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Directed by John H. Auer

United States 1935 63 mins.

Loosely based on Poe’s “The Premature Burial,” the low-budget chiller The Crime of Doctor Crespi features Erich von Stroheim as a brilliant surgeon who nurses a secret grudge against the colleague who stole away the woman he loved. A critical illness lands the rival on Stroheim’s operating table, setting the stage for a hideous revenge. Stroheim’s committed performance is the film’s main attraction, with a striking use of extreme close-ups to convey his startling mood swings from soft-spoken civility to snarling contempt.

Preservation funding provided by the Packard Humanities Institute.

Genres: Horror



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.