“I know precisely what I’m doing: valuable research work, in a rather unusual form!”
A doctor (Edward G. Robinson) interested in studying the physiology of criminals gets involved in a heist ring led by high-level fence Jo Keller (Claire Trevor).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Anatole Litvak Films
- Character Studies
- Claire Trevor Films
- Donald Crisp Films
- Edward G. Robinson Films
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
- Thieves and Criminals
This unusual comedic crime thriller deals with one of the eternal dilemmas of science: to what lengths should we go in order to learn more about the human mind and body? The Office for Protection of Human Subjects at any university would have quite a bit to say about Dr. Clitterhouse’s methods, but his blatant disregard for such conventions is what provides the film’s narrative fuel. How far will Clitterhouse (what a name!) go, and when — or rather, how — will he be caught? Edward G. Robinson acquits himself admirably in the title role:
… and seems the perfect choice to play this recklessly arrogant — yet unnervingly calm — doctor. While the screenplay is overly stagy at times, and the comedy doesn’t always work, The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse remains intriguing viewing.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A clever and witty script (co-written by future director John Huston)
No. While based on an intriguing premise, this movie isn’t essential viewing for film fanatics.