The Amazing Doctor Clitterhouse (1938)

87 mins | Drama | 30 July 1938

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Producer:

Gilbert Miller

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

Warren Low

Production Designer:

Carl Jules Weyl

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The play was produced in association with Warner Bros. After the New York production, the studio had some difficulty obtaining the movie rights to the play because Barre Lyndon retained control of the movie rights and placed the play on the open market. According to LAT , other bidders were Carl Laemmle Jr., Paramount and M-G-M. Var reported that Laemmle purchased the play for a sum in excess of $50,000 and then, according to the LAEx , sold it back to Warner Bros., in exchange for the loan of Paul Muni whom Laemmle wanted for The Hunchback of Notre Dame . Irving Rapper was originally assigned to the film as dialogue director, but was replaced by Jo Graham. According to a news item in Citizen News , Ronald Colman was Robert Lord's choice for the role of Clitterhouse. Warner Bros. press releases noted that a number of prominent silent stars appear in the film in featured or bit ... More Less

The play was produced in association with Warner Bros. After the New York production, the studio had some difficulty obtaining the movie rights to the play because Barre Lyndon retained control of the movie rights and placed the play on the open market. According to LAT , other bidders were Carl Laemmle Jr., Paramount and M-G-M. Var reported that Laemmle purchased the play for a sum in excess of $50,000 and then, according to the LAEx , sold it back to Warner Bros., in exchange for the loan of Paul Muni whom Laemmle wanted for The Hunchback of Notre Dame . Irving Rapper was originally assigned to the film as dialogue director, but was replaced by Jo Graham. According to a news item in Citizen News , Ronald Colman was Robert Lord's choice for the role of Clitterhouse. Warner Bros. press releases noted that a number of prominent silent stars appear in the film in featured or bit roles. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
21 Jun 38
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 36
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 38
pp. 18-19.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 38
pp. 20-21.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jun 38
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
20 Aug 1937.
---
Los Angeles Times
6 Apr 1937.
---
Motion Picture Daily
29 Jun 38
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Apr 38
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
25 Jun 38
p. 47, 50
New York Times
21 Jul 38
p. 14.
Variety
7 Apr 1937.
---
Variety
22 Jun l938
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture; An Anatole Litvak Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse by Barre Lyndon (New York, 2 Mar 1937).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 July 1938
Production Date:
late February--early April 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
17 June 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8426
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4154
SYNOPSIS

Dr. Clitterhouse, a successful and respected Park Ave. doctor, decides the best way to study the criminal mind is to become a criminal. He begins by robbing the safes of his wealthy friends, but soon wants to observe the underworld more closely and test his theory that criminal activity changes the personality. He seeks out Jo Keller, a well-known fence, and is surprised to discover that Keller is a beautiful woman. While the doctor's devoted nurse, Randolph, covers for him, Clitterhouse joins the gang of criminals run by Keller and Rocks Valentine. Jo falls in love with Clitterhouse, now nicknamed "the Professor," but Rocks is distrustful of the doctor's motives and, one night during a fur heist, tries to kill him by trapping him in a cold storage locker. Once the doctor has concluded his experiments on the gang, he goes back to his practice. Rocks trails him, discovers his notebooks, and threatens blackmail. Clitterhouse, who has now completely lost perspective on his own behavior, murders Rocks and with Jo's help hides the body. When Inspector Lane closes in on Clitterhouse, the doctor confesses his crime to a prominent attorney named Grant. Clitterhouse is tried for murder, but is ultimately aquitted on the grounds of insanity, not because of his criminal actions, but because when he is put on the witness stand he undermines his own ... +


Dr. Clitterhouse, a successful and respected Park Ave. doctor, decides the best way to study the criminal mind is to become a criminal. He begins by robbing the safes of his wealthy friends, but soon wants to observe the underworld more closely and test his theory that criminal activity changes the personality. He seeks out Jo Keller, a well-known fence, and is surprised to discover that Keller is a beautiful woman. While the doctor's devoted nurse, Randolph, covers for him, Clitterhouse joins the gang of criminals run by Keller and Rocks Valentine. Jo falls in love with Clitterhouse, now nicknamed "the Professor," but Rocks is distrustful of the doctor's motives and, one night during a fur heist, tries to kill him by trapping him in a cold storage locker. Once the doctor has concluded his experiments on the gang, he goes back to his practice. Rocks trails him, discovers his notebooks, and threatens blackmail. Clitterhouse, who has now completely lost perspective on his own behavior, murders Rocks and with Jo's help hides the body. When Inspector Lane closes in on Clitterhouse, the doctor confesses his crime to a prominent attorney named Grant. Clitterhouse is tried for murder, but is ultimately aquitted on the grounds of insanity, not because of his criminal actions, but because when he is put on the witness stand he undermines his own defense. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.