WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 16 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Orson Welles, Diane Varsi, Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 1.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 1842-85
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $$39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 105
(Color Type): Black & White
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1959
(LD Release Date): 7/1/95
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Richard Fleischer
(Screenplay/Written By): Richard Murphy
(Story): NA
(Music): Lionel Newman
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Lyle R. Wheeler & Mary-Lee Kirk
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): William Reynolds, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Richard D. Zanuck

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.32:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Stereo
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Compulsion is based on the novel by Meyer Levin. The story is a fictionalized ac-count of the Leopold-Loeb case from 1924. Nathan Leopold, Jr. and Robert Loeb were two amoral young college students with genius level IQs who thought that they could commit the perfect crime. They abducted a 14-year-old boy on his way home from school and killed him “just for fun.” In the film the two thrill-killers are named Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) and Artie Strauss (Bradford Dillman), but the story is essentially the same. The one clue linking the two to the murder is a pair of glasses that belonged to Judd Steiner. Orson Welles plays famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow, in this cinematic masterpiece. Of special interest is the controversial technique of “subliminal perception” employed by cinematographer William Mellor in scenes involving Stockwell and Dillman. Whenever these actors appeared together or by themselves, Mellor would slightly tilt the camera or cut off part of their heads.

LaserDisc Picture:
The CinemaScope® picture presented at 2.32:1. Images are sharp and detailed with excellent contrast and good gray scale. The picture appears solid with minor artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The stereo sound has phase problems.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: