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  • Take a successful broadway play, add Edward G Robinson, Humphery Bogart, Claire Trevor and the Warner Brothers stock company to the mix and you can't go wrong. And this one doesn't go wrong.

    Robinson plays Dr Clitterhouse, an extremely successful doctor catering only to High Society patients.

    In reality Clitterhouse only wants to do a study on criminals with the hope of developing a cure for crime by finding out what makes these men tick.

    To do this he joins a gang led by Trevor as the brains and Bogie as the Brawn.

    Clitterhouse participates in their ventures and while on the job measures things like blood pressure, heartbeat and other vital signs, but what he doesn't count on is his near addiction to crime.

    Robinson makes a great Clitterhouse(Cedric Hardwicke played him on Broadway)Bogart in his gangster milieu, plays Rocks Valentine like it is second nature to him. The Stock company in this one consists of Ward Bond, Vladimir Sokoloff, Maxie Rosenbloom, Donald Crisp, Gale Page and John Litel.

    Dr Clitterhouse is a fun film, but don't ask him to make a house call
  • I loved it! The story isn't great but Eddie G. is slick as he runs circles around his less intelligent counterparts. He has some clever lines and proves once again how a great actor can carry a film. Eddie plays Dr. T. S. Clitterhouse, a successful doctor who is intrigued by the criminal mind. As he gets involved in pulling off some robberies for his "research", he finds himself feeling a "heady intoxication like champagne". He tries to get out of the criminal life but his antagonist, Bogie of course, won't let him. As in many films, it's now Bogart vs Robinson. Who wins? Nice try, just watch and enjoy the movie and you'll see. This was before Bogie was a headliner and it's fun to see how he was developing his on screen persona. If you're a Bogie and Eddie G. fan, you'll like this one. It's definitely worth a look.
  • What a fun movie!

    Edward G. Robinson plays a respected doctor who decides that the only way to truly understand criminal behavior for an academic study he is writing is to become a criminal himself. He joins a thieving ring run by Jo Keller (Claire Trevor, looking hotsy-totsy) and proceeds to both help the thieves with their crimes while at the same time studying them for the biological and psychological effects of their actions. Trouble arises when Jo's right-hand man, played by Humphrey Bogart, begins to feel like a third wheel, and blackmails Robinson when he discovers his true identity.

    This film is a real treat. It's funny, creepy and suspenseful, all at the same time. Robinson begins to enjoy being a criminal, and his detached approach to crime makes him capable of committing murder without a second thought. Is he sane or insane? That's the question a jury must answer at the film's climax, and one the viewer still won't be able to answer after the movie's over.

    Robinson, Trevor and Bogart have enough chemistry together to start a fire, and the three of them would team up again 10 years later for another terrific film, John Huston's "Key Largo." Anatole Litvak provides the fluid direction.

    Grade: A-
  • bkoganbing15 April 2006
    The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse that Warner Brothers presented in 1938 is an adaption of a British play which had been done in London a few years back with Sir Cedric Hardwicke in the title role that Edward G. Robinson does here. Of course the difference in personal styles and country cultures made it a different Clitterhouse than originally presented.

    But both are medical doctors doing research into the pathology of the criminal mind. How better to do it than to become a criminal oneself in the interest of science. He does some burglaries on his own and then with the unsuspecting help of police inspector Donald Crisp finds a fence in the person of Claire Trevor and the gang she does business with.

    He works his way into the mob earning everyone's trust even though they find the "professor" a little eccentric. All that is except Humphrey Bogart who resents his presence.

    It's an interesting idea for a story and the film does have some good plot twists that I'm sure the audience won't figure out if they haven't seen it. The key to remember as Robinson remembers that at all times he's a man of science.
  • The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

    Don't get your hopes up for a lost Warner Bros. classic. This is good stuff, fun and all, and it does star Edward G. Robinson in his prime, but the plot is too clever and cute for its own good, and the lighthearted feel makes it sometimes almost trivial. As if the movie makers themselves know this is a throwaway.

