- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Based on the infamous 1923 Loeb-Leopld killing of Bobby Franks in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, this is a disturbing film. This doesn't men it's not entertaining because it is. But it rattles th viewer to the ore. Lobe and Leopold were sociopaths who landed the "perfect crime." It was supposed to a kidnapping that wold garner them a great deal of ransom money and a chance to toy with cops they believed to be moronic. But things went very wrong and their victim was killed. Then these two geniuses (both had graduated college by age 18) ratted each other out when the cops got too close to the truth. the movie takes some liberties with the actual history, but it is really quite close and it provides a frightening look into the minds of two totally amoral young men. Orson Welles is superb as he high powered attorney (Clarence Darrow in real life) who saves these two creeps from the gallows. Watching this movie is a bit like slowing down to look at a car accident. It's disturbing and even upsetting but the desire to look remains. Compulsion is entertaining and it is a cautionary tale. Two nice looking, cooperative, polite, accomplished young men brutally murder a kid and nobody wants to suspect they could do this. How many times do we hear the same ideas about a serial killer: "He seemed so nice. He invited us over for cookout and loaned us his snow blower." This is the premise of Compulsion. The killers may look ok but they are compelled to do evil things,
I am a big TCM fan but get your act together...
- Frederick Zollo
THEY ARE NOT LAW STUDENTS!!Watch the film!Don't rely on that idiot Leonard Maltin!Terrific turn by Welles. Arguably his best.
Overall-3 1/2 out of 5Lead performers-4/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-3/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-3/5Importance-3/5Recommendation for fans of genre- 4/ 5
Terrific film, horrific crime
Both Leopold and Loeb were malignant narcissists and pathological killers. Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell are exceptional in their roles here. The real Leopold and Loeb were represented by the great Clarence Darrow, played in this film by Orson Welles. If it hadn't been for Darrow, both Leopold and Loeb would have gotten capital punishment. Instead, they got life in prison. Loeb was killed by an inmate in prison but Leopold got out after 33 years and lived to a ripe old age in Puerto Rico...more's the pity! Orson Welles gives a fantastic performance as Darrow and his arguments before the judge are superb and taken from record. Leopold tried to have this film quashed, as he believed Welles should not profit from his and Loeb's crime - of all the nerve! I've watched this film several times before seeing it again tonight but, this time, I could not help be think of all the other patholocial killers and malignant narcissists we have the misfortune to know now. Sandy Hook, Aurora and too may others were committed by these types of murderers and it is no less shocking today than it was in 1924 when Leopold and Loeb murdered Bobbie Franks.
I thought it was the best movie in representing the Leopold and Loebb case. I was glad they did not show the murder, it would have lost the interest involving the investigation. They just don't make movies like they used to
What an amazing film. Filled with remarkable performances from the entire cast. Excellent throughout, great screenplay and direction, superb cinematography. Very memorable.