Roderick Raskolnikov, a brilliant criminology student and writer, becomes embittered by poverty and his inability to support his family. When he sees a desperate prostitute, Sonya, degraded by a vicious pawnbroker, Raskolnikov, a proponent of the idea that some people are imbued with such intelligence that the law cannot be applied to them as to other people, decides to rid the world of the pawnbroker and thus save his family and Sonya as well from the fate poverty forces on them. When Porphiry, the police detective investigating the murder, encounters Raskolnikov, he finds a man nearly crippled by the guilt and paranoia his deed has burdened him with. But Raskolnikov clings with as much coldness and calculation as he can muster to his guiding idea, that some crimes ought not to be punished.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Mrs. Patrick Campbell on Josef von Sternberg] I grasped how foolish I had been to imagine for one moment that there was going to be any intelligent pleasure in working even with this man. He wanted only obedience and silence to get his own effects. Anything in my face and figure that wasn't ugly enough, he made into a camera distortion. The director and the cameraman together did the 'acting' of my short role, helped, I suppose, by the cutting room. When I saw the rushes, I knew beyond question that no director asks for imagination, gifts, or experience from the artist. I had myself wished to put the necessary horror and ugliness into my face, voice, and movements, but instead it was achieved through the exaggeration of every shadow on my face, and even of the pores of my skin. See more »
There's something queer about this?
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One of the credits reads "Story by Dostoievsky". There is an asterisk next to this credit, and at the bottom it says, "Feodor Dostoievsky, Russia's foremost author, wrote 'Crime and Punishment' in 1866'". See more »
Columbia Pictures updated Fydor Dostoyevsky's classic novel "Crime and Punishment" from its original era and set it during the bleak years of the Great Depression. The updating works due to an excellent director and a superb cast. Josef von Sternberg guided the production along with his usual flair, making "Crime and Punishment" an entertaining motion picture. In the film, Roderick Raskolnikov (Peter Lorre) murders a haggish, old pawnbroker and soon discovers that he hasn't committed the perfect crime. Inspector Porfiry (Edward Arnold) is on to him and starts a cat and mouse game with Roderick that nearly drives Roderick insane. Also, a sympathetic prostitute, Sonya (Marian Marsh), falls in love with Roderick and begs him to give himself up and face the punishment that is coming to him. Although clearly a B-Film (notice that there are not many extras in the cast), "Crime and Punishment" is a good example of how an entertaining film can be made on a limited budget.
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