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The director and the cameraman together did the 'acting' of my short role, helped, I suppose, by the cutting room.

When I saw the rushes, I knew beyond question that no director asks for imagination, gifts, or experience from the artist.

A Napoleon might be able to carry it off, but you're not a Napoleom, my friend. See more » For his first Hollywood movie, Peter Lorre – billed as "the great international star" – personally chose to play the lead in an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's masterpiece, although he is curiously second billed to the film's nominal star Edward Arnold (appearing in the film's latter half as his nemesis, the Chief of Police).

The film has been justifiably criticized for being a greatly oversimplified and condensed version of Dostoyevsky's mammoth novel but, not having read the book myself, I was satisfied with (and found much to admire in) von Sternberg's typically pictorial direction which highlights Lucien Ballard's atmospheric chiaroscuro lighting.

Peter Lorre is perfectly cast as the arrogant genius Roderick Raskolnikov whose tracts on criminology has made him a household word with the police authorities but, perhaps due to an excess of pride, apparently also reduced him to a bottom-of-the-barrel social status; a casualty of the film's ruthless editing of the original source is the fact that Raskolnikov's fall from grace (from a master pupil to a bum) is never properly explained.

Meeting up with a lovely gamine (Marian Marsh) at a heartless pawnbroker's and fully confident in his own superiority 'above the law', he soon puts his theories into practice by doing away with the latter; picked up for questioning by the Police, Arnold (also excellent) soon requests his assistance on the murder investigation itself upon learning of Lorre's true identity and, before long, an innocent neighbor (FRANKENSTEIN [1931]'s Michael Mark) is brought before them as the prime suspect.

Join us for a Facebook Live chat with American Honey star Sasha Lane on Monday, Sept. When Porphiry, the police detective investigating the murder, encounters Raskolnikov, he finds a man nearly crippled by the guilt and paranoia his deed has burdened him with.

When he sees a desperate prostitute, Sonya, degraded by a vicious pawnbroker, Raskolnikov, a proponent of the idea that some people are imbued with such intelligence that the law cannot be applied to them as to other people, decides to rid the world of the pawnbroker and thus save his family and Sonya as well from the fate poverty forces on them.

The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. See full summary » A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. See full summary » Roderick Raskolnikov, a brilliant criminology student and writer, becomes embittered by poverty and his inability to support his family.

The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. See full summary » Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress.

Follow IMDb on Facebook Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-law student, kills an old pawnbroker and her sister, perhaps for money, perhaps to prove a theory about being above the law. See full summary » Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone.

But Raskolnikov clings with as much coldness and calculation as he can muster to his guiding idea, that some crimes ought not to be punished. Patrick Campbell on Josef von Sternberg] I grasped how foolish I had been to imagine for one moment that there was going to be any intelligent pleasure in working even with this man.

He wanted only obedience and silence to get his own effects.

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