    Not to knock it too hard. It does have Humphrey Bogart about to become a famous star, and it has Claire Trevor in the role as a moll (which is a bit odd for her, but you should see her in "Born to Kill" for her best at this).

    Robinson plays a doctor who is so detached from reality he decides to research the physiology of criminals while they are committing a crime (pupil dilation, blood pressure, etc.). And since that's hard to do, he starts doing his own crimes. And since he's a celebrated doctor, he gets away with all of them. At first you think, how fun! And you expect it to really wind up into either a crazy comedy or a real crime thriller with the downfall of this great man.

    It avoids either and ends up in a kind of compromise. It's sometimes funny, and it has elements of watching this man get himself cornered by his own activities. There is no pathos here, however, and the humor is breezy, not hilarious. Bogart and Trevor are the more serious side, but they are used to offset Robinson in his slightly silly role. In all, the plot churns along and you end up enjoying the details, the acting, the dark Warner Bros. filming.

    The director is worth noting. Anatole Litvak, whose style using dramatic light and moving camera is evident here. He also had a tendency for melodrama, which is not apparent at all. He had just come to the US for a four year contract with the huge Warner Bros. and this was his second film with them. I assume that required adjustment. You can, oddly, still (perhaps) feel his style in the way scenes are laid out and shot.

    A well-made but trivial film? There were lots of them, and this is completely enjoyable. And Robinson, as always, is wonderful.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dr. T.S. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) is a cultivated and distinguished Park Avenue doctor, with a respectable list of clients. He's also obsessed with the workings of the criminal mind, and begins a research project that will help advance the cause of science and the medical profession in understanding the scientific basis for criminal action. As the film opens, the good doctor has just committed his fourth robbery, all jewel heists, and is now about to ingratiate himself with a mob, hoping to gain further insight.

    I found "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" to be a blast, owing largely to Robinson's understated, almost casual performance as a master criminal. His random choice of a gang to work with leads him to Jo Keller (Claire Trevor), and a short list of Warner stock players, including Allen Jenkins, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, and Ward Bond as members of the mob. He's generally well received by all, especially after making Lieutenant Johnson (Robert Homans) sweat it out in a routine interrogation. The one thorn in Clitterhouse's side is Rocks Valentine (Humphrey Bogart), who doesn't take kindly to the doctor's high society manner and scientific method. The fact that Jo might be falling for the doc is also a factor, though there is no chemistry to speak of between Jo and Rocks, their relationship primarily focused on the next big heist.

    What might have begun as scientific research begins to look a lot like enjoyment for the doctor, so after robbing a fur vault Clitterhouse decides it's time to take a break. He doesn't find it so easy though, as Bogie's character traces his identity back to it's Park Avenue origins and attempts to blackmail him. However the doc's knowledge of drugs give him the upper hand, and slipping Rocks a paradol chloride cocktail is enough to take him out of the picture.

    The cat and mouse game that follows between Police Inspector Lane (Donald Crisp) and Clitterhouse is well conceived; as the doc is about to be arrested, the chance arrival of his lawyer offers an intriguing exchange that offers him a legal way out. With surprising calm, Clitterhouse learns that he's a megalomaniac, and as mad as a hatter if he thought he could get away with murder. The courtroom scene that follows turns into a three ring circus as the jury finds that Clitterhouse must be insane. One thing that surprised me though, is there such a thing as a "State Lunacy Commission"?

    There are enough elements of each for this movie to be considered both a comedy and a crime film, with about equal parts of both taking center stage. Robinson's role is uncharacteristic of his typical gangster performances, here he's a cool and sophisticated operator; he doesn't really believe he's doing anything wrong in his quest to advance medical science. Presiding over the final court room scene having given way to utter chaos, Clitterhouse calmly surveys the madness and can only comment - "Amazing, really amazing."
  • This film is an excellent gangster film. The negative reviews I've read here are the remarks of mere quibblers, people who don't have a true appreciation for the 1930's Gangster Film. I used to have a 16mm print of this film. And every time I screened it people would come up afterward and say how much they liked it. No self respecting fan of Warner's gangster films would dare say a bad word about this film and others I've seen poorly reviewed on this site. Perhaps people brought up on Good Fellas and The Godfather cannot help but try holding older films up to current sensibilities. I don't know. But I see it a lot.

