The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938), starring Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins
Editorial review of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, courtesy of Amazon.com
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse is a stylish, often amusing crime drama, this 1938 feature revolves around a central, improbable plot twist that consciously serves its casting against type: as the eponymous doctor, Edward G. Robinson, who had helped define the Warner Bros. style for gritty gangster sagas, jettisons his signature snarl in favor of a plummy, vaguely English accent that underlines his urbane sophistication. Dr. Clitterhouse is a creature of privilege who embarks on a criminal life not out of desperation, but rather through intellectual curiosity; instead of slouch hats and suits, he has marcelled hair and first appears in white tie and tails. He begins pulling off “perfect” jewel thefts as research into the criminal mind, but his gradual immersion in New York’s shadowy demimonde of thieves and fences eventually finds the good doctor between those two worlds.
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