Compulsion

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 10

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,456

Where to watch

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Compulsion Photos

Movie Info

Sociopathic students Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman) and Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) murder a boy in a philosophical exercise to commit the flawless crime. Despite their precautions, one of them inadvertently left a key piece of evidence at the crime scene, and they have been arrested and put on trial. It's up to their nationally famous attorney (Orson Welles) to save these misguided souls from execution. The film is based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb case of 1924.

Cast & Crew

Orson Welles
Jonathan Wilk
Dean Stockwell
Judd Steiner
Bradford Dillman
Arthur A. Straus
Diane Varsi
Ruth Evans
E.G. Marshall
District Attorney Harold Horn
Robert F. Simon
Police Lt. Johnson
Brian Clark
Screenwriter
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Compulsion

All Critics (10) | Fresh (10)

Audience Reviews for Compulsion

  • Jan 16, 2012
    Based on the Leopold-Loeb case, Compulsion makes for an interesting watch. Surely, the story of two lads, with one being extremely influenced and misled by Nietzsche's philosophy, wanting to commit a perfect crime that ends up with the murder of a child is appealing in itself. But its execution can make a world of difference. The director succeeds extensively to create a compelling thriller sticking to the facts as closely as possible. However, there's an element missing that could have made it better than what it is; IDK exactly, maybe the lack of details about the victim and his family. Of course, the movie's about the awesome twosome, but a wee-bit footage to the victim wouldn't have harmed much. I didn't find Welles' speech against capital punishment that interesting, but his response to Artie's reaction on the verdict is indeed remarkable. I went for it hesitantly, thanks to IMDb message board, but without a hesitation I'd admit that I've no remorse over my decision. As far as I'm concerned, it's a great deal for 75+ minutes. Well, to each, their own.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2011
    Orson Welles was JUST fantastic, as expected, I guess. It reminded me a lot of In Cold Blood.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2009
    Excellent examination of the Loeb/Leopold case. Dillman is chilling in his utter contempt for all emotion and Stockwell is fine as his puppet but alll pale next to Welles who offers a wily and wise performance. It's a shame he didn't act in more films like this and Touch of Evil that were worthy of his talent.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2009
    Based on the 1924 case of Nathan Leopold Jr and Richard Loeb, two wealthy upper-crust college students who methodically planned the kidnapping and murder of a 14 yr old boy (Robert Franks). A solid, well acted docu-drama that, near the end, suffers from an over abundance of preachy thespianism. It's one thing to cast the legendary Orson Welles as a Clarence Darrow-ish defense attorney in an obviously anti death penalty message film, but it's awfully highhanded to let him rant incessantly about the barbarics of capital punishment. In effect, he's not a cast member with a script who is reciting monologue to a judge, he's an actor with an agenda speaking to us (the audience). A memorable but highly liberal classic.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

Compulsion Quotes

Movie & TV guides