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Compulsion (1959 film)

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Genre  Biography, Crime, Drama
Screenplay  Richard Murphy
Country  United States
7.5/10 IMDb

Director  Richard Fleischer
Music director  Lionel Newman
Language  English
Compulsion (1959 film) movie poster
Release date  April 1, 1959 (1959-04-01)
Based on  Compulsion  by Meyer Levin
Writer  Richard Murphy (screenplay), Meyer Levin (based on the novel by)
Cast  Orson Welles (Jonathan Wilk), Diane Varsi (Ruth Evans), Dean Stockwell (Judd Steiner), Bradford Dillman (Arthur A. Straus), E.G. Marshall (District Attorney Harold Horn), Martin Milner (Sid Brooks)
Similar movies  A Time to Kill, The Juror, Inherit the Wind, 12 Angry Men, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Rainmaker

Compulsion 1959

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. Its 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.


Compulsion (1959 film) movie scenes

Compulsion is a 1959 American crime drama film directed by Richard Fleischer. The film is based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Meyer Levin, which in turn was a fictionalized account of the Leopold and Loeb murder trial. It was the first film produced by Richard D. Zanuck.

Compulsion (1959 film) movie scenes

Although the principal roles are played by Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman, top billing went to Orson Welles, who does not appear in the films first hour.

Compulsion (1959 film) movie scenes

Two close friends, arrogantly and without remorse, kidnap and murder a young boy. They are caught and put to trial where their larger-than-life defense lawyer blames the Establishment for their actions.


Compulsion (1959 film) movie scenes When Orson Welles comes in to interview the two boys for the first time he observes The hardest thing about this trial is that neither of you appear to

Artie Strauss and Judd Steiner (Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell) kill a boy on his way home from school in order to commit the "perfect crime". Strauss tries to cover it up, but they are caught when police find a key piece of evidence — Steiners glasses, which he inadvertently leaves at the scene of the crime. Famed attorney Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles) takes their case, saving them from hanging by making an impassioned closing argument against capital punishment.


  • Orson Welles as Jonathan Wilk
  • Diane Varsi as Ruth Evans
  • Dean Stockwell as Judd Steiner
  • Bradford Dillman as Artie Strauss
  • E. G. Marshall as District Attorney Harold Horn
  • Martin Milner as Sid Brooks
  • Richard Anderson as Max Steiner
  • Robert F. Simon as Police Lt. Johnson (as Robert Simon)
  • Edward Binns as Tom Daly
  • Robert Burton as Charles Straus
  • Wilton Graff as Mr. Steiner
  • Louise Lorimer as Strausss mother
  • Gavin MacLeod as Padua - Horns Assistant
  • Terry Becker as Angry Reporter (uncredited)
  • Similar Movies

    Swoon (1992). Orson Welles and Bradford Dillman appear in Compulsion and Crack in the Mirror. Rope (1948). E G Marshall and Edward Binns appear in Compulsion and 12 Angry Men. Orson Welles appears in Compulsion and directed Touch of Evil.


    The film was entered into the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, where Dillman, Stockwell and Welles won the Best Actor Award.

    It was nominated for the BAFTA best picture of the year. Richard Fleischer was nominated for best director by Directors Guild of America, and Richard Murphy was nominated for best screenplay by the Writers Guild of America.


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