Compulsion (1959) Script

To the perfect crime.

Crime! Oh, my wealthy fraternity brothers.

Sixty-seven dollars!

And a secondhand typewriter.

I told you to leave it alone. No, you were so scared, you froze to it.

It was the first time, Artie. The next time, it'll be all right.

If there is a next time.

When we made the deal, you said you could take orders.

You said you wanted me to command you.

I do. As long as you keep your part of the agreement.

What was the big idea of that?

There was a man in the road. You didn't even see him.

Take it easy, Artie. You'll get us stuck.

Hey! Come back here! All right.

You drive.

Come back here. I want to talk to you.

Tryin' to kill somebody? He's drunk. We'd better get out of here.

You can't get away with anything like that! Wait a minute.

- Stop! Think you're smart, don't ya?

What? That way.

You come back here, I'll show you who's smart.

He's asking for it. Give it to him.

That's an order, Judd.


Hit him. Hit him!

We almost killed him. A drunk.

Who'd have known about it, anyway?

It would have been murder. Uh-huh.

And you know why I tried it, Juddsie?

Because I damn well felt like it.

That's why.


Artie, we're home. Artie! Bang!

I was just thinkin' about the fraternity house in the morning.

Everybody running around accusing everybody else, nobody knowing it was us.

Can you see 'em, Juddsie? Yeah.

Artie, listen.

About missing that drunk on the road. Forget it.

I'll get another crack at him some night.

When I'm alone.


Can you picture those poor saps at the fratern-

You were only fooling about there not being a next time, weren't you?

Was I?

Please, Artie. I'll do anything you say.


I wanna do something really dangerous.

Something that'll have everybody talking, not just a few guys.

With half the fatheaded cops in Chicago running around in circles... wondering about it while we sat back and laughed at 'em, huh?

Yes, but together, Artie. Something perfect. Something brilliant.

The true test of the superior intellect, with every little detail worked out.

And dangerous- really dangerous. That's the only way it'd be any fun.

Yes. Ah.

You'd get panicky again.

No, I wouldn't.

It must be done as an experiment.

Detached, with no emotional involvement.

And no reason for it, except to show that we can do it.

We can do it.


Okay, genius.

Go home and get some sleep. I'll call you tomorrow?


Where have you been? Father was worried about the car.

And you too. And me too?

That's very touching. Apparently, his concern for me... didn't give him insomnia. Don't be a smart aleck. Where were you?

Up to some funny business with Artie again?

As if I didn't know. Then why bother to ask?

Wait a minute. I want to talk to you.

I don't think we have anything in common, Max.

And take your hand off my arm. I don't have to answer to you.

Or anybody else, eh, kid?

Outside of Artie, and your... birds.

You don't give a damn about anything else in the world, do you?

Does my interest in ornithology annoy you that much?

I'd delighted with your success. It just irritates me... to see anyone as brilliant as you make... a jackass out of yourself over someone like Artie Strauss.

A jackass out of yourself over someone like Artie Strauss.

For your information, my dear brother Max...

Artie Strauss happens to have one of the most brilliant- and his mind.

I have no doubt you both have twice the brains that I have...

I'd just like to see you use 'em for once... on something beside cheating old ladies at bridge... and giggling and scheming in your room all afternoon.

Don't you ever go to a baseball game, or chase girls or anything?

When I was your age- I'm sure you had some But some other time.

I don't expect any consideration for myself.

But Artie happens to be a gentleman. Something I doubt you'd understand.

Oh, I understand, all right. Would you like me to tell you something else about him?

I think he's a dirty, evil-minded- You keep your filthy mouth shut!

I don't have to listen to your insinuations, and I won't!

I don't care! All right, cool down. I know but I'm older than you, and I know what kind of trouble you can get into.

Let go of me. I worry about you. Will you listen to me?

Judd! Listen to-

Tribal code of, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. "

It's always been the basic instinct of man to govern himself.

Professor McKinnon, I must agree with Nietzsche.

Tribal codes and such do not necessarily apply to the leaders of society.

No. No, Mr. Steiner...

I can't see where your friend Nietzsche's theories... have any application at all here.

Hammurabi, Moses, Solon, Justinian- they were all known as lawgivers.

Actually, my question was whether Moses and the others... felt that they themselves had to obey those laws.

All men are bound by law, Mr. Steiner.

And had Nietzsche been a lawyer instead of a German philosopher... he would have known that, too.

Are you going to tell me that Moses felt himself... above the laws that he laid down for his own people?

Oh, I don't know, sir.

He had a motley crew on his hands, and he had to get them through the desert somehow.

Can you cite an example of any of these men... who failed to respect the law, or the rights of the individual?

Can Nietzsche explain that away, Mr. Steiner?

Oh, I think so, sir.

If you've read him, sir, you remember that he conceives the Superman... as being detached from such human emotions... as anger, and greed, and lust and the will to power.

And all completely beyond my comprehension... although apparently not yours or Nietzsche's.

Perhaps my thinking is outmoded.

But I still cling to the theory... that if we were all super-intellects, we would, nevertheless... evolve our own code of laws. Uh, super-laws, sir.


An alien voice in our midst.

And since I haven't heard it before, Mr. Brooks...

I am forced to assume that you were not with us earlier in the period.

Well, that's just an assumption, sir. It can't be admitted as evidence.

Oh, very good, Mr. Brooks. You surprise me.

But just for once, I shall take a leaf from Nietzsche's book... place myself above the law, and grade you accordingly.

That will be all.

Every time I stick my neck out, he chops my head off.

You get away with murder. How come?

I don't know. He just doesn't seem to think very fast.

He's supposed to be one of the brightest men in the faculty.

I suppose he is. About this Nietzsche stuff. there are super-intellects? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.

Artie? Swing into the alley, bam!

Aw, come on, Artie. Cut it out.

You think I'm kiddin'? All right, what do you think that is, huh?

It looks like a moth hole. Oh, no, Sid. He got that Just for the fun of it. Yeah, sure. Just for the fun of it.

You don't believe it, huh? All right. I tell you what we'll do.

We'll all go down there tomorrow night, the whole bunch of us. Okay?

The Four Deuces. Judd, you know the place, don't ya?

We're almost late now, Artie. All right, now wait a minute.

Sid, you can ask Benny himself about me. He runs the joint.

On, uh, Rush Street. 26. Looks like a store.

Mike? Mike, you'll be there. Sally, Pete. Yeah!

- You can bring Ruth, can't you? I'm supposed to work So? What time do you get through?

No! No, no. Wait a minute. I tell you what. Just meet us there. I can pick up Ruth.

Or Judd can. Oh, wait a minute. You know Ruthie Evans, don't you?

Hello. I don't believe I've had the pleasure.

You do now, so that's all set. Sid, okay? Ruthie?

Perhaps Miss Evans would rather wait for Sid.

No. I don't mind. Great. We'll meet there at, uh, 9:00.

We'll make it a big celebration. Yeah.

- What are we celebrating? Oh, uh-

A little business deal we got cookin', huh, Juddsie?

We'd better get going, Artie. Okay! What are you hanging around for?

Bank job. Nothin' to it. Open it up with a hairpin.

- See ya later. That's like talkin' to a Roman candle.

