Compulsion

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