Retrospektive 2018

The Crime of Dr. Crespi

John H. Auer
USA 1935
63min
V'18

Als Dr. Crespi verkörpert Erich von Stroheim einen Arzt, der sich aus Eifersucht mit einem perfiden Plan am Nebenbuhler rächen will. Ihm zur Seite steht der aus Horrorklassikern wie DRACULA und FRANKENSTEIN bekannte Dwight Frye, das Drehbuch ist von Poes „The Premature Burial“ inspiriert. Seine notorische Kompromisslosigkeit kostete Stroheim zwar seine Karriere als Regisseur, als Schauspieler wurde er jedoch in B-Filmen weiterhin gerne engagiert und adelte diese durch seinen originären, stets etwas bedrohlich wirkenden Alte Welt-Stoizismus. Und auch Regisseur John H. Auer entstammt der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie.

Mit THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG

 

After his tragic fall from grace as a visionary but notoriously uncompromising director, Erich von Stroheim transitioned to a prolific but poignant career as an actor who brought a menacing Old World stoicism and indelible presence to his best roles, even in otherwise forgettable B-films. The Viennese educated Hungarian émigré John H. Auer gave Stroheim one of his memorable early roles as the titular Dr. Crespi, a venerated surgeon nursing a wounded heart and a festering jealousy of the rival surgeon who stole his girl. The presence of Dwight Frye (Reinfeld in Browning’s DRACULA and Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant in Whale’s iconic adaptation) signals an alignment with the then popular Gothic imbued horror films, a connection underscored by the film’s source in one of Edgar Allan Poe’s lesser known buried-alive nightmares. Rather than a dark castle or dungeon, THE CRIME OF DR. CRESPI is set largely within a white-on-white clinic transformed by Expressionist shadows into a dramatic stage for Von Stroheim’s fiendish plot to exert a cruel revenge. Auer’s independent production was picked up by the fledgling Republic as its first release and the first of many genre films Auer would direct for the studio. (Haden Guest)

With THE MAN THEY COULD NOT HANG

Credits
  • Jean Brooks
  • Erich von Stroheim - Prinz Nicki von Wildeliebe-Rauffenberg
  • Paul Guilfoyle
  • Harriet Russell
  • Dwight Frye
  • John Bohn
  • Geraldine Kay
  • John H. Auer
  • Lou Goldberg
  • Edwin Olmstead based on The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Larry Williams
Republic Pictures
35 mm
bw
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