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Compulsion

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Cast
Orson Welles, Diane Varsi, Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall, Martin Milner, Richard Anderson, Robert F. Simon, Edward Binns, Gavin MacLeod
Released
1959
Friedrich Nietzsche
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Artie, drinking and driving, tells his friend Judd, referring to a pedestrian he almost hit, “He’s drunk.”
Artie: “A drunk.” (0:01)

Judd: “Artie, about missing that drunk on the road...”
Artie: “You’d get panicky again.” (0:06)

Judd tells his brother Max, “Apparently his concerns for me didn’t give him insomnia.” (0:07)

Professor McKinnon: “It’s always been the basic instinct of man to govern himself.
Judd: “Prof. McKinnon, I must agree with Nietzsche.”
McKInnon: “I can’t see where your friend Nietzsche’s theories have any application at all here.”
”... and had Nietzsche been a lawyer instead of a German philosopher he would have known that too.”
”Can Nietzsche explain that away, Mr. Steiner?”
”... completely beyond my comprehension, although apparently not yours or Nietzsche’s.”
”But just for once I shall take a leaf from Nietzsche’s book, place myself above the law and grade you accordingly.” (0:10)

His reporter classmate Sid asks Judd, “About this Nietzsche stuff...” (0:12)

Student Ruth tells Judd, “My mother died when I was eight years old.” (0:20)

The waiter asks Ruth, referring to Artie, “Which one was he, miss, the wacky one?” (0:23)

Artie asks Judd, imitating a cop, "Hey, what are you, some kind of nut or something?"
"You idiot."(0:26)

Sid tells Ruth, referring to Judd, "Well, you know, birds, genius I.Q...." (0:32)

Reporter Tom tells Sid and Artie, "This case gets nuttier day by day." (0:34)

Artie tells district attorney Harold Horn, "I'm the nervous type."(0:54)

Horn tells Judd, "... I thought it might joggle your memory."
Judd: "Do you take me for an idiot?" (1:04)

Judd's father, referring to prospective defense attorney Jonathan Wilk: "A lying, drunken, jury-swayer." (1:05)

Horn tells Wilk, referring to Dr. Stauffer and Dr. Ball, "In their opinion the boys are completely sane." (1:09)

A reporter asks Wilk, "You mean you're actually going to conduct a psychiatric study on them?"
"Haven't the state psychiatrists already pronounced them sane?"
Horn: "The state psychiatrists have pronounced them completely sane."
Reporter: "The defense will be based on insanity, won't it?"
Wilk: "Of course we'd be glad to join forces with Mr. Horn's psychiatrists."
Horn: "Do you really think these boys don't know the difference between right and wrong. That's the legal definition of insanity in this state, and no team of psychiatrists is going to change it." (1:13)

Psychiatrist Allwyn tells Wilk, "The Stanford-Binet scale doesn't run high enough to rate Judd's I.Q."
"... and most of us agree that Judd is paranoiac and Artie's schizophrenic."
Wilk: "But not enough to be declared medically insane?" (1:16)

Judd tells Wilk, "We didn't have any other friends because there was no one of sufficient intelligence and maturity worth cultivating." (1:18)

Horn tells his assistant Padua, "I'll have that jury back if the mitigating circumstances even sound like insanity." (1:22)

Attorney: "But I think they should know that if it becomes a question of actual insanity a jury will have to decide it."
Artie's father Charles: "What good is a psychiatrist's testimony except insanity?"
Attorney: "Functional disorders, emotional imbalances, psychotic..."
Charles: "They are either insane or they are not. A sane person can't commit an insane act..." (1:23)

Horn tells Judge Matthews, "The moment you admit evidence on insanity this becomes a mock trial."
Wilk: "So far nobody's mentioned insanity except you.Your honor, all the defense is asking is a chance to present expert testimony on the mental condition of these two boys."
Horn: "It's just another word for insanity..." (1:24)

Wilk asks expert witness Dr. Allwyn, "Now can you tell us how far this tendency, what you call schizophrenia, had progressed with Artie Strauss."
Horn: "Is your diagnosis insanity?"
Allwyn: "Insanity is a legal term, not a medical one." (1:25)

Horn cross-examines Allwyn: "More psychiatric verbiage. Call it paranoia." (1:26)

Witness: "Paranoia encompasses a very positive feeling of being right and a strong neurotic suspicion of being persecuted because of those feelings."
Horn: "Do you think I should be committed?"
Wilk: "... if the subject to be debated here is Mr. Horn's sanity, for once I agree with him." (1:26)

Wilk examines Ruth: "I realized that the unhappiness I sensed in him caused him to commit a violent and insane crime."
Judd stands, then faints. (1:28)

Wilk addresses the court: "Isn't a lifetime behind prison bars enough for this mad act..?"
"Are we crazy?"
"This was the mad act of two sick children that belong in a psychopathic hospital... Your honor, I've become obsessed with this deep feeling of hate and anger... until it's fairly driven me mad... if our state is not kinder, more human... more intelligent than the mad act of these two sick boys... " (1:30)

Would you characterize Artie or Judd as a sociopath?