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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those eyes!
What an actor is Donald Pleasance. His mesmerising, baleful pale eyes let the viewer see Crippen's every emotion while largely concealing his plans and motives. The film has a fine sense of 'period' and the end sequences are totally gripping. So did he or didn't he murder his wife? The movie leaves this open to some extent. Did something just go wrong when he gives his...
Published on 30 Jun 2010 by Felix (Brisbane, Australia)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing "true crime" melodrama
A meek doctor (Donald Pleasence) married to a virago of a wife (Coral Browne, AUNTIE MAME) with a voracious sexual appetite, falls in love with a pretty secretary (Samantha Eggar). The wife refuses to give him a divorce so he begins to contemplate murder. Based on the true story of the murder case of Hawley Harvey Crippen (the wife's body was dismembered and buried in the...
Published on 29 Dec 2010 by The CinemaScope Cat


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Those eyes!, 30 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
What an actor is Donald Pleasance. His mesmerising, baleful pale eyes let the viewer see Crippen's every emotion while largely concealing his plans and motives. The film has a fine sense of 'period' and the end sequences are totally gripping. So did he or didn't he murder his wife? The movie leaves this open to some extent. Did something just go wrong when he gives his raucous wife Belle a dose of sedative to save himself from her horrid attentions? Study the sequence where the powder flies around: a slight head tilt, a hand movement, a tiny pause before resuming - acting at its finest.
Pleasance is more than matched by the wonderful Coral Browne whose faded music-hall singer is a courageous no-holds performance. She's appalling, vulgar, callous, needy and pitiable: she and Pleasance work wonderfully together. I'm less sure about Samantha Eggar as the virginal girlfriend, Crippen's love object. Unlike the other actors, she seems stuck in some sort of early Swinging London timewarp and with her there is little sense of period. She does though suggest quite nicely that Ms Neve is no yielding angel. When she reads Crippen the riot act - no nooky with Belle or else - it's clear that poor old Crippen has just bounced from one tough femme to another. Between them he is crushed, and accepts death with moving dignity. The dismemberment aspect, which might have put less glamorous light on his actions, is only fleetingly covered. The film is worth rewatching for its fine art direction, quiet lack of sensationalism and the brilliant performances of its two leads.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When a Doctor Goes Bad., 29 May 2007
By 
Armchair Pundit "Armchair Pundit." (Durham City, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
The crime of the century! Was he really guilty?
The true story of the American Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen (Donald Pleasence), who was hanged in London in 1910 for poisoning his wife, Belle, so he could be with his young lover,the beautiful Ethel Le Neve.
As the adulterous couple fled England, Belle's dismembered remains are discovered in the coal cellar.
Crippen and Ethel are finally arrested en route to North America by ship.
The first arrests assisted by that new fangled invention, Radio.
Billed as the crime of the century at the time, was Crippen really guilty?
Fully re-mastered for this release.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pleasencently pleasing, 5 Aug 2007
This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
this film in my opinion has had a good transfer to dvd and and man how i have waited so many years to collect it on dvd. no its not one of the greatest films ever made, but the feel of being in a different century is succesfull in this film. i dont like giving plots away so i will not. ethel le neve played by samantha eggar is a very fine performance whom i thought was convincing. its always difficult to analyse a performance when even the actor himself did not even meet the factual person he was playing and has to rely on his instincts. what was this man crippen like as human being?. donald pleasence has played this man as a rather sensitive creature who does not show his feelings so freely as other humans do. i have read books about crippen and pleasence for me gives a great performance. controlled almost a stiff rigidness with his body, when needing to show the required emotion this guy does it beautifully through his eyes. a very good character actor pleasence was and was fantastic in the caretaker a superb film in my opinion, thats if you like plays of course. this film crippen captures the time so well i think and all the players did very good jobs in their roles, if you like black and white films it is certainly worth collecting, with a terrific performance by donald pleasence
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing "true crime" melodrama, 29 Dec 2010
By 
The CinemaScope Cat - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
A meek doctor (Donald Pleasence) married to a virago of a wife (Coral Browne, AUNTIE MAME) with a voracious sexual appetite, falls in love with a pretty secretary (Samantha Eggar). The wife refuses to give him a divorce so he begins to contemplate murder. Based on the true story of the murder case of Hawley Harvey Crippen (the wife's body was dismembered and buried in the cellar) who proclaimed his innocence to the end, the Robert Lynn directed film is a fairly straightforward telling of the case done through flashbacks during the murder trial. It's such a sensationalistic, morbid "true crime" tale that it can't help but hold your interest but as cinema, there's nothing exceptional about it. Pleasence is very good though it's never quite clear what the youthful and pretty Eggar sees in the middle aged fish eyed mild mannered Pleasence. The crisp B&W cinematography is by Nicholas Roeg who would soon go on to be a director of repute himself. With James Robertson Justice and the hammy Donald Wolfit.

The Optimum DVD from England is a handsome B&W widescreen (1.66) transfer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Made for him?, 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
A role made for Donald Pleasance no doubt but based on realism. A well done Britsh movie of the time: highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Monster or victim, 27 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
I do not know how closely this story follows the facts of this case. I suspect rather closely. The film is gripping from the get go. Pleasence delivers his expected craftsman like performance. The wife is played in such a way as to engender no sympathy for the victim. If I had to criticise the film in any way it would be to say that the pace is maybe a tad slow. However, the slowness does add to the tension so maybe I do need to qualify that negative.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a little slow., 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
The film narrates the story of Crippen well, and has a nice period feel to it, but I felt that the story unfolded a little too slowly. Had the script been edited down by twenty minutes or so, it would have been more compelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me on a knife edge, 4 Dec 2012
By 
Adrian Dobbins "studmuffin" (Redditck U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
I spent a chilling night watching this DVD on my own
It left me feeling quite cut up and feeling very drained.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Traditional film, 8 Mar 2012
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
If you enjoy court room dramas in black and white then this is the film for you. A little 'drawn out'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dr crippen, 30 Aug 2010
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S. mcfadden (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dr. Crippen (Classic Horror Collection) [DVD] (DVD)
very pleased i do enjoy these old movies they are true classic's.. would recommend to all film buffs to buy this one and add it to your collection of old movies.com
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