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Crime of the Century (1996)

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 »

Director:

Mark Rydell

Writers:

Ludovic Kennedy (book), William Nicholson (teleplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Rea ... Bruno Richard Hauptmann
Isabella Rossellini ... Anna Hauptmann
J.T. Walsh ... Col. Norman Schwarzkopf
Michael Moriarty ... Governor Harold Hoffman
Allen Garfield ... Lt. James Finn
John Harkins ... Edward Reilly
Barry Primus ... Ellis Parker
David Paymer ... David Wilentz
Bert Remsen ... Dr. John Condon
Don Harvey ... Lt. Gus Kramer
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Commissioner ORyan
Stefan Gierasch ... Albert Osborn Sr.
Jay Acovone ... Sgt. Wallace
Vyto Ruginis ... Lloyd Fisher
Scott N. Stevens Scott N. Stevens ... Col. Charles Lindbergh
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Storyline

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 <sderby@sdeco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le crime du siècle See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Paymer, J.T. Walsh and Bill Bolender previously appeared in Nixon (1995). See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

Who dunnit? If you don't know already, this movie will not help you.
17 April 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

Crime of the Century fails much in the same way the system of justice failed in the prosecution of for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's baby in the 1930s, not enough evidence.

I know Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond) to be an extremely sensitive filmmaker and stage director, his motivation here, I'm sure was to present an alternative to Hauptmann's guilt, to entertain ideas that the prosecution may have erred. The evidence was only circumstantial, of the course the crime was horrible, but Hauptmann's execution may have been more a result of public outrage than guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

And he may be right, based on everything I've read, he probably is right. Unfortunately all the probabilities in the world add up to nothing on screen. After only a couple of suppositions the viewer gets so lost in the ultimate goal of the story that he loses interest. I've watched this film 3 times, and lost interest every time.

What a waste of terrific actors, including Stephen Rea, J.T. Walsh, Michael Moriarty, Vyto Ruginis, Barry Primus, and Allen Garfield.

Without closure, as long we as know as little as we do about what actually happened, maybe this story is best left to the true-crime section of the local bookstore, or Investigative Reports, Dateline, or 20/20. Told this way, in this medium it's a sad waste of time.


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