Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)


It's the movie that Humphrey Bogart dubbed "The Amazing Doctor Clitoris" so would it be appropriate to say that this film tickled me pink? Perhaps not.  All joking aside, this is probably one of my top favorite films. Edward G. Robinson plays Dr. Clitterhouse, a well-dressed and highly-intelligent doctor who services the society crowd of New York City. He's developed a scientific fascination with crime that starts with him robbing wealthy ladies of their jewelry why they are distracted by champagne (or other drinks) and conversation during lavish parties. Then he takes it another step further, joining a group of criminals, including Rocks Valentine (Humphrey Bogart). He takes their temperature, draws their blood, checks their blood pressure and monitors their physical reaction to their criminal activity. But he gets in too deep and Rocks (Bogie) is about to make things really difficult for him. Robinson is exquisitely dressed with fine suits, scarves, cuff links, pocket squares, starched collars, white bow-ties, the works. Even Bogie, as a less well-off racketeer, is dressed very well. In fact, I stopped and asked Carlos (who works in the men's clothing industry)  what exactly Bogie was wearing on his collar and tie. Turns out he wore a Tie Pin and a Collar Pin, both are practical items but in this case they have an added dose of bling. Here you have a two-bit criminal who likes to show off his success in stealing jewels and furs by displaying a bit of sparkle on his person. I hadn't noticed all the accoutrement until this viewing which just goes to show you that all viewings are not created equal.

6 comments:

  1. "Tickled pink?" LMAO!!! i dont think i like this one as much as you but i do like it a lot and with that cast its hard to miss the mark! its always great fun to check out the apparel worn by the bad guys in flms, like Muni in Scarface, no matter how fancy he dressed he was never gonna be anything but a 2-bit psycho. i enjoy the premise of this film a lot, its off beat and Eddie G is always so great.

    and dont ya just love all those cool character names Bogie had, did you ever read my post about that? that was a fun one to write up, lol.

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  2. Love your blog.

    'Dr Clitterhouse' is one Bogie movie that I was unaware of. Thanks for highlighting it.

    Are you aware another Bogie screamer, 'The Return of Doctor X". I have ever seen once when I was a kid. It scared me then - I wonder if I would only laugh now.

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  3. I am rather surprised you didn't know what a tie pin or a collar pin were! In the old days they were some of the few accessories acceptable for men to wear, along with tie clasps and cuff links! Anyhow, I love The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse. It is such an original movie. There's nothing out there quite like it.

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  4. Raquelle, you are a stitch! I tried to tell my grown sons about this movie once, and I didn't even get the name of the title out before they started guffawing, snorting and slapping their knees with laughter. I'm surprised they would have released a movie with that name. Bogart's title is hilarious.
    I liked the movie too, but I'm afraid today it would be accidentally shelved with the porno flicks in the back room.
    Oh, and William, you would laugh now!

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  5. Paul - I like to amuse. Do you have a link for your Bogie article? Please share.

    William - Thanks! I'll have to check that film out, I had never heard of it.

    Mercurie - Well, I'm not a men's clothing expert. But lucky for me I live with one!

    ClassicBecky - I don't think I've ever been able to utter the movie's name with a straight face! Just saying clitterhouse is so much fun!

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  6. here ya go, two posts highlighting Bogies' incredibe rogues gallery of colorfully named characters :)

    http://artmovieswoodandwhatnot.blogspot.com/2009/01/bogey-part-i.html

    http://artmovieswoodandwhatnot.blogspot.com/2009/01/bogey-part-ii.html

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