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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

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

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Inspector Lane
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Judge
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Prosecuting Attorney
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Butch
Bert Hanlon ...
Pat
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Rabbit
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Tug
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Popus
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

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. . . a thunderbolt of thrills and intrigue

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Irving Rapper was originally assigned to the film as dialogue director, but was replaced by Jo Graham. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Clitterhouse pronounces the word 'Lieutenant' as 'Loo-ten-ant', and pronounces the letter 'Z' as 'Zee'. Since Dr. Clitterhouse has an English accent we can therefore assume that he is an Englishman, and most Englishmen pronounce 'Lieutenant' as 'Lef-ten-ant' and the letter 'Z' as 'Zed'. See more »

Quotes

'Rocks' Valentine: A new power behind the throne - that's me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik, 1st movement
(1787) (uncredited)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whether He's Sane or Insane, Edward G. Robinson Is Terrific
26 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

What a fun movie!

Edward G. Robinson plays a respected doctor who decides that the only way to truly understand criminal behavior for an academic study he is writing is to become a criminal himself. He joins a thieving ring run by Jo Keller (Claire Trevor, looking hotsy-totsy) and proceeds to both help the thieves with their crimes while at the same time studying them for the biological and psychological effects of their actions. Trouble arises when Jo's right-hand man, played by Humphrey Bogart, begins to feel like a third wheel, and blackmails Robinson when he discovers his true identity.

This film is a real treat. It's funny, creepy and suspenseful, all at the same time. Robinson begins to enjoy being a criminal, and his detached approach to crime makes him capable of committing murder without a second thought. Is he sane or insane? That's the question a jury must answer at the film's climax, and one the viewer still won't be able to answer after the movie's over.

Robinson, Trevor and Bogart have enough chemistry together to start a fire, and the three of them would team up again 10 years later for another terrific film, John Huston's "Key Largo." Anatole Litvak provides the fluid direction.

Grade: A-


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