I know. Look, how come you told 'em you'd go?

You know, those boys are millionaire's sons.

I haven't got that kind of money to throw around.

It was Artie's idea. Let him pay.

How many times do I have to say it? When I go someplace-

"I like to pay my own way. " "I like to pay my own way. " I know.

Hey, I'll starve for a week. Don't worry. Mother'll

Hey, Brooks. Yes, sir?

I like it. It's good human interest.

Have they really got that mouse in a physics lab?

I wouldn't have written it if they didn't, sir.

It might be good for a picture on the feature page.

I'll get the mouse! Give me a photographer-

I'll get one out of the files. I got something else for you to do.

There's been a report on a drowned kid that was pulled out of a culvert... out in Hegewisch Park, uh-

Now, here's the dope. And check with Tom Daly before you run off.

He's working on a kidnapping. There may be a tie-in.

Yes, sir.

Ten thousand.

Two thousand in 20's, and 8,000 in 50's, right.

That's all old bills, and all typewritten, Mr. Kessler?

Ah, Mr. Kessler, of course I won't. The story is safe with me until you give me the word.

Daly, sir. Tom Daly of the Globe.

Thank you very much, sir. Kidnapping?

Yeah, the guy's afraid we'll run the story and scare the kidnapper off.

Big millionaire out in Hyde Park.

Ryan wants me to look at a drowned body. Think there's any connection?

I doubt it. Kid probably just wandered off.

Still, with all that dough-

Don't waste any time getting out there.

Here's what I've got on the description, and call me back, huh?


They brung him in about 8:00 this morning.

Drowned, they said. Hmm!

Wait'll the coroner sees that report.

Why do you say that? This kid wasn't drowned.

All them cops wanted to do was dump him on us.

Show ya somethin'.

Oh. Kid's glasses.

Now, you see this here? Them lumps under the hair?

This kid was slugged. See how stiff this is?

Dried blood.

Dried blood.

What's the matter? Nothing.

Glasses. Oh.

Now, in my opinion, this boy was hit on the head with a blunt instrument.

Two, three times. That was the cause of death.

What? Meat wagon's here.

Okay. Comin'. Look, have you got a phone I could use?

Right there. Leave a nickel on the desk.

Number, please. State 1097.

- Chicago Globe. Tom Daly.

Daly here. This is Sid.

Oh, hello, kid. I'm at the morgue. I think I've got something.

The description fits to a "T."

This boy didn't drown. He was killed. Hit over the head with a blunt instrument.

All right, listen. Stay right where you are, and don't say anything to anybody.

I want to see if I can get somebody from the Kessler family to come over with me... and make a positive identification.

Yeah, okay. Right.

Just one more question, sir. Did Paulie wear glasses?

Of course not. Mr. Kessler? You're Mr. Kessler, aren't you?

I'm Jonas Kessler, the boy's uncle.

And there's no question it is your nephew, sir?

What's that about glasses? Well, they must have been beside But they weren't the boy's. I tried them on him, and they didn't fit.

Where are they now? I shoved them way down under the sheet.

Nobody'll notice. Do you think whoever did it could have dropped them there?

Well, I don't know. But if nobody notices them for a little while... we got a clean beat for the morning edition, and you got a bonus.

Come on. Uh, excuse me, fellas.

All right. Can we see the body? Sure.

If we use Plato's system, you see... all children would be wards of the state... and assured of being educated correctly.

Wouldn't that be terribly sad and impersonal?

Children do have feelings and emotions, don't they?

Of course they do, but for whom?

Why should it be their parents? They didn't choose them.

I certainly didn't choose mine.

It's pure biological accident. Do you feel that way about I have very little in common with my father.

Or my mother. My mother died when I was eight years old.

Oh! I'm so sorry.

- Judd! Hey, Ruth! She must have meant a great deal to you.

You gotta hear this! Old Sid's the biggest man in town!

Hey, Sally. Sam, take a seat, will you? Come on. Just sit down.

Hey, Sid. How are ya, boy?

Sit down and have some drinks. Betty, where's the can?

Sh, sh! No, no. No, no, no, no, no.

Now, to hear him tell it, it sounds like nothin'.

But you know about the kidnapping? The little Kessler punk, yeah?

I read about it- Shut up!

Didn't you notice that every paper in town had to say it was a Globe reporter... who found out the kid had been murdered? So?

So, who do you think it was? Sid? No!

Cut it out, Artie. Cut it out, he says. The hero of the hour!

Hey, gimme that. Okay, set 'em up-

Wait a minute, Sidney first. Okay. Now some for you.

Just a little. Okay. Okay, everybody. Come on.

To Sid. Artie, will ya sit down?

Boy, it sure was.

You know, if he hadn't identified the body when he did... the Kesslers would have paid the ransom.

- How 'bout that? Lucky break?

Well, what about the paper? Do they give you a bonus?

Yes, but not for that exactly. You mean there's more?

Oh, there's more! Listen! He didn't tell it all. Stop hollering!

Oh, sure, sure. Just tell us. It'll be in the early morning editions.

Just another lucky break. About the glasses.

Glasses? Wh- What do you mean? What kind of glasses?

Eyeglasses, you know.

Police thought they belonged to the boy, but they looked pretty big to me.

So, when nobody was around, I tried 'em on the body.

- Oh, Sid! Well, I had to. Anyway, they didn't fit... so they couldn't have been his.

I didn't say anything to anybody-

You mean, they could have belonged to the murderer?

- The police think it's possible. It's not a logical conclusion.

Anyone could have dropped them. But anybody didn't.

They must belong to the murderer! Oh, Artie.

You're bleeding. What set you off?

Don't know.

Wow. What'd they put in that drink, anyway?

Artie- No!

Just, uh, wash it off.

Gotta get some air. He really should have that looked at, Judd.


Well, at least he didn't propose another toast.

He might have hurt himself badly with that glass.

Oh, for a guy who dodges. 38 caliber bullets, that's nothin'.

We'd better get goin'. Yeah. What's the rush?

We got an early class in the morning. You know how it is.

Yeah, well, good night. Okay, so we'll see you later.

Good night, Ruth. Somebody sure let the air out

The check. Yeah, the check. 23.80.

You wouldn't rush off and forget it, would ya?

This party was on Artie. Which one was he, Miss? The wacky one?

There goes the bonus. T'anks. I'll bring ya the change.

I can't find them. They've got to be here somewhere.

I couldn't have left them out there. Of course not.

The last time I wore them, I was studying.

In that tweed jacket. Yeah. The same one he had on yesterday.

The same one he tossed on the ground when he got that... brilliant idea about hiding the body.

Left them there like a calling card, didn't he, Teddy?

- Huh? I didn't drop them.

You picked my coat up. You grabbed it up by the tail and tossed it to me.

That's when they fell out.

I agree, it was inexcusable- He agrees with us, Teddy.

It was all our fault.

We said, dump the body in the lake, but no, he had a stroke of genius.

Shove the kid in the culvert, he said. Nobody'll ever find him there.

No, not in a million years, he said.

Artie, will you please stop? Shut up, we're not talking to you!

The first guy by on his way to work... pulled him out of that stinkin' culvert.

Why do you suppose he picked the culvert, Teddy? Huh?