    Anyway, don't believe the hype: Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart are great as are the rest of the cast. Character roles are well cast. Writing is solid. There's a great scene where Bogart gets slapped for misinterpreting a double entendre.

    This film has something that I think is significant for the time. It deals with possible psychological reasons for crime. The good doctor who is doing experiments to fully understand the criminal mind was probably represents some sort of extension of public interest as well as paying lip service to the growing acceptance of psychology as we currently know it. The fact that the doctor is actually corrupted by the excitement and challenge of crime and getting away with it are interesting to note and may, again, parallel public interest.

    The ending has an irresistible twist as the doctor incorrigibly revels in his bizarre circumstances as the camera closes in on an excited Robinson as chaos ensues all around.

    I rate this film a strong 8 and recommend that Ivars give this film another chance.
  • The prominent Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) becomes a burglar to study the criminal mind. After four heist, he meets the fence Jo Keller (Claire Trevor) that has a hotel to cover-up her activities. He decides to team-up with her gang to observe the thieves in action using the alias The Professor and becomes close to Jo. However the gangster "Rocks" Valentine (Humphrey Bogart) decides to get rid of The Professor and double-crosses him up during the heist of a store. When Rocks discover the true identity of The Professor, he blackmails Dr. Clitterhouse that sees only the ultimate crime to resolve the situation: murder. What will happen to Rocks and Dr. Clitterhouse?

    "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" is a cynical black-humor comedy with Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart and screenplay by John Huston. The plot is funny, with hilarious situations of Dr. Clitterhouse, a prominent doctor that uses his relationship with the high-society and the chief of police to rob and understand the criminal mind. In the end, is Dr. Clitterhouse sane or insane? My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available on Blu-Ray or DVD.
  • As was pointed out in another review, THE AMAZING DR. CLITTERHOUSE was a play, originally , starring Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the polished society doctor who is writing a book on the criminal mind, and needs to become a criminal to get his research. I would have liked to have seen the film with Hardwicke, who probably was a better fit in the part. Screen audiences knew Eddie Robinson could be a brutal, thuggish gangster, like Enrico Bandello in LITTLE CAESAR. He could be funny, like Arthur Jones and Killer Mannion in THE WHOLE TOWN IS TALKING or as Remy Marko in A SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER. But they had little idea of the polished intellectual that Robinson, the art collector, was in real life. He would not really reveal this part of his personality until the 1950s, when he occasionally appeared on game shows and talk shows discussing art. But Hardwicke looked the part of the learned doctor, and had enough restrained threat to look like he could plan and carry out real crimes as well.

    But Warner Brothers starred him in THE AMAZING DR. CLITTERHOUSE, presumably to give him a chance to play another comic role, and also to let him stretch his acting abilities. He does well with the role, but he seems less natural in the part (as Hardwicke would have been) than slightly mannered. I think, having seen Sir Cedric on stage, Robinson was trying to overcompensate - and it does not quite work.

    As the doctor Robinson was convincing as a lucky dilettante, but not as a serious researcher. It is really the performances of the supporting cast, particularly Humphrey Bogart as "Rocks Valentine", Claire Trevor, and Maxie Rosenbloom. They give real color to the story, particularly Bogie as a vicious type who hates seeing how effortlessly the brilliant Clitterhouse takes leadership of his gang away from him. Bogie's Rocks keeps looking for his opportunities, and even tries to freeze the doctor to death (leading to a powerful moment on the film when a furious Rosenbloom almost pounds him in retaliation). And his attempts to get the goods on Clitterhouse, inevitably, lead to an unexpected tragedy.

    Robinson was less than happy with the film - he was right to be. Bogart considered this one of a series (with BULLETS AND BALLOTS, KID GALLAHAD, and BROTHER ORCHID where he and Robinson were rival criminals, and in two of which they killed each other at the conclusion).

