Thursday, February 18, 2016
Bad Business - The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse!
1938's The Amazing Dr.Clitterhouse features a script by John Huston and co-stars Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart. The movie is derived from a play by Barre Lyndon which had proven to be very successful.
Our protagonist Dr.Clitterhouse is a renowned surgeon who develops a fascination with crime and how the practice of same affects the human body and psyche. So, convincing himself that he's doing it for science, he commits a series of burglaries of high-rent homes, many of which he has access to because of his reputation. He tries eventually to fence his stolen goods and develops a long-running relationship with Jo Keller (Claire Trevor) and Rocks Valentine (Bogart) and their gang of goofy thugs. They pull of a series of crimes but Valentine grows jealous of Clitterhouse and things go awry.
The saving grace of this one is the sterling Robinson who utters the loquacious lines written for Clitterhouse with ease and with a precise charm. Clitterhouse is a man of high learning and quick mind and it comes shining through in this portrait of an influential man of accomplishment who becomes enamored with the dark side of life, and loses his way.
The ending of the movie is an odd one and frankly left a weird taste. It's commentary on the nature of crime was odd for a movie of this period which usually demanded more specific cures for crime.