Compulsion

 (237)
7.41 h 43 min195918+
In a retelling of the Leopold and Loeb murders, two men with massive superiority complexes murder a younger boy and are subsequently put on trial.
Directors
Richard Fleischer
Starring
Orson WellsDean StockwellBradford Dillman
Genres
SuspenseDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Diane VarsiE. Marshall
Studio
20th Century Fox
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

237 global ratings

  1. 71% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Cheryl A. PulaReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good parallel to Leopold and Loeb case
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I had just finished reading a book on the famous Leopold and Loeb murder case, and decided to see the movie based on the incident. While the names were changed for the movie, the facts of the actual case were used as the background. While the movie didn't show the murder of Bobby Franks, one has to remember when the film was made, in the 50s, at a time when those things weren't shown it movies. But you get the idea, and the movie covers them well. It is pretty true to the actual facts, and I enjoyed it.
ovpowerReviewed in the United States on May 9, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
FINALLY A DECENT VERSION OF COMPULSION
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Say what you will about the story. It has it's ups and downs and may not be considered a classic, but Orson Welles does manage to grab your attention and not let go of it. Unfortunately he doesn't appear until the third act of the film. Some of the acting, frankly a lot of the acting before he shows up is a little over the top. Dramatic with a huge capital D. But it's still a great story nonetheless. Now for the transfer. Magnificent! It's never looked better and this film really deserves the treatment it got. Kino Lorber has a spotty record of quality when it comes to a lot of their classic film releases. This blu-ray isn't one of them. I highly recommend it.
2 people found this helpful
Dean K. GibsonReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A study in evil when society's morals are ignored (sound familiar?)
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This is my favorite movie of all time. It's a study of what happens when society's morals are ignored. It has implications for eugenics, nazism, & racism.

Although technically fictional, the details closely follow the real case. A more fictionalized account can be seen in Hitchcock's "Rope", which stars James Stewart, & the horror he feels when his "academic" words are put into practice.

Let the reader/viewer beware.
Trippy TrellisReviewed in the United States on October 11, 2017
1.0 out of 5 stars
4 1/2 stars for the movie (which is terrific! )
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4 1/2 stars for the movie (which is terrific!); 0 stars for KINO. This is, I believe, the last blu-ray that I bought that was made by KINO and when I watched it, it was too late to return to Amazon. What's going on with KINO? Why do their blu-rays of the last two years FREEZE on me? Not their earlier ones, just the ones from the last two years. Could they be manufacturing them cheaply in a third-world country? It's not fair because they own the best titles. Right now there are 4 KINO blu-rays that I would give my eyeteeth to own (4 Selznicks!) but I won't touch them with a ten foot pole, of course. It's not fair!
4 people found this helpful
William S. MaleyReviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought provoking
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Well acted. Portrayal of the culprits showed how damaged they were as human beings. Orsen Wells is spectacular. His closing arguments as Clarence Darrow are riveting.
One person found this helpful
Douglas WallenReviewed in the United States on March 24, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great looking movie, excellent film
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Excellent presentation of a very underrated film. Performances are uniformly excellent, especially Orson Welles. This is another take on the infamous Leopold-Loeb murder trial done in a docudrama style. The transfer of this film is a near perfect example of what a restored B/w film should look like. Highly recommended!!!
3 people found this helpful
M. GamezReviewed in the United States on May 4, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Compulsion to tell the truth.
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The unspoken word in Hollywood is not to see great Wells films yet although the exception of certain great actors. Wells gives 30 minutes of himself in the third act of this unforgettable drama with a twist.
alan levineReviewed in the United States on May 19, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
riverting and tense
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excellent trial thriller with Orson Wells playing the great Clarence Darrow. The movie concerns itself with the Leopold/Loeb 1924 murder case. Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell play the teenagers on trial. Riverting and tense. Great acting.
2 people found this helpful
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