    He had made THE PETRIFIED FOREST two years before, and DEAD END the year before, and should have been on the way to stardom, but found himself second banana to Robinson or to Cagney, and he was getting fed up. He felt that CLITTERHOUSE was an absolute waste of time, and referred to it by another name, THE AMAZING DR. CLITORIS. It would still be three more years before Bogie would make HIGH SIERRA and THE MALTESE FALCON, and find the stardom that had eluded him in the 1930s.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a 20-year-old student who recently picked up film history, film theory and filmmaking I started watching a lot of old movies lately. However, I always struggled with them, even those I enjoyed I found a bit boring, but I guess it just has to do with the generation difference. Still, I watch them and rate them with their age taken into consideration.

    That wasn't the case when I watched this movie. From the moment the doctor let in the nurse on his plan I was grabbed. Unnecessary to say, I loved the plot. It's clever and fascinating. And from this point the movie just got better and better, I never knew what to expect.

    Edward G. Robinson was fantastic in his role, and the film being based on a play ensured top-notch dialogs. Humphrey Bogart did alright as well, I certainly liked him better in this movie than in The Petrified Forest (1936) where his character felt rather one-dimensional.

    To top it all, the ending was just genius, the jury's decision bit predictable, but still hilarious. This movie is funny, exciting, intelligent, and it's timeless. I wasn't feeling like I was watching an old movie, I was feeling like I was watching top cinema. I rarely give a 9 rating to a film, but this one deserves it. Brilliant!
  • Highly enjoyable WB gangster movie with Edward G. Robinson as the title character, a doctor who becomes so obsessed with understanding the criminal mind he becomes a criminal himself. It's somewhat difficult to categorize this movie. It definitely has a lot of comedy with Max Rosenbloom and Allen Jenkins especially. Not to mention all of Robinson's deadpan lines. But the overall tone is that of a straightforward gangster drama. It's a fun movie either way.

    Robinson is terrific, as always. He disliked doing gangster pictures but that's all WB wanted him in. So he compromised by doing gangster movies that were different from the norm. A solid cast backs him up. In addition to Jenkins and Rosenbloom mentioned before, there's Claire Trevor, Donald Crisp, and Humphrey Bogart as Rocks Valentine (what a name!). Bogart reportedly hated this role and considered it his worst. I'm not sure why that would be. It's not that different from a dozen similar gangster roles he played in the '30s. I can think of at least a couple of movies where his part was worse than this.
  • The Hollywood films from the '30s and '40s that are celebrated are often much inferior to the many clever forgotten and unpretentious films. "Dr. Clitterhouse" is twice as good as the two Fritz Lang pictures Robinson made, ten times better than Howard Hawks's silly, static "BAll of Fire" and 20 times better than CApra's pretentious 'black comedy' "Arsenic and Old Lace." It's fascinating not just because of the intricate, psychological, talk-heavy, crime-caper script written by John Huston and two others, but because Robinson, in his 'up' 'hyperactive' mode is beyond fascinating to watch. He plays a psychologist writing a thesis on criminality who goes undercover with a bunch of thieves led by Bogart, helping them rob better by planning their heists, while he studies them. Like Gable, Muni, Garfield, Cagney, and the Bogart of the post-Maltese-Falcon years, Robinson, when he's in 'gangsta' or 'noir' mode, is one of those immortal characters that given half a chance, a decent script and passable direction always transcends and makes a film watchable. Given Orson Welles or Billy Wilder, he ends up in masterpieces. If you like this film also check out "Tampico" and "Unholy Partners," two other forgotten Edward G.Robinson classics.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    For any fan of Edward G. Robinson, this one is a must see. A complex script for it's time, there are a number of reasons this film works but the real glue is a great performance by Robinson. What a great supporting cast to go with him including Bogart before he was considered a star. Warner Brothers quality of Assembly line product films is very much in evidence here.