Because he was scared, and it was the first place handy?

Yeah, I think you're right.

And you know what else I think?

I think he never wanted to go through with it, anyway.

That's not true, and you know it, Artie.

We agreed it was the true test of the superior intellect.

Superior intellect?

What do you think of that, Teddy?

You and I work out this perfect, beautiful crime, and then this superior intellect... tries to see how many ways-


I heard some loud voices, and-

Well, what are you doin' with all this stuff?

I was looking for something. At 2:00 in the morning?

What were you looking for? I don't think-

I'm terribly sorry we disturbed you, Max, but Judd was looking for a corkscrew I loaned him.

Then he was just gonna drive me home anyway, weren't you, Judd?

Drive you? It's two blocks.

But the neighborhood's swarming with kidnappers and degenerates.

Max, you wouldn't want to be responsible for anything happening to me, would you?

Or would you? What's that for?

Protection? Teddy?

I always take him along. He's indispensable.


Girls always get a big kick out of him, anyway.

Coming, Judd? You be back in five minutes.

Or what?

I don't know how I could have been so stupid.

You were.

I could go in and claim the glasses tomorrow.

Tell 'em I read about them in the papers.

Mm-hmm. Did you go out to the park a lot?

With my students, sure. I don't have to know when I dropped them.

Ah, you'd butch it up. As I say, Sergeant...

I take my birding classes to the park very often.

And there's just the possibility- "Boiding" classes, Steiner?

'Ey, what are you? Some kinda nut or somethin'?

I happen to be an ornithologist, Sergeant.

With special permission from the Department of Parks to take my classes on field trips.

Oh, I see. And, uh-That's how ya figure you lost the glasses, huh?

It's possible. That, uh, uh... wouldn't have been, uh, Wednesday afternoon, about 6:00?

I remember it particularly, because it was just about that time... that a friend of mine and I... picked up a couple of girls on Lake Shore Drive.

They said their names were Mae and Edna. Betty! You idiot.

No, Artie. We agreed on Mae and Edna. I know we did.

And we picked them up on Lake Shore Drive, right by the Aquarium.

So what difference does it make? It's so pat, nobody would believe it.

When you start remembering details like that, they know it's an alibi.

But it's all we've got! Suppose they pick me up and question me?

You promised you'd stick by it. You swore you would.

All right. I'll stick to it.

For a week. One week, and not a minute longer.

After that, I'll make up my own alibi.

Stop worrying. It's not that easy to trace an ordinary pair of glasses.

But suppose they do? And suppose it is more than a week?

So what? They're not my glasses.

Can you tell us what you expect to learn...

Can you tell us what you expect to learn... by investigating the neighborhood around the school, Lieutenant?

Well, I guess we'll just have to start right at the beginning... and see whether anybody noticed anything at all.

Hey, Sid! Hi, Artie.

What's goin' on? Well, they know the boy and he never got home, so they think he might have been picked up along here somewhere.

Nobody saw nothin' unusual, Lieutenant. Except one old dame.

Thinks there was a big, black sedan cruising around.

When? When the kids got out of school.

Well, what time? If, uh, you're talking that would be about 4:10.

The older kids stay on the playground till 5:00.

How do you happen to know so much about it?

That's right, Lieutenant. This is Artie Strauss. He goes to the Graduate School with me.

Oh, well. I'd like to talk to you for a minute, Artie.

Come on over here, will ya? Excuse us.

Well, let's get a statement. Stay right where you are... for a minute, will ya, fellas?

How long ago has it been since you went here?

Uh, four years ago. Four?

Oh- I went to college at 14, University of Michigan.

Well, I don't suppose the place has changed much in four years.

Uh, are they pretty strict here? Do they keep a pretty close watch on the kids?

Uh, do you ever notice any strange characters hanging around? Like after school?

Oh, no. The teachers wouldn't allow that. Oh.

And the police are very efficient out here.


Well, what about the teachers? Any oddballs?

Most of 'em, if you ask me, Lieutenant.

Yeah? Like who, for instance?

Oh, uh-

Well, Mr. Henderson was one.

Always telling us we're spoiled brats, and too much money.

You know, that kinda- Yeah. Is he still here?

Why, sure! He's right over, uh-

Gosh, Lieutenant, you don't think he had anything to do with Paulie?

No, no! Which one did you say he was?

The, uh-The guy with the sweatshirt.

Just throwing the ball.

Henderson, huh? Any others?

Well, uh-

Pop Wiggen.

Uh, that's the-the- the gray-haired one.

I guess you wouldn't say he was exactly normal.

Snapping towels at kids in the gym- stuff like that.

But, uh-That-That wouldn't mean anything.

No, no. Wiggem, huh?

"Wiggen. " With an "n. "

It's the place where I discovered the Kirtland's warbler.

I was the first person to find one in 60 years.

Of course, it doesn't exactly compare with Red Grange running 97 yards for a touchdown.

I think it does. I think it's fascinating.

I'd love to go out there sometime. You would?

- Yes. Really?

Yes, I would. I'm going out Thursday afternoon.

If you'd like to come along. I know how interested you are... but an inquest is strictly official business.

Look, why don't you talk to your friend, Lieutenant Johnson?

Maybe he'll get you in. Great! I never thought of it!

Hi, Ruthie. I'll see if I can find him. I'm busy.

I guess I'd better run along. You'll never catch up with that skyrocket.

It's not that. I have some studying to do.

You have time. Please stay. Sure. Stick around.

I'm sorry, I have to go.

I do hope you'll be able to make it Thursday.

- I know I'm late. I got tied up at the Globe. Sid.

You could have at least been polite to him.

First Artie brushes him off, and then you treat him as if he's some piece of furniture.

Okay, honey. I'm sorry. What's this about Judd and Thursday?

He wants to take me out to Hegewisch Park.

Mm. Well, if you're an ornithologist, I guess that's the best place to go... to find various species of birds.

Should be a very entertaining afternoon for you... watching Judd and all the other strange birds-

Judd isn't as strange as you're making him out to be.

And I really don't think he's that different from any other boy.

Yeah, I guess he isn't. But- What?

Well, you know, the birds, the genius I.Q., graduate school at 19-

I just don't get the feeling he's gonna challenge Dempsey for the title.

Just because he can speak about something besides sex... you, Artie and all the rest of you seem to think he's some kind of freak.

Look, honey, for all I know, he's another Casanova.

I just don't think I'm gonna have to worry about you at Hegewisch Park.

I just don't think I'm gonna have to worry about you at Hegewisch Park.

All right, let's break it up here. Come on. Keep these folks up on the sidewalk, will you?

Come on. Let's break it up here.

You too, Mist- Oh, hello, Artie.

Everybody and his brother wants to get underfoot.

What's goin' on, Lieutenant? Ah, somebody phoned in, said throw a bundle in the sewer here on Wednesday night.

So we gotta dig it up! Pretty stupid, huh?

Sure is. I'd like to get my hands on the guy that called.

Listen. You know anybody around here talks with a German accent?

With a what? With a German accent.

A German accent? Yeah, uh, the Wainwrights live right across the street there.

They have a German chauffeur.

Real Prussian. Rupert.

Yeah? Think I'll have a little chat with this Rupert.

- Hey, Johnson. What?

