Judd Steiner and Artie Straus have it all: wealth, intelligence, and the world at their feet as part of the elite, upper-crust Jewish community of 1920s Chicago. Artie is handsome, athletic, and popular, but he possesses a hidden, powerful sadistic streak and a desire to dominate. Judd is a weedy introvert, a genius who longs for a companion whom he can idolize and worship. Obsessed with Nietzsche’s idea of the superhuman, both boys decide to prove that they are above the laws of man by arbitrarily picking and murdering a Jewish boy in their neighborhood.
This new edition of Meyer Levin's classic literary thriller Compulsion reintroduces the fictionalized case of Leopold and Loeb – once considered the "crime of the century" – to a new generation. This incisive psychological portrait of two young murderers seized the imagination of an era and is generally recognized as paving the way for the first non-fiction novel. Compulsion forces us to ask what drives some further into darkness, and some to seek redemption.
Heartbreaking as it is gripping, Compulsion is written with a tense and penetrating force that led the Los Angeles Times to call Levin, “the most significant Jewish writer of his times.”
Two wealthy law-school students go on trial for murder in this version of the Leopold-Loeb case.
Release Date: April 1, 1959
Release Time: 103 minutes
Orson Welles as Jonathan Wilk
Diane Varsi as Ruth Evans
Dean Stockwell as Judd Steiner
Bradford Dillman as Artie Strauss
E. G. Marshall as District Attorney Harold Horn
Martin Milner as Sid Brooks
Richard Anderson as Max Steiner
Robert F. Simon as Police Lt. Johnson
Edward Binns as Tom Daly
Robert Burton as Charles Straus
Wilton Graff as Mr. Steiner
Louise Lorimer as Strauss's mother
Gavin MacLeod as Padua – Horn's Assistant
Terry Becker as Angry Reporter
Richard Fleischer - Best British Film - Nominated
From The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica--
Meyer Levin, (born October 8, 1905, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.—died July 9, 1981, Jerusalem), American author of novels and nonfiction about the Jewish people and Israel.
Levin first became known with the novel Yehuda (1931). In 1945 he wrote and produced the first Palestinian feature film, My Father’s House (book, 1947), which tells of Jews who are driven out of Poland and reunite in Palestine. Other major works are Citizens (1940)—about the 1937 steel strikes in Chicago, in which 10 strikers were killed—and Compulsion (1956)—about the Leopold-Loeb murder case.
From 1933 to 1939 Levin worked as an associate editor and film critic with Esquire magazine and was a reporter of the loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War. He was also a war correspondent during World War II. Other works include The Settlers (1972) and The Illegals (1977), a film telling the story of the journey of Jewish immigrants from Poland to Israel.