    Dr. Clitterhouse is a sort of jeckyl/hyde type of character. A man of Medical Science studying criminal behavior, he becomes the leader of a strong gang headed by Bogart. He keeps his true identity from the gang until Bogart finally sorts it out.

    Meanwhile, his research and crimes pile up to the point where he needs one more study, the mentality of a murderer. So Dr. Clitterhouse, when forced too commits a murder. Then there is a priceless trial sequence at the finale to this one.

    While this is a bit dated, it is so well done that it is still enjoyable viewing. Some folks even consider this a bit of Criminal Sci-Fi. Still, this movie is ahead of it's time in some ways, but that is because Warner's had some pretty good script writers in the studio in this era.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Directed by Anatole Litvak, with a screenplay co-written by John Huston, this above average comedic crime drama featuring Edward G. Robinson, also stars Claire Trevor and Humphrey Bogart, among several other Warner Bros. stock players.

    The titled Doctor (Robinson) is a respected Park Avenue physician, a frequent guest at high society parties, who personally engages in thievery as research for a book that he hopes will provide insight into the physiology of the criminal, and "his" mind. During this quest for knowledge, Dr. Clitterhouse associates with the city's highest stakes fence Jo Keller (Trevor) and "her" gang, led by "Rocks" Valentine (Bogart), while trying to avoid capture by his acquaintance, Police Inspector Lewis Lane (Donald Crisp). The performances by its three leads (Robinson, Trevor, & Bogart) are particularly good.

    Clitterhouse has just beaten a member of Rocks's gang to a safe full of jewels at a Park Avenue party he's attended. After checking on a patient's condition by phone, he even calls the police and attends to the "innocent" criminal who was captured and shot in the confusion. Naturally, he avoided Police Inspector Lane's suspicion, under whose nose he escapes with his bounty on his way to surgery (on Thurston Hall's character, that appears again later). His nurse (Gale Page) discovers the jewels and learns from the Doctor that he is doing research - recording his own physical reactions before, during, and after committing these crimes (four, so far) - in hopes of writing an insightful book about it for the benefit of science and/or law enforcement. Because she's obviously fond of her employer of many years, whom she feels is just overworked, she agrees not to tell anyone.

    In order to learn more, Clitterhouse and nurse even visit his acquaintance, Inspector Lane, to find out what he should do next. The Inspector freely shares that a jewel thief will try to pawn his take and even gives Clitterhouse the name of the one most likely able to handle the caliber of stuff that's been stolen. So, Clitterhouse goes to the Sequin Hotel, which is owned by the pawn named Keller, whom he is surprised to find out is a woman named Jo.

    One of the film's best scenes involves Clitterhouse's "introduction" to the gang of thieves with which Jo is associated. His visit just happens to coincide with the appearance of Rocks and a raid on her hotel. Clitterhouse quickly hides the jewels in a bowl of pretzels and then proceeds to "dress down" police Lieutenant Ethelbert Johnson (Robert Homans); his logical approach to the situation helps him avoid giving his name and endears him to Jo and the gang which includes her bodyguard Butch (Maxie Rosenbloom), Okay (Allen Jenkins), and Tug (Ward Bond) among others.

    Rocks, who'd been hiding in the closet, was not so impressed and/or immediately recognizes the threat to his leadership. Clitterhouse and Jo discuss a partnership, his brain with her people, which then enables him to study a larger population of criminals' reactions before, during and after their crimes. He pretends to go abroad while he sets up shop at a studio where the gang pretends to be musicians when they're not carrying out the crimes that the Doctor has planned. Mild humor and symptoms, such as Okay losing his voice when he gets nervous, are incorporated while Rocks bides his time and waits for the proper moment to regain the power again.

    That opportunity comes when Clitterhouse plans a large fur heist. Jo, who's fallen in love with the Doctor, suspects that Rocks may be up to something and sends her heavy Butch, for the first time, on the job. Sure enough, Rocks seizes the chance by locking Clitterhouse in the safe, which he'd opened by hand, on his way out. However, because Rocks also turned up the safe's cooling system, the Doctor's respiratory system was lowered long enough for Butch to torch the safe open again, and before he'd run out of oxygen.

