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Compulsion [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, Diane Varsi, Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall
  • Directors: Richard Fleischer
  • Writers: Meyer Levin, Richard Murphy
  • Producers: Richard D. Zanuck
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: May 23 2006
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHSVQO

Product Description

In this riveting true story about the notorious 1924 Leopold-loeb murder case, Orson Wells stars as the brillant Clarence Darrow whose history-making defense against capitol punishment saved two wealthy Chicago teenagers from a death sentence.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack on July 21 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Dean Stockwell stars in this icky thriller, based on the infamous Leopold-Loeb murder case which shook Chicago in the 1920s. Most of the film features Stockwell and cohort Bradford Dillman, as two wealthy, sadistic criminal dilletantes bound together in a twisted dominant-submissive homoerotic pact, which leads them to kidnap and murder a young boy in their neighborhood -- all just for kicks. Dillman is compellingly grotesque as the ringleader who pushes Stockwell in violence and psychosis, and then delights in taunting the police behind their backs. This prelude is tense and gut-gripping, horrifying, in fact, but the film loses impact after they are caught and brought to trial. Orson Wells does a fine turn as the liberal lawyer who is brought in to defend them, and delivers a dazzling anti-death penalty speech, but the emotional drama of the ending is strangely muffled... Somehow, Wells's character is brought in a little too late, and there's no real interaction between him and his loathesome clients. The relevant points are made, but they don't resonate as effectively as the nauseating buildup -- Stockwell and Dillman remain unlikeable, yet their sickness and its philospohical rationalizations aren't dug into as deeply as they could have been. The confrontation of the character's gayness (and their need to disguise it before the jurors) is fascinating, though -- even though the movie was made thirty-five years after the killing took place, the filmmakers make no judgement about the homophobia involved. Anyway, as psychological thrillers go, this one's a doozy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The defense attorney Clarence Darrow (played with astonishing skill by the brilliant Orson Welles, who is today considered one of this country's finest actors ever) delivers in the last half of this movie one of the finest soliloquies Hollywood has ever offered us, equal to and probably surpassing England's Laurence Olivier in his critically praised "Hamlet" interpretation. The soliloquy by Welles is in itself worth the price of this video.
The hapless prosecuting attorney is played by E.G. Marshall, who recently died but who left us with a legacy of excellence in every picture in which he appeared (especially perhaps in "Twelve Angry Men"). A wonderfully underplayed but very sensitive performance by a master of his craft in films, stage, and television.
Brad Dillman and Dean Stockwell are right on in their portrayals of the villains who are apparently responsible for the compulsive and senseless murder of a young man. The entire cast creates some of the most realistic portrayals of good and evil that Hollywood has ever given us. Everyone in the cast seems to give it their all.
The movie is clearly, however, a product of the neo-Victorian times in which it was produced, sparing the audience the grim realism movies are currently permitted to film today. It could be more powerful if it were re-filmed today, perhaps, but could the cast of a re-make come close to matching the performances in this film?
It is worth owning this movie for its cast and direction and overall excellence...and it could be argued that the lack of the extreme violence which actually characterized the murder doesn't need to be as graphic on-screen as it probably would be if re-made today. By and large we are intelligent people and can jolly well fill in the details for ourselves.
A real treat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The defense attorney Clarence Darrow (played with astonishing skill by the brilliant Orson Welles, who is today considered one of this country's finest actors ever) delivers in the last half of this movie one of the finest soliloquies Hollywood has ever offered us, equal to and probably surpassing England's Laurence Olivier in his critically praised "Hamlet" interpretation. The soliloquy by Welles is in itself worth the price of this video.
The hapless prosecuting attorney is played by E.G. Marshall, who recently died but who left us with a legacy of excellence in every picture in which he appeared (especially perhaps in "Twelve Angry Men"). A wonderfully underplayed but very sensitive performance by a master of his craft in films, stage, and television.
Brad Dillman and Dean Stockwell are right on in their portrayals of the villains who are apparently responsible for the compulsive and senseless murder of a young man. The entire cast creates some of the most realistic portrayals of good and evil that Hollywood has ever given us. Everyone in the cast seems to give it their all.
The movie is clearly, however, a product of the neo-Victorian times in which it was produced, sparing the audience the grim realism movies are currently permitted to film today. It could be more powerful if it were re-filmed today, perhaps, but could the cast of a re-make come close to matching the performances in this film?
It is worth owning this movie for its cast and direction and overall excellence...and it could be argued that the lack of the extreme violence which actually characterized the murder doesn't need to be as graphic on-screen as it probably would be if re-made today. By and large we are intelligent people and can jolly well fill in the details for ourselves.
A real treat!
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