Crime and Punishment (1935)
Pssst, want to check out Crime and Punishment in our new look?
See all comments
Excellent psychological thriller! Let your conscience be your executioner. Wonderfully done by Peter Lore and a stunning Marian Marsh.
Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment distilled into its essential crime story by Josef von Sternberg - as opposed to a multi-hour epic, as per the novel - works quite well as proto-noir, and manages to be a more intellectual work than most. Peter Lorre is Raskalnikov, a criminologist driven by poverty to commit a murder, and thereafter playing a cat and mouse game with a police inspector. Typical crime stuff, but the film's focus is really on the psychological changes that occur in Raskalnikov, how the crime changes him for better and for worse. It's not as simple as guilt, or fear of getting caught, it's more layered than that. This was Lorre's pet project, so he had to star in it (against the director's better judgment who felt he was miscast), but he's both its strength and its weakness. I think he gives a good performance, but he's at odds with the rest of the casting. He's the only one with an accent, for one thing. Even if own family sounds American. And he's more theatrical than anyone else too. So I dare say it's not Lorre that's miscast, it's everyone else.
Weak adaptation for a maybe en-adaptable novel. Joseph von Sternberg, far outside of his comfort zone, thinks he's Fritz Lang.
Read more in French on La Saveur des goûts amers.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!