Find anything? Sure! Just what you'd Aw, this case gets nuttier day by day.

I wonder if there's anyplace I can find a phone around here.

Use the one in my house, Mr. Daly. I live right here. Come on!

You know, I have another theory I was telling the lieutenant about.

Hey, you and Johnson are really running this case, aren't you?

No, I've just given him a couple of ideas.

You see, nobody's thought of the possibility of the kidnapper being a woman.

But I remember a nurse that the Kesslers had for Paulie.

She did some of the weirdest things you ever saw.

I used to watch her at night. Yeah?


Just a minute, fellas.

Bunch of old biddies playing cards.

If they knew you were a reporter, they'd be all over you.

Uh, phone's right over there, Mr. Daly. Oh, thanks.

Uh, would-would you like a drink? Why not?

Yeah. Sid, come here.

- State 1097, please. Okay. Hold it.

Now, uh, watch this.

Hey! All pre-war, too.

Uh, what would you like to drink, Mr. Daly?

If it's pre-war, I wouldn't know the difference.

- Oh, give me Ryan. Let's see. Is Scotch all right, Sid?

Great! What do you, uh, think I think she'd sweat as much as the schoolteachers.

Now, wait a minute. You surely don't think I told... the lieutenant about them just to get them in trouble, do you?

Well, they got into it, just the same.

Think the school will take 'em back?

Well, gee, I hadn't thought of that.

But that was a terrible thing for me to do, wasn't it?

Well, not if there were any chance of them being guilty.

- Well, even so, that's just- Okay, call you back.

Anything new, Mr. Daly?

Oh, not much. Police are so desperate, they're looking for anybody who even had... mud on their shoes last Wednesday night- thanks.

Oh, uh, they did make a positive identification of the typewriter... that was used to write that ransom note.

Oh, the Corona they wrote about. No, it was, um... an Underwood portable with a bent key.

They're sure of it.

Arthur, for pity's sake, you scared the life out of me.

Sorry, Mumsy. These are friends of mine. We didn't want to disturb you.

Reporters, working on the Kessler case.

This is Mr. Daly. Mr. Sid Brooks. How do you do?

How do you do? How do you do?

I've been telling them my theory about Margaret, Mumsy.

You remember her? Margaret? Margaret.

You had so many theories, dear.

He's done nothing but talk about the case ever since it happened.

Oh, such a terrible thing! And so tragic for the poor Kesslers.

Arthur, dear, get me the sherry, will you? Mrs. Bainbridge is in such a state... she has to have something for her nerves.

Oh, we're all on edge, I guess. Horrible thing.

Police digging up the street out there... that crowd making such a racket you can't hear yourself think-

I declare, I expect the next thing they'll do would be to search this house.

Thank you, dear. They have to follow up Of course they do. And they should.

None of us will get a wink's sleep until this fiend has been captured.

Every one of us has children, and-

Mrs. Strauss, have you any idea why the Kesslers were the victims?

Not the slightest. And Paulie was such a handsome little boy.

Yeah, but still. If you were looking for a kid to kidnap...

Paulie's just the kind of cocky little punk you'd pick.

Arthur, that's a terrible thing to say. But it's the truth, Mumsy.

You said yourself he was a fresh little smart aleck who ought to be spanked.

I've said the same thing about every child in this neighborhood.

Including you, Arthur Strauss.

That doesn't mean you have to repeat it.

What will these gentlemen think of me?

I think you've been very gracious, Mrs. Strauss... but I also think we're imposing on you.

Ready, Sid? A pleasure, Mrs. Strauss. Bye, Mrs. Strauss.

Good-bye. Uh-Wait a minute. Uh-

Wouldn't you like to stay for dinner? No thanks, Artie.

Gonna start checking on that nursemaid. I'll go with you.

I can tell you what she looks like. That won't be necessary, Artie.

Thanks just the same. Arthur, dinner's in an hour.

You know how your father likes to have you here.

- So long, Artie. See you in the morning, Artie.

Arthur, don't drink anymore before dinner.

You know how it affects you. How?

Don't pout, dear. You should go and call Judd.

He's been trying to get in touch with you all afternoon.

Who cares? I'll call him after dinner. Then come and see the ladies.

They're dying to meet you. And they'd be fascinated to hear Oh? Okay.

Oh, that's my good boy.

- Central 1099. Where'd you get

Why, I've had it for some time.

Why do you ask? Not bad, Juddsie. Not bad at all!

I was just trying to get to you, you damn fool!

Me? I don't keep an Underwood portable with a bent key!

Didn't I tell you to get rid of that thing?

Now they've made a positive identification of it. Suppose they suddenly decide... to search all the houses in the neighborhood, huh?

If you think it's that important, I'll get rid of it.

I'll find a place for it. And leave another pair of glasses?

I've seen enough of your hiding places. This time, I'll do it myself.

Tomorrow afternoon, maybe.

We could drive out by the, uh-

Stockyards. Not tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, you got another date?

You ditching me for some girl?

I haven't been able to find you for three days.

I've been doing exactly what we said: Watching the cops run around in circles.

Who's the girl?


A girl- Ruth!

Gonna take her birding? Hegewisch?

She said she was interested.

Good idea. You'd have her out there all alone, huh? No witnesses?

Yeah, yeah. You'd be perfectly safe.

Girls never talk about it afterwards. She can scream her head off.

Oh, what's the matter? Isn't that what you planned?

No, it isn't.

You're not falling for her, are you, Judd? Of course not.

I just hadn't thought of that. But this is your chance!

Now, look. We agreed to explore all the possibilities of human experience, didn't we?

And emotionally detached?

But together, Artie. Sure, but I've done things alone.

You can too!

Don't tell me you haven't got the nerve.

It's perfect!

And the best part is that Ruth won't be suspecting a thing.

What's the matter?

You... want me to... order you to, Judd?

Right up in the top branch.

Right up in the top branch.

I can't- Oh! Wait. I saw something move.

That's it. Here.

Yes! There!

Oh, it's beautiful.

I'm so glad you brought me here, Judd.

What is it, Judd?

You seem so sad.

That's a sentimental term.

There's no such thing as sadness.

Only the reality of things happening.

You don't really believe that, Judd.

Over there, for instance. That's where they found the body of the Kessler boy.

Is that sad?

Yes, it is.

Terribly sad.

Is it sad that you're here? All alone, with me?

Just you and I, and little Paulie Kessler's ghost.

You shouldn't joke about that. Why not?

What's one life, more or less?

There were nine million people killed in the war.

What does one little Chicago boy matter? Judd!

You're not that cruel.

No? No.

Murder's nothing.

It's just a simple experience.

Murder and rape?

Do you know what beauty there is in evil?

Is there?


You're trying to frighten me, Judd. If you were to move now-

Why don't you run? Is that what you want me to do?


Do you have to attack me, Judd? I don't have to do anything!

If I attack you, it's because I choose to! No!

Are you afraid of me?

I'm afraid for you, Judd!

I'm afraid for you.


Oh, God!

Oh, my God!

I'm so ashamed!


- What is it? A Judas goat.

- Didn't you ever see one? No. What does it do?

Watch, and you'll find out.

See, when they get to the slaughterhouse, he ducks to one side, and the silly sheep... go in to get their throats cut- that black devil knows it.

