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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Approved | | Crime , Drama | 30 July 1938 (USA)
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Black comedy about a brilliant Park Avenue doctor who becomes a criminal in order to do research into the criminal mind.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

John Wexley (screen play), John Huston (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Dr. Clitterhouse
Claire Trevor ... Jo Keller
Humphrey Bogart ... 'Rocks' Valentine
Allen Jenkins ... Okay
Donald Crisp ... Inspector Lane
Gale Page ... Nurse Randolph
Henry O'Neill ... Judge
John Litel ... Prosecuting Attorney
Thurston Hall ... Grant
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Butch
Bert Hanlon Bert Hanlon ... Pat
Curt Bois ... Rabbit
Ward Bond ... Tug
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Popus
Billy Wayne Billy Wayne ... Candy
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Storyline

Dr. Clitterhouse is fascinated with the working of the criminal mind. His interest is so deep that he finds the best way to observe criminals in action is to become one himself. Whilst robbing a safe at an exclusive party he stumbles across an organized gang trying to do the same thing. He teams up with the gang to observe them in action but one of the members, Rocks Valentine would like nothing better than to see Clitterhouse out of the way. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

. . . a thunderbolt of thrills and intrigue

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald Reagan's voice can be heard as a radio announcer, a job that Reagan held before he started as a film actor. See more »

Goofs

In the final newspaper to appear in the newspaper montage, the subheading misspells the word "clue." The subheading reads "Harbor Police Hunt for Murder Motive as Surgeons Find a Puzzling Clew." See more »

Quotes

Dr. T.S. Clitterhouse: Crime and research.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Go Back to Bali
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the radio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ivars from Tasmania doesn't know what he's talking about.
10 August 2006 | by Blooddrinker6See all my reviews

This film is an excellent gangster film. The negative reviews I've read here are the remarks of mere quibblers, people who don't have a true appreciation for the 1930's Gangster Film. I used to have a 16mm print of this film. And every time I screened it people would come up afterward and say how much they liked it. No self respecting fan of Warner's gangster films would dare say a bad word about this film and others I've seen poorly reviewed on this site. Perhaps people brought up on Good Fellas and The Godfather cannot help but try holding older films up to current sensibilities. I don't know. But I see it a lot.

Anyway, don't believe the hype: Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart are great as are the rest of the cast. Character roles are well cast. Writing is solid. There's a great scene where Bogart gets slapped for misinterpreting a double entendre.

This film has something that I think is significant for the time. It deals with possible psychological reasons for crime. The good doctor who is doing experiments to fully understand the criminal mind was probably represents some sort of extension of public interest as well as paying lip service to the growing acceptance of psychology as we currently know it. The fact that the doctor is actually corrupted by the excitement and challenge of crime and getting away with it are interesting to note and may, again, parallel public interest.

The ending has an irresistible twist as the doctor incorrigibly revels in his bizarre circumstances as the camera closes in on an excited Robinson as chaos ensues all around.

I rate this film a strong 8 and recommend that Ivars give this film another chance.


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