Crime and Punishment (1935)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama


Crime and Punishment (1935) Poster

Man is haunted by a murder he's committed.


7/10
1,746

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11 May 2013 | bfrostaing
9
| remarkable film
I read the book so long ago that I'd forgotten many details, which was fine - I watched it as a rainy afternoon film presented by Ted Turner, and it is indeed a Turner Classic Movie.

Slammed by many, it is in fact very well written, extremely well acted, and a revelation of Peter Lorre's range. He carries the film brilliantly. It's essentially a long dialog between Raskolnikov, a brilliant, impoverished writer on crime, and Inspector Porphyry, nicely interrupted by Raskolnikov's thoughts on crime, interludes with his family, and his love-life. Made on a low budget, it proves yet again that money isn't everything. Intense, excellent acting, direction, editing and camera work do the job, as with so many low budget European films. It's about people and ideas, not special effects and stardom.

What you get is a minor classic with no empty spaces and nothing extra. The narrative drive is cumulative and very human. Deprived of Dietrich, von Sternberg has no problem, and gets the best out of Edward Arnold and Marian Marsh (and everyone else) as well as Lorre. No weak spots, all class. It's also the perfect demonstration of how to find an excellent film in a great novel: by not trying to include everything, but going to the heart of the matter.

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