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Compulsion

Released Apr 1, 1959 1h 43m Crime Drama List
100% Tomatometer 11 Reviews 85% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
Sociopathic students Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman) and Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) murder a boy in a philosophical exercise to commit the flawless crime. Despite their precautions, one of them inadvertently left a key piece of evidence at the crime scene, and they have been arrested and put on trial. It's up to their nationally famous attorney (Orson Welles) to save these misguided souls from execution. The film is based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb case of 1924. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (11) Critics Reviews
Manny Farber The New Leader Compulsion has surprising power, the feeling of a new intellectualism being poured into the handsomely mounted "liberal" juggernauts Sam Goldwyn once produced. Sep 14, 2021 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine Somewhat detached in its handling of emotional tensions, this smooth screen treatment of Meyer Levin's book nonetheless generates its own sort of cobra-like hypnosis. Nov 5, 2019 Full Review Barbara Shulgasser Common Sense Media Black-and-white classic about the Leopold-Loeb murder case. Rated: 3/5 Jan 10, 2017 Full Review Lori Hoffman Atlantic City Weekly First great 'thrill killer' movie Rated: 5/5 Mar 16, 2007 Full Review Rory L. Aronsky Film Threat [Richard] Fleischer turns the screws hard in "Compulsion. Rated: 4/5 May 30, 2006 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: B+ Jun 29, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (107) audience reviews
harwee h Solid thriller and with a solid cast. Welles shines Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/24 Full Review Doug A I consider this picture exceptionally well done. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/24/24 Full Review Georgan G Very well done in every aspect. Based the same true story as Hitchcock's "Rope," with Jimmy Stewart. This film took place after the murder & to the end of the trial. Whereas, "Rope" took the story on to the bad guys getting caught. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/09/23 Full Review nick s Great cinematography, compelling story and top shelf acting. This had it all. It's based on true events. It's nice to be able to read up on those events and discover the movie was pretty much bang on. A must see film noir. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/06/23 Full Review Peppie T My mother, born in 1925, referred to the true crime (that this movie was based on) w. sadness. Her family lived near this community & commented on the cold blooded, heartless killers w. no remorse. Movie was well acted; convincing criminals. Evil pervades. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/30/23 Full Review Nathan A The movie can be viewed as flawless in acting. The exception is for the ending where I do not think the movie did enough to put the actions of the criminal into the improbable meaning they should have actually shown the two convicted with scenes going to prison or into the prison environment. The film will not get full rating since it is based on previous crime. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Compulsion

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Sociopathic students Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman) and Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) murder a boy in a philosophical exercise to commit the flawless crime. Despite their precautions, one of them inadvertently left a key piece of evidence at the crime scene, and they have been arrested and put on trial. It's up to their nationally famous attorney (Orson Welles) to save these misguided souls from execution. The film is based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb case of 1924.
Director
Richard Fleischer
Producer
Richard D. Zanuck
Screenwriter
Brian Clark
Genre
Crime, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Apr 1, 1959, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 1, 2013
Runtime
1h 43m
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