Did you get rid of the typewriter? Uh-huh.

There's a pit out back, where they bury all the entrails.

Nobody'll go near that.

So, uh, how did you make out?

Oh, fine.

You're pretty smug about it.

But if you did, how come you're not sweaty?

Like after Paulie. And after you found out about those stinkin' glasses.

I just wasn't rational at the time.

After thinking about it, I realize there was nothing really distinctive about them.

There must be hundreds exactly like them- 4,200, to be exact.

I asked Lieutenant Johnson. You asked the police?

I asked Lieutenant Johnson. You asked the police?

Sure! Why not? I figured we might as well know.

So, I asked Johnson why they weren't following that lead.

You fool!

You're sweating again, Juddsie.

Why? Now we know! They can't trace 4,200 pair.

They can't trace anything. The whole case'll blow over in a couple of weeks.

Hey, come on. Let's go watch them slaughter the sheep.

I looked all through my bedroom, gentlemen.

I just don't understand it. I'm positive I had them last night.

Have you seen those glasses of mine, Emma?

The ones with the black rims? On my desk, perhaps?

I just cleaned your room this morning, Mr. Judd. They weren't there then.

I don't think I could have lost them. They wouldn't be... someplace else around the house? Well, I only use them for study.

What do you think? The boss is pretty definite about it.

It's the State's Attorney. He gave us orders- Mr. Horn.

I'm a great admirer of his. I'm a law student, you know.

He wanted to talk personally to anybody on the list who didn't have their glasses.

I see. Then I expect you want to take me down to the Hall of Justice with you, now.

Not exactly. The Pennington Hotel. Mr. Horn's taken a suite there.

Just to protect anyone he talks to.

You know what the reporters will do with something like this.

Of course. Very considerate.

Shall we?

I certainly wouldn't want you to admit something you're not sure of, Judd.

But it is possible you could have dropped these out there.

Yes. It is possible.

If they actually were mine, sir.

As I say, I very often carry them in the breast pocket of my jacket.

This jacket, as a matter of fact.

When I take my classes to Hegewisch.

And you were out there Tuesday, the day before the crime.

Yes, sir. I should think you would have checked that first.

There are ten members in my class, all very reputable people, I assure you.

Oh, come on, Judd. You're taking this all much too seriously.

We all know you're a prominent ornithologist.

It's entirely logical that your glasses could have dr-

Oh, I'm all right.

It's funny. They didn't drop out of my pocket.

Oh, I'm sorry, sir. But it looked like you were acting that out for a jury.

Forgot you were a law student, Judd.

Yes, it was rather far-fetched.

Uh, do you suppose you could show us how these glasses might

Go right ahead.

Of course, the terrain is considerably different out there.

Mm, of course.

I suppose I could have tripped over a root or something.

Like this.

They didn't fall out of my pocket, either.


May I see your coat a moment?

Yes, sir.

Could you have taken it off because of the heat... or something you wanted to do, and then, uh- picked it up later?

Yes, but I wouldn't pick my coat up that way.

Why not? I'm very careful about my clothes.

Unless you were in a hurry.

Unless it was dark.

Well, this is all purely academic, if they're not really my glasses, isn't it, sir?

I don't know, of course, but I would imagine there must be... a thousand pair of glasses like those right here in Chicago.

The figure is about 4,000,Judd.

But these happen to be your glasses.

In spite of the fact they look like thousands of others, they aren't.

You see, a firm in Rochester developed this new hinge.

Almer Coe is their only outlet here. They sold three pairs.

One to an executive who's been in Europe for a month... one to a woman in River Forest, and the third to you.


Now, how would you like to tell us about Wednesday afternoon?

I must say, you've given us a very detailed account of your activities, Judd.

- Ten times. Oh, we're very thorough.

We'll have to find some way to corroborate this, you see.

None of it, uh- driving around in your Stutz Bearcat-

Lake Shore Drive, Jackson Park, hot dog stand, Mae and Edna-

None of it is particularly easy to check.

Well, it would be if you found Mae and Edna.

Yes, but Mae and Edna who?

You didn't tell them your right names, and they didn't tell you anything.

See how it is?

Look, Judd. I know how you feel about involving a friend... and I appreciate your family's feelings about picking up stray girls... but you might consider my position too.

I simply have to check this story.

Look, Judd.

I give you my word, I'll never say anything to either of your families... if you tell me your friend's name.

Then we can wash this all up, and have you home for dinner.

All right.

I doubt that he'll ever speak to me again... but his name is Artie Strauss. Artie Strauss?

Attends the university also. You know him?

He's the kid that's been helping me all along.

Very interesting. If you pick him up and bring him in... he may be able to help us some more.

Yes, sir.

Right through there. Straight ahead, Artie. Come on.

Open up! There he is! Get him!

What's going on? We've been waiting Don't you think it's about time you gave us a statement? when I'm good and ready to- in the meantime, there'll be

That's better.

Is there anything I can get you, Strauss?

Artie. Just make it Artie, sir.

I could, uh, use a cigarette, if you have one.

Came away so quickly that I didn't- Sir, have one of mine.

Thank you.

Oh, this is Mr. Horn, Artie, the State's Attorney.

Ah, Mr. Strauss. Artie Strauss. Nice to know you, sir.

I guess you're the man I want to see! Oh?

You see- I don't know exactly why I'm here.

But, uh, if we could make it as quick as possible?

Oh, I think we can do that, Mr. Strauss. Artie. Please, sir.

You see, I uh, answered the door when your men arrived... and, uh, since I didn't want to worry Mumsy-

My mother, that is- I just came along.

Oh, all right. Well, this won't take but a few minutes.

Oh, fine. You see, uh, dinner's at 8:30, and Dad likes me to be on time.

Particularly when we're having guests. Judge, uh, Conway... or uh, Conroy, I think it is tonight.

Oh, that'd be Judge Conway of the Superior Court.

Yeah. In that case, we'll make it extra-brief.

Uh, won't you sit down, Artie?

Well, I'd prefer to stand, if you don't mind, sir.

I'm the nervous type.

But, uh, please.

Thank you.

Well, I'll come right to the point, Artie.

We're interested, uh- in a description of your movements in the afternoon... and evening of Wednesday the 17th.

Last Wednesday? That's, uh, over a week ago, isn't it?

Yes. Yeah, this is Thursday.

Well, you see, it's-it's, uh-

It's pretty hard to remember that far back.

That's what your friend Judd said. He did?

But he managed to recall a few things.

Oh? Well, uh, did he say I was with him?

That's hardly the point, is it, Artie?

We're interested in finding out what you recall.

You see, i-i-it's just that I know we were together part of the day-

When was that? Well, Wednesday's a school day.

And, uh, we have two of the same classes.

Uh, we're interested in hearing what happened after school.

Yeah. Wednesday, Wednesday-

Is that the day the old ma- uh...

Father had the dinner party for-

Oh, Wednesday was the night the little Kessler boy was kidnapped.

Is that why you wanna know?

Then I better get it right.

Wednesday. It may help if you recall being with Judd... any afternoon and evening last week.

Well, I-I-I know- I know we went to the Edgewater Beach Monday.

That was a party.

And the Four Deuces Friday.