    An anxious Jo and company wait at the studio for Clitterhouse's return, but just as Rocks is being questioned, Butch and the Doctor arrive. Without explicitly exposing Rocks, Clitterhouse decides that his work is done, that Rocks can have his gang back, and gives the boys their final payoffs before leaving. A cheap plot device involving the phone is used that enables Rocks to track the Doctor, heretofore known to the gang only as "the Professor", back to his Park Avenue office.

    Jo soon follows but is too late to warn Clitterhouse before Rocks has him at the point of his gun. Rocks confiscates the Doctor's research which he protests is full of incriminating information. He then tells Clitterhouse that he likes the Doctor's setup and thinks, with Clitterhouse's social contacts, that it will be the perfect base of operations for future thefts. Trapped, Clitterhouse's warped mind rationalizes the need for yet another chapter for his book, concerning the ultimate act - murder, which he proceeds to commit by putting a specialized poison in Rocks's drink.

    Even though, out of love, Jo tries to confess to Inspector Lane about Rocks's murder, another couple of cheap plot devices are employed which enable Lane to arrest Clitterhouse, who had just confessed his crime to his friend and attorney Grant (Hall). Grant pleads his case as insanity to the Judge (Henry O'Neill), the jury and its exasperated foreman (Irving Bacon), against the prosecutor (John Litel).

    A little hackneyed perhaps, but a perfectly logical (and amazing!) verdict is eventually rendered, which somehow got by the censors at the time (who insisted that no criminal should go free and, after all, Clitterhouse was a murderer even if it was a criminal like Rocks!) - not guilty, though the Judge does recommend that the state doctor's examine him.
  • "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" from 1938 stars Edward G. Robinson in the title role, that of a prominent physician studying the psychology of the criminal mind. He becomes a jewel thief himself studies his responses for his book, Crime and Research.

    He learns the name of a fence, Jo Keller, finds out he owns a hotel, and goes to meet what he thinks is a man. Instead, it's a woman (Claire Trevor) with whom he joins forces. One of her thieves, Rocks (Bogart), dislikes Dr. Clitterhouse because Jo is attracted to him and suddenly, he's not the big boss anymore.

    After Clitterhouse's research, he leaves, without anyone knowing his identity. Will matters stay that way?

    This is a real black comedy with terrific performances. Robinson's Clitterhouse is so sure of himself, and so clinical -- he doesn't see what he's doing as criminal, just important research. Bogart, about two years away from his breakthrough role, is marvelous as a jealous thief. Trevor is tough but beautiful and vulnerable.

    Well directed by Anatole Litvak and co-written by John Huston, "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" can't miss and doesn't. Loved the ending.
  • Missed viewing this great Classic 1938 Classic film which stars great veteran actors like Edward G. Robinson, (Dr. T S Clitterhouse) who is a psychiatrist and medical doctor who decides to investigate the world of crime. Dr. Clitterhouse gets himself involved with criminals and wants to do a study of what makes all these people chose the life of crime and even gives blood tests to all the criminals. Claire Trevor, ( Joe Keller) and Humphrey Bogart, (Rocks Vallentine) are a few of the people involved with Dr. Clitterhouse's study of the criminal mind. There is also some very comedy scenes and all the actors give an outstanding performance.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The IMDb summary for this film lists it as a black comedy. I'm don't see it as a comedy, although there are some humorous moments. Rather, I see it as a film that is difficult to classify because it is rather unique. And what a pleasure it is when one finds a film that is unique.

    For those who like Edward G. Robinson, and I always have, this is a special treat, because here he doesn't play a gangster...exactly. He plays a doctor (Clitterhouse) who wants to research why some people pursue crime as a living...so he becomes a jewel thief himself. It's cool to see Robinson play someone with some refinement, since he was, in actuality, a rather refined man with an interest is art collecting, for example. But, as the plot develops, he must commit murder. The climax of the film is a courtroom scene where he acquitted based on insanity...but it's a wonderful twist on how that's decided.

