Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-law student, kills an old pawnbroker and her sister, perhaps for money, perhaps to prove a theory about being above the law. He comes to police attention ... See full summary »
Living in squalor, a former student and loner (Raskolnikov) murders an old pawnbroker woman in order to confirm his hypothesis that certain individuals can pretermit morality in the pursuit of something greater.
Mary Herries is a rich woman with a habit of contributing to those less fortunate than her. On her way home from a concert on Christmas Eve she discovers a poor, would-be artist outside her... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
Roderick Raskolnikov, a brilliant criminology student and writer, becomes embittered by poverty and his inability to support his family. When he sees a desperate prostitute, Sonya, degraded by a vicious pawnbroker, Raskolnikov, a proponent of the idea that some people are imbued with such intelligence that the law cannot be applied to them as to other people, decides to rid the world of the pawnbroker and thus save his family and Sonya as well from the fate poverty forces on them. When Porphiry, the police detective investigating the murder, encounters Raskolnikov, he finds a man nearly crippled by the guilt and paranoia his deed has burdened him with. But Raskolnikov clings with as much coldness and calculation as he can muster to his guiding idea, that some crimes ought not to be punished.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
[Mrs. Patrick Campbell on Josef von Sternberg] I grasped how foolish I had been to imagine for one moment that there was going to be any intelligent pleasure in working even with this man. He wanted only obedience and silence to get his own effects. Anything in my face and figure that wasn't ugly enough, he made into a camera distortion. The director and the cameraman together did the 'acting' of my short role, helped, I suppose, by the cutting room. When I saw the rushes, I knew beyond question that no director asks for imagination, gifts, or experience from the artist. I had myself wished to put the necessary horror and ugliness into my face, voice, and movements, but instead it was achieved through the exaggeration of every shadow on my face, and even of the pores of my skin. See more »
The time of our story is any time, the place any place where human hearts respond to love and hate, pity and terror.
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One of the credits reads "Story by Dostoievsky". There is an asterisk next to this credit, and at the bottom it says, "Feodor Dostoievsky, Russia's foremost author, wrote 'Crime and Punishment' in 1866'". See more »
I recently saw this at the 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival as part of their Archival Treasures series. This was shown in part because Maraian Marsh had been a Palm Springs area resident. This film marked the USA debut of noted Europena actor Peter Lorre, who after breaking out from the German cinema had previously did Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew to Much and Freund's Mad Love in the UK. Josef Von Sternberg directs Joseph Anthony's screenplay of Dostoyevsky's classic 1866 detective novel. Lorre stars as Roderick Raskolnikov, a criminal justice whiz kid whose writings are widely read and respected by the criminal justice community at all professional levels from police inspectors to professors. Raskolnikov finds himself living in a flop house, never fulfilling his talents and angry with a publication that quoted his works but failed to mention his name. He also finds himself falling in love with his apartment neighbor Sonya (Marian Marsh) and in a game of wits with the local police inspector Pordiry (Edward Arnold) over the murder of pawn shop proprietor. Gene Lockhart is in support as Raskolnikov's potential brother-in-law Lushin and noted character actress Elisabeth Risdon plays Raskolnikov's mother. Proliffic Columbia studio Cinematographer Lucien Ballard photographs and Columbia's long time art director Stepehn Goosen is set decorator. Von Sternberg came out of the silents in a career that lasted into the 1950's and was at the height of his career at this time having been nominated for an Oscar twice for Best Director for Morocco in 1930 and Shanghai Express in 1932. Nice acting from the cast especially Arnold. Marsh's role never takes off with no fault to her. Lorre starts out great with a dramatic flare punctuated by comedic overtones but his character loses steam halfway through the film due to a script that somehow runs out of gas. The first half of this film is clever and well done but bogs down and becomes almost cartoonish by films end. It became so campy that the audience was laughing at parts that weren't meant to be funny. It was great to see a mid thirties film on the big screen and as a curious historical document with Lorre early in his career but there is nothing special about this film and I can only give it a 6.0 out of 10.
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