No, Thursday.

No, Wednesday.

I don't believe so.

Oh! Yeah- I remember.

I went to the movies- alone.

And that's all you remember about Wednesday night?

Just dropping into a movie alone- no friends, no girls?

That's is, sir. I wish I could tell you something more helpful.


The commissioner just phoned.

He wanted me to tell you that Judge Conway called him- for the family, sir?

So? Well, nothing.

He just wanted me to tell ya. All right. You've told me.

Yes, sir. Oh, Johnson.


What about that other matter?

Oh, Mae and Edna? Yeah, the two dames.

Well, we're still working on that, sir. Mm.

Did he say something about two girls named Mae and Edna?

Oh, I don't know if that's their names.

Two girls we interviewed as secretaries.

That's not true, Mr. Horn.

Judd's broken his word of honor to me. He promised he'd never tell it to anybody.

Why, Artie? Well-

Well, because that's where we were Wednesday night-

Out with a couple of chippies we picked up on Lake Shore Drive.

He knows what'll happen if my family finds out.

Well, what else did he tell ya-

Artie, have you been lying?

Don't you know this is a murder case?

Do you realize what the consequences could be?

Can't be as bad as what my old man'll do.

He'll skin me alive if he finds out I was out with a couple of tramps.

He doesn't need to find out.

You wanna tell us about it now?

Didn't that blabbermouth tell you enough?

We'd like to hear it from you.

All right.

Well, look. It wasn't so much anyway.

Look, we were just out cruising in Judd's Stutz... and we saw these two tramps, Mae and Edna, they said their names were.

Couple of crows.

Anyway, I wound up with Edna and Judd was left with-

Yeah. Yeah. Follow 'em? On what, roller skates?

They just went down the freight elevator and took off.

Yeah, well, Johnson says that Horn took 'em to dinner- Maybe he did.

I got the kid making the rounds of all the restaurants in the neighborhood.

Yeah, well, the feeling is there's nothing much to it... particularly since they were taken out to dinner.

Yeah. That's right. I'll let ya know.

Here we are, Mr. Judd. Will this be satisfactory?

Excellent, Robert. Merci.

I told Robert to order for us, Mr. Horn. I assure you, it'll be excellent.

How many languages do you speak, Judd?

14, including English and German and Italian and French...

Sanskrit, Russian, Latin, Greek- that's Classical Greek and modern Greek, Umbrian.

I expect to brush up on some of them in Europe this summer.

Europe? Yes, I plan to leave next week.

Europe, a Stutz Bearcat, the best restaurants-

You fellas really have a hard life, don't you?

By the way, that Stutz is a two-seater, isn't it?

I thought you'd be wise to that one, Mr. Horn.

You see, in a two-seater, a girls has to sit in your lap.

Oh, cozy.

You boys really had us worried for awhile- especially you, Artie.

I'm sorry, sir, but...

I didn't think Judd was going to back out of our agreement.

If you'll excuse me, I think I'll wash up.

I'll join you. Might as well go too.

Mr. Horn, it looks as if you're still not quite certain.

Oh, don't be silly. Sit down, Davis.

I don't think they had anything to do with it.

Hmm. I don't know.

Their stories tally, but what do you think, Whitey?

These kids? A couple of powder puffs.

They're too afraid of their fathers to do anything-

If they'd have come up with the same stories right away...

I might have thought something was fishy, but, anyway, how long can you hold 'em?

There's the commissioner, Judge Conway- I know. I know.

I know. I wish I were as sure as you are, but-

Those damned glasses keep bothering me.

Here they come!

Come on. Give us a statement.

You're getting all excited over nothing!

There's no story here because there have been no charges.

There are no star-chamber proceedings.

I'm trying to get information on the kidnapping.

If I think I can get it from these two boys, I'll keep 'em as long as I like.

Shut that door. Give us a statement.

You know, they're right, Chief.

We can't hold them much longer without a charge.

I'm surprised the families haven't sent a lawyer down here before this-

All right. All right. All right. I'll release them.

I don't know why I've kept them as long as I have, except-

No. Never mind.

Who's this? He's the Steiner chauffeur.

Albert, sir. Mr. Steiner sent me.

I brought pajamas and a few toilet articles for Mr. Judd in case you kept him overnight.

That's subtle. Well, Mr. Judd won't need them.

You stay here and drive 'em home.

I knew the boys couldn't have done it. How?


I mean, they couldn't have been anywhere near Hegewisch Park... unless they walked.

Mr. Judd's Stutz was in the garage all afternoon.

His Stutz Bearcat?

Wednesday? Yes, sir.

I know because Wednesday is my afternoon off.

I stayed home to change the brake linings.

You're sure it was Wednesday? Yes, sir. I'm sure.

Why of course you're sure.

Thank you, very much, Albert. I wish we'd known this before.

Thank you.

So, they were cruising around in the Stutz Bearcat Wednesday... where they were picking up girls.

The little devils. They almost had us believing them.

That still doesn't prove- It proves they lied-

And this time, I'm gonna get the truth.

Which one will we hit with it first?

Well, it's Judd's car. Yeah, but Artie's the wise guy.

Johnson's buddy, nice and cocky- I'll bust him apart at the seams.

You go in and keep Judd happy.

Well, Artie, how do you feel after your dinner?

A little sleepy. Oh, really?

Why it's the shank of the evening.


It's all over, Steiner.

Your partner's confessed to everything.

Oh, come now, Mr. Horn.

Isn't this the sort of thing they do in detective stories?

You can hardly expect me to be taken in by that... even if there was something to confess.

Yes, I guess it was rather stupid of me at that.

You might also have taken into consideration that... aside from the fact that he's my best friend...

Artie is far too intelligent to-

To be trapped by us poor specimens?

I suppose so.

But Artie was such a good friend of a young man... who helped him write a ransom note on a stolen typewriter... and who rented a black sedan from the Collins drive-yourself agency... on May 16, that I thought it might joggle your memory.

Do you take me for an idiot? What did he say about that car?

Oh, yes. "I drove it.

"Judd Steiner was sitting in the back seat with Paulie Kessler.

"I don't know how it happened, but Paulie started to struggle.

"Judd told him to be quiet and then he hit him.

He hit him very hard. "

Oh, that weakling.

That child.

That inferior weakling.

Where is he? Hold him!

If he said that, he's lying! It's a cheap, cowardly lie!

Mr. Strauss didn't drive the car, I did!

And I didn't kill Paulie, Mr. Strauss did!

He's lying! He's lying!

There's only one man for this case.

He's the best lawyer in the country, and he's here in Chicago.

That atheist. I won't have him.

He's a skeptic who makes a mockery of religion.

And the best trial lawyer in the country. A charlatan.

A lying, drunken jury-swayer. But a winner.

And he's fought capital punishment all his life.

I'm not even sure he'll take the case.

If it's a question of money, we can-

But the fee must be a consideration.

I've known him 30 years. It never has been.

Will you let me get him on the phone and see if I can persuade him?


Judd's my son.

No matter what he's done, it's my duty to speak for him.

Give me Information.

I want the number of Jonathan Wilk-

W- I-L-K.

"Judd cleaned up most of it and I helped him.

"When it was as clean as we could get it...

