Skip to content

Directed by Richard Fleischer

United States 1959 103 mins.

If anyone was born to play a high-powered, world-weary lawyer defending two murderers against the death penalty, it was Orson Welles. With archetypal bravado, but never looking more exhausted, Welles defends Judd and Artie (Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman), who have killed a schoolboy seemingly out of pampered, silver-spoon boredom. Based upon the infamous real-life Leopold and Loeb murders and shot in beautiful black-and-white CinemaScope with frames populated by ornate locations—libraries, Ivies, courtrooms, and well-heeled brats—Fleischer’s film showcases Welles’ range while offering trenchant commentary on a topic still very relevant today.

Genres: Drama

Appears in: Orson Welles at 100



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.