    Since I first viewed this film I've revised my opinion about Humprhery Bogart in this film. Originally, I didn't feel that he fared very well in this film. He plays a rather seedy character involved in an underworld fencing operation. But in watching the film a second time, I think he actually does rather nicely, showing a little heart, despite having little class. Claire Trevor is the love interest, surprisingly for Clitterhouse. There are several character actors you'll recognize here -- Ward Bond, Allen Jenkins, Henry O'Neill, Donald Crisp, and Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom.

    Definitely well worth a watch!
  • edfitzgerald18 December 2005
    It's interesting to muse about the similarities and differences between "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" and Fritz Lang's "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse". In both, medical doctors become underworld bosses, and both main characters are mentally unbalanced.

    Although they are vastly different films -- "Mabuse" is dark, almost noirish, with a stylistic debt to German Expressionism, while "Clitterhouse" is more straightforward and less stylistically defined -- it's almost as if "Clitterhouse" was intended to be the lighter, comic, Americanized version of "Mabuse", which predated it by 5 years. At the very least, I wonder if "Mabuse" was the initial inspiration for writing "Clitterhouse."

    I found "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" to be entertaining, if not among the best of the period's films.
  • Working out of his Park Avenue office, Dr. Clitterhouse (Edward G. Robinson) is a well-respected doctor who handles society's elite. But his real passion is the study of the criminal mind and what makes them tick. He decides the best way to study criminals is to become one himself. After a series of successful robberies, he decides to expand his study and finds a fence for his merchandise. In no time at all, Dr. Clitterhouse is leading a band of thieves on one successful robbery after the next. But not everyone in the gang is happy about taking orders from Dr. Clitterhouse. A real hoodlum named Rocks Valentine (Humphrey Bogart) would like to see Clitterhouse out of the way.

    The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse is one amazing movie! I love "discovering" a wonderfully entertaining film that I've never seen before. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhosue is just a lot of fun. My opinion of Robinson as an actor has softened over the years. As blasphemous as this may sound, there was a time when I really didn't care for him. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse has finally brought me all the way around on Robinson. Here, he gives a fantastic performance. His portrayal of Clitterhouse is a real joy to behold. The scenes where he meets the gang, especially his handling of the police officer, are as entertaining as anything I've seen him do. The writing here is superb. Robinson is given some of the best dialogue imaginable. And he delivers. What a performance!

    The rest of the cast is just as strong. Bogart plays the tough-talking thug to perfection. Clare Trevor is Bogart's equal as the fence, Jo Keller. It's interesting to watch her character's transformation from the tough as nails fence to a woman who falls in love. It's just as interesting to watch Robinson's Clitterhouse totally unaware of Keller's feelings as he's blinded by science. The rest of the supporting cast is incredibly strong and enjoyable with Allen Jenkins, Maxie Rosenbloom, and Gale Page giving especially wonderful performances.

    I've read a few complaints regarding the film's ending. While I would have loved to see more, the finale was more than satisfying for me. It's quite a Catch 22 - Clitterhouse on trial, his attorney using an insanity defense, and Clitterhouse reluctant to be labeled insane as it will negatively affect his scientific work. It's an interesting set- up. It may be a bit rushed, but it plays out nicely.
  • "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" was a welcome change of pace for Edward G. Robinson. Here, he is cast as a character of great learning and high intelligence. Humphrey Bogart was on his way to becoming a star by the time this film was released in 1938. Once again, this film comes down to a final confrontation between Robinson and Bogart and it is exciting. Out of all the collaborations between Robinson and Bogart, this film and "Key Largo" are their best. Dr. Clitterhouse is a professor and medical practitioner who is involved in the study of crime and of the criminal mind. He decides to get in close upon the workings of a local criminal gang by joining their ranks. Naturally, Bogart doesn't take too kindly to the good doctors intrusion and seeks revenge. I won't give away any plot details but this "Warner Bros." film can claim to being quite original. It is played for laughs but in a more dark and subtle manner. It works well for the film. Edward G. Robinson takes the acting honours in a role he was born for. Being a cultured and well read man in real life served the actor well. His command of English and his diction are impeccable. The film is an adaptation of a successful stage play, where noted theatre actor Cedric Hardwicke took the leading role. The script is well above average, with the emphasis being on character.
  • I love Edward G. Robinson; I'm always amazed at his performances (see "Scarlett Street" for one his most brilliant and touching performances ever). Although this is far from one of his better films, he turns in a pretty good performance of a doctor "researching" crime by becoming a criminal himself and performing "scientific studies" on his reactions. He eventually joins a gang, headed by Claire Trevor, and uses the gang members as further lab rats. (BTW, for Claire Trevor at her most evil best, see "Born to Kill"!)