"we got in the car and drove for awhile.

"Then we started back, and coming along Ellis Avenue...

"I threw the taped chisel into the bushes at the side of the road.

"Then Judd drove me home and I went to bed.

"These are the facts to the best of my recollection.

Signed, 'Arthur A. Strauss. "'

Do you have anything to add to that, Artie?

- Judd? With the exception of saying... that I killed Paulie...

Mr. Strauss has done such a brilliant job, no one can think of adding anything to it.

If Mr. Steiner hadn't have involved me in that asinine alibi... there wouldn't have had to be a confession.

And as far as killing the kid goes, I was sitting in the back seat, where-

- I mean the front seat. The front seat or the back seat?

All right. All right, boys. I haven't finished.

Have you both been treated fairly by me?

- Yes, sir. No violence?

- No intimidation? No.

That's all. You'll have five minutes to question them.

- It's Jonathan Wilk. Jonathan Wilk.

Well, Jonathan. Harold.

I suppose I should've realized you'd appear sooner or later.

It would've been sooner if I hadn't have gone first to City Jail... which is where I normally expect to find my clients.

Both boys? I questioned them here... in an effort to avoid publicity.

Avoid publicity? Well, congratulations.

They had no counsel at the time. They've got a counsel now.

One with a writ for immediate delivery to City Jail.

I was about to do that before you came in.

Take 'em down in the freight elevator and out through the back.

Now wait a minute. You've had 'em for 12 hours... you can at least spare me 12 seconds.

You're Artie? Yes.

Judd? Yes, sir.

Your folks have retained me as counsel for the defense.

I've always admired you tremendously. You can prove it- both of you- by saying absolutely nothing to anybody... until I instruct you to the contrary.

That's it, Harold. Let's go.

Come on, boys. Open it up here, please.

It's a little late to silence them now, isn't it?

Well, we- We do what we can.

I suppose I ought to consider it a minor victory that the boys weren't hanged... before I got here.

They will be, soon enough.

Luckily, that decision won't be up to you, Harold.

Oh, you may as well know, before you decide on a plea...

Dr. Ball and Dr. Stauffer have been observing them.

Observing them? In their opinion... the boys are completely sane.

Might be more interesting to hear their conclusions... if the doctors would observe each other.


Is it true, Sid?

Yes, it is.

Oh, I just can't believe it.

Well, you can believe it, all right.

And the confessions they signed will take 'em right to the gallows.

Oh, my God.

But, look, Ruth. Be sensible.

I mean, they're murderers.

How do you think the Kessler family feels?

I know how they must feel, Sid... but I can't help feeling sorry for Judd... and for Artie.

Sorry for them? Ruth, they plotted a cold-blooded killing... and went through with it like an experiment in chemistry.

Sid, Judd isn't like that.

Believe me, I know. How do you know?

Will you just believe that I know?

No, I won't just believe you. Something must've happened.

Well, did it? Well, did something happen?

He tried to attack me.

Dirty little degenerate!

Please. It wasn't the way you think at all.

He made an attempt at it. He couldn't go through with it, Sid.

He was like a child- a sick, frightened child.

I don't understand you, Ruth.

He tries to rape you and you defend him.

I know. It's difficult to understand... but, see, you weren't there, you didn't see him like I did, Sid.

If you did, you'd have some compassion... or sympathy for him, believe me. Sympathy?

Ruth, you sound as though you're sorry he didn't go through with it.

I hope they hang him.

I hope he hangs till the rope rots.

Mr. Wilk, one moment, please.


At the formal arraignment- Rewrite. He pleaded 'em "not guilty. "

That's right, not guilty.

The chief justice set the trial date for four weeks from today.

Wilk wanted more time, but- Hold it. He's comin' in now. I'll call ya back.

Hold it. Here he is.

You're actually going to conduct a psychiatric study on them?

With the best men in the profession. Why, Mr. Wilk?

To determine the facts. Haven't they got the facts?

Haven't the state psychiatrists already pronounced them sane?

Indeed they have. The state psychiatrists... have pronounced them completely sane.

Yes, after a searching and exhaustive study. Isn't that right, Harold?

Ten minutes in a crowded hotel room.

Oh, we're up against some brilliant minds in this case.

We don't have a minute to lose.

If you'll excuse me, gentlemen.

The defense will be based on insanity, won't it?

We'd be pretty stupid to divulge our tactics to the prosecution.

The defense will be based on the results of the study.

Of course, we'd be glad to join forces with Mr. Horn's psychiatrists.


That's too bad, Harold.

It might have been a real contribution to criminology.

If that's the way you feel about it. Good day, gentlemen.

Mr. Horn, why do you object to joining forces?

Might prove interesting. Joint study of what?

Two evil minds that don't deserve to live a day longer?

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.

There he is! Good morning, sir.

Good morning. We're posting a couple of men here... in case the Klux- I'd prefer you didn't, Lieutenant.

Well, they may come back again, sir.

I don't think we ought to worry our heads over the kind of folks... who's reaction to an emotional situation is to pull a sheet over their head.

Any comments on this fiery cross business, Mr. Wilk?

It's much too warm for an open fire.

Are you worried about getting an impartial jury after this, Mr. Wilk?

I've been worried about juries for more than 40 years.

But, Mr. Wilk, with public feeling the way it is... don't you think this is a hopeless case, even for you?

That's what I keep reading in your newspapers... but I'd rather leave the final decision to a judge, not your editors.

Mr. Wilk, it's common knowledge you take more than half your cases without a fee.

No offense, sir, but is it true you're getting a million dollars for this one?

It's been a matter of public record for two weeks now.

The state bar association will determine the fee.

Well, if the fee isn't that important, why take the case?

Well, I did give it some thought, but, you know, it occurred to me... that to deny the rich the same right of defense as the poor... might be to go along with the same kind of thinking that... started that fire.

Morning, gentlemen. Thank you, Mr. Wilk.

Good morning, sir.

The Stanford-Binet scale doesn't go high enough to rate Judd’s I.Q.

Can you imagine that? And, yet, on several others... both he and Artie showed no more emotional maturity than a seven-year-old.

It's amazing, isn't it? What I find lacking are any conclusions.

Yes, we've had several days discussion about that... and most of us agree that Judd is paranoiac and Artie's schizophrenic.

But not enough to be declared "medically insane"?

Well, that's a very indefinite term, Mr. Wilk.

We prefer not to use it.

Very definite in a court of law. Of course.

And that's why we prefer you to draw your own conclusions.

Thanks, Doc. Based on your legal knowledge, of course.

Of course.

And I have to add that... none of us is in complete agreement.

Oh. That's going to be very helpful.

I see you have the finished report.

Should be intensely interesting.

These have been the most fascinating four weeks I've ever spent.

Do you think that'll be a major contribution to criminology?

I'd hardly say that, Judd.

Why don't you tell him the truth?

It all adds up to six feet of rope and a hangman.

No. No, no. This report might be useful.

They're betting 20 to 1 we hang.

If it's the long shot you're looking for, I've got one just as good.

You know that guard that brings us up here every day?

He's got a sick wife, five kids and house they're gonna throw him out of.

I know. I talked to him.

For $5,000 he could be looking the other way when we come past the admitting desk.

