. Rydell and Nicholson do a good job setting up the circumstances that led Hauptmann to become a suspect, and to even arouse suspicions in us, but the dialogue and individual scenes fall completely flat, because they're obvious and heavy-handed. To make matters worse, some of the actors, like David Paymer and Allen Garfield, seem to have been told they were in an over-acting contest. Walsh is good, as is the ever dependable Moriarty, but Rea seems lacking as Hauptmann.

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Does this sad story deserve to be told on a huge screen? Samfortune2004
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