This week’s summertime movietime pick is a movie called The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse. I know, I know, it sounds as though this may be an double entendre laden adult movie, but I assure you it is a crazy little movie that while you may never ever find it on video or DVD, you may luck out like I did and see it on Turner Classics. The movie was produced in 1938 and stars one of my personal favorites, Edward G. Robinson. Robinson is the amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, a well respected doctor who in his thirst for knowledge decides to begin an experiment to figure out the criminal mind. He does this by becoming a criminal himself. He overnight becomes that mastermind of a criminal ring and while trying to bow out of the game gracefully is forced into committing the one crime that he had not attempted during his experiment. This premise sounds incredibly stupid, but it works very well, and I could see it working as a film today.
A costar of Robinson and his nemesis in this movie is Humphrey Bogart. Bogie plays his usual tough guy gangster role that he was known for early in his career. He used to be the number one guy until the good doctor arrived and when the doctor tries to leave, Bogie tries to pull him back in only to work for Bogie’s needs. It is not his best performance, but this movie is not his, it belongs to Robinson. As I said, I doubt you will be able to track this down at the local Blockbuster and I don’t know that I would recommend going to Amazon and buying it right away, but I do believe that you will enjoy just how crazy everything seems but how it all works out to become a very plausible scenario.