    While Robinson and Trevor and Bogart all do as best as they can with their material, the movie as a whole just doesn't gel. (This trio will do much better ten years later in "Key Largo".) Well, I can't quite put my finger on it ... maybe it's the way that Trevor so quickly turns Robinson into her Number Two guy; maybe it's the way everyone in the gang (except Bogie; his resentment is about the only believable part in this movie) goes along with this arrangement like it's perfectly OK to have your blood pressure taken and pupils examined and blood drawn after every crime; maybe it's the way the law enforcement officials (police, judge) wipe their sweating brows/faces in such a broad, comic manner; maybe it's the absurd trial and even absurder "verdict" (rendered in the jury box no less) ... it just didn't work for me. I guess this was supposed to be a comedy, but it wasn't funny, just odd.

    Oh, gee, one final note. Doctor "Clitterhouse" ????? Surely anyone as smart as EGR's character would've legally changed THAT name a long time ago! :-)
  • Great 30's flick, there's nothing quite like it, which is why this film is a true must-see.

    I think some reviewers tried to take this one a bit TOO seriously - obviously that wasn't the intention.

    Suspenseful, intriguing, and very wry.

    There are just SO many top-notch actors in this one, and they each play the part convincingly. A LOT of eye-candy here, and VERY familiar faces.

    I just found this to be such a treat on an otherwise gloomy day.

    If this one doesn't make you grin, you totally missed something.

    I'm still surprised at how serious and confused some reviewers here are on this one.

    Come on ! The name of the flick is The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse !

    Wake-up, people !
  • It has always been surprising to me that more people have not looked closely at the name of the main character. Clitterhouse is certainly an unusual name and a web search for the name turns up only a street and school in London and many references to this film. The film name is, in my opinion, a joke by the writer on the film censors and film critics of his time by using a elaborate spelling of the word 'clitorus.' While it is not an obscenity but a perfectly normal anatomical term, it is certain that, not until fifty years later and 'Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me" has a word so closely tied to actual sexual activity or anatomic parts been used in a motionpicture.

    As for me, I enjoyed the picture quite a bit but loved the title even more.
  • With a name like Dr. Clitterhouse, he should have been a gynecologist instead of an evil genius. I saw this title while looking up an old movie that I was watching, and, after guffawing, I wondered if those responsible for titling this picture were just having a go at the censors. It really sounds like it should be the corny title of a porno flick, no? Oh well, I thought Edward G. Robinson did a very good job, and my girl friend thought that he looked very much like her doctor, who is also very amazing, but not quite as amazing as Dr. Clitterhouse. I hope that someone considers doing a re-make of this movie just so I could gauge public reaction to the title. It sounds like it could be a good Steve Martin vehicle.
  • This is a decent and VERY typical gangster film from Warner Brothers that is so similar to a long string of such films made by this studio during this era. While this might be a negative for some, fans of the genre such as myself will find that this is yet another well-written and well-acted gangster film complete with the usual Warner stars and support cast. In this case, though, the story is a bit unusual in that Edward G. Robinson plays a doctor who infiltrates a mob to test his theories concerning the criminal mind. While I admit this is a little silly, all the usual story elements combine to still make a very watchable and enjoyable film. While not among his or Bogart's best, it is a rousing good time nonetheless.
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