DR. CRIPPEN (1962)
Article 1903 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-31-2006
Posting Date: 10-28-2006
Directed by Robert Lynn
Featuring Donald Pleasence, Coral Browne, Samantha Eggar
A doctor and his young lover find themselves on trial for the murder of the doctor’s wife. Their story is then told in flashback.
Dr. Crippen is another one of those historical characters whose story lends itself to the horror genre, largely due to the grisly method of the disposal of the body. It is this, along with the presence of Donald Pleasence (a familiar face in the fantastic genres), that lend what horror elements there are to this story, and these factors are slight indeed. In fact, this telling of the story is singularly unsensational; in fact, I would go so far to say that the movie itself is pretty dry and a little on the dull side. The performances are quite good, especially from Pleasence and Eggar, but they can’t quite overcome the lack of energy here, though Pleasence has some rather touching scenes towards the end. It’s one of those movies that feels like a photographed stage play at times, though it isn’t based on a play.