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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