The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

The Amazing Dr. ClitterhouseAmazingdrclitterhouse poster
Directed by Anatole Litvak
Written by John Wexley and John Huston from the play by Barré Lyndon
1938/USA
Warner Bros.

First viewing; Netflix rental

 

‘Rocks’ Valentine: [to Clitterhouse] Hey, why didn’t you tell us you were such a big shot? Here I think all along you was just a screwball.

The cinematography and direction of this movie were great and the actors are some of my favorites.  I honestly cannot explain why it did not grab me in any way.

Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) is a society physician with a fascination with the criminal mind.  He decides to do some medical research on the subject and to use himself as his own guinea pig so he starts pulling off a number of jewel heists which baffle the police.  He finds a fence for the loot in the form of Jo Keller (Claire Trevor) and falls in with her gang.  Clitterhouse becomes known as “The Professor” and takes over the ring leader role from “Rocks” Valentine (Humphrey Bogart).  Rocks is not about to stand for this.

Amazing dr. clitterhouse 2

Litvak made a very stylish film with strong elements of German Expressionism .  I loved his Mayerling (1936) too and want to check out more of his work.  The only problem with the movie for me is that it is supposed to be a comedy-thriller and I was neither thrilled nor greatly amused.  I may have been having a bad day.

Trailer

 

2 thoughts on “The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

  1. You were not having a bad day. How can any film with that awkward title be a classic? I hate the mixture of crime and comedy (All ThroughThe Night with Bogie leaps to mind. I hated it). I did not hate this film but it is not one I would watch more than once.

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