Three steps, we're outside. There's a car waiting with the motor running.

And a mad dash to the Canadian border, Artie?

Okay, so we do it your way and go to trial in the morning.

Well, there's still one subject that concerns me.

The newspapers have been playing it up.

The State's Attorney may try to do something with it.

It's the fact that... aside from each other... you don't have any close friends.

We didn't have any other friends because there was no one... of sufficient intelligence and maturity worth cultivating.

Is there anything wrong in that? Nothing... unless the State's Attorney wants to make something of it... with hostile witnesses.

If he calls 'em I'd... like to have somebody speak for you.

I'll give you a flock of ‘em.

I've got a little black book in my desk at home.

If the cops haven't take it, it's got the addresses of 40 or 50 girls...

I've been out with in the last two years.

Ask any one of ‘em what she thinks of me.

No I haven't any "little black book. "

No girls?

Yes, there is one I've been out with lately.

I don't know what she'd say. Wanna give me her name?

Ruth Evans.

But I'd sooner you didn't call her, sir. I don't want her involved in this.

I won't call her without your permission.

That's it, boys.

Mr. Wilk, can I ask you one thing?

Will, Mumsy- my mother- be there... and Dad?

Why, what am I talking about?

Tuesday, the old lady has the bridge club... and the old man's got his regular date at the country club.

They'd be suckers to sit in a crummy courtroom in this weather.

There is no other justice.

There is no other verdict.

There is no other penalty... because never before in the history of this city...

Has such a vile... cold, brutal... inexcusable... premeditated murder been committed.

Gentlemen of the jury, my office... representing the outraged citizens of Cook County... dedicates itself... to presenting the evidence in this case... in such a manner... that the perpetrators... of this crime... shall be convicted and hanged... as swiftly as possible!

- Order! Order!

Any further disturbance of this nature... and I shall order the bailiffs to clear the court.

Defense will make its opening remarks to the jury.

If Your Honor please, the defense will waive... its remarks to the jury.

If the court will approve... the intent at this time to change the plea to "guilty. "

What? We're changing the plea to "guilty"...

With mitigating circumstances.

It took six days to impanel that jury.

Don't worry. I'll have that jury back if the mitigating circumstances... even sound like "insanity. "

The State's Attorney will approach the bench please.

The court accepts your change of plea to "guilty" for the defense, Mr. Wilk.

Before I dismiss the jury, may I see both of you gentlemen in chambers?

There will be a short recess.

And, unless you've completely lost your faculty, sir...

I demand an explanation for this fantastic about-face.

I have never in my life- Charles, he's trying to explain He has every right to question my judgment.

I've taken a big responsibility.

If I'm going to persuade anybody of the boys' emotional instability-

Emotional instability. It's going to be the judge alone.

But we've hired you on your reputation of a manipulator of juries.

Of course we did. That's your reputation.

I was sitting in the courtroom today... studying that jury.

We wouldn't have had a chance with them.

You know, Mr. Wilk...

I can't understand any of this.

Will what you did today help Artie?

I think so, Mrs. Strauss.

I hope so.

I hope so.

You see... here in Illinois, when you plead "guilty," you don't have to have a jury... and that means that I'll be talking just to the judge.

I hope he'll be more tolerant than any jury.

You hope. But I think they should know... that if it becomes a question of actual insanity, a jury will have to decide it.

But he threw the jury out. Then the judge will have to recall the jury.

That's right. What good is... a psychiatrist's testimony except insanity?

Functional disorders. Emotional imbalances.

Oh, tommy rot! They are either insane or they are not.

A sane person can't commit an insane act.

And after what you did today. Mr. Strauss...

I'll understand if you'd rather have another lawyer.

No, sir. Now?

Between now and 9:00 tomorrow morning?

Ridiculous. No. We're committed to you, sir... and I think we've made a tragic mistake.

I hope you're wrong.

I really do, Mr. Steiner.

I object! I object, Your Honor! I object!

I object! I object, Your Honor! I object!

I've said it ten times and I say it again.

The moment you admit evidence on insanity, this becomes a mock trial.

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.

As a mitigating circumstance. Your Honor-

It's just another word for "insanity. " No, it's not.

And that evidence has to be presented to a jury!

Your Honor, Mr. Horn with virtually godlike omniscience... and without hearing a single word from Dr. Allwin... has already arrived at a conclusion... which the testimony of the witness may not support.

Your Honor, defense counsel is making a mockery of procedure.

I object to his- Objection overruled.

You may take the stand, Dr. Allwin.

Raise your right hand.

Well, thank you, Doctor. Now can you tell us how far... this tendency, what you call "schizophrenia," had progressed... with Artie Strauss?

Not to any degree of exactitude.

We do know the habit of lying, indulging in fantasies... which the boy developed in infancy, have progressed to the stage... where he himself was having difficulty... distinguishing what was true and what was not.

You Honor, prosecution moves a jury be impaneled.

But why? If Artie Strauss cannot distinguish... between what is true and what is not... Your Honor- he cannot distinguish between right and wrong.

Your Honor- Isn't that what you're saying?

No, I don't believe so. Now just a minute.

Is your diagnosis insanity? I am cross-examining this witness.

Under oath, I cannot answer that, sir. "Insanity" is a legal term... not a medical one- I'm a doctor, not a lawyer.

Motion denied. Your witness, Mr. Horn.

Go ahead.

Poppycock, Doctor.

More psychiatric verbiage.

Call it "paranoia. " Call it anything you like.

What it all adds up to in Judd Steiner is a feeling that nobody liked him... and they had good reason not to.

Paranoia encompasses a very positive feeling of being right... and a strong neurotic suspicion of being persecuted because of those feelings.

Oh, it does, eh?

Well, let me tell you something... for the past ten days in cross-examining you and your colleagues...

I've had exactly those feelings.

I know I'm right and I have a distinct feeling... of being persecuted by the defense.

Do you think I should be committed?

Your Honor, I submit that if the subject to be debated... is Mr. Horn's sanity, for once I agree with him... only a jury could determine that.

Now, at the time of this meeting... you had a deep romantic attachment for another boy.

Yes, sir.

And yet you also feel a romantic attachment for Judd?

I felt he was alone and terribly unhappy.

I see. Did Judd give any demonstration that... he liked you as a woman?

He kissed me.

That's all?

No further advances?

There were, but they stopped.

Would you keep your voice up, Miss Evans. I couldn't hear you.

- But they stopped. I'm sorry, Miss Evans... but were they of such a nature as to make you determine never to see him again?

No. They were not.

You would have seen him again. Yes.

Within a few hours after this, Judd was arrested.

Now did your feelings toward him change then?

Of course. I realized that... the unhappiness I sensed in him... caused him to commit a violent and insane crime.

And with this knowledge, would you still see him again?


I felt sorry for him then... and I feel sorry for him now.

No further questions.

Stand back.

"This crime is the most fiendish, cold-blooded, inexcusable case... the world has ever known. "

That's what Mr. Horn has told this court.

You Honor, I've been practicing law a good deal longer than I ought to-

Anyhow, for 45, 46 years-

During all that time, I have never tried a case... where the State's Attorney did not say it was the most cold-blooded... inexcusable case ever.

Certainly, there was no excuse for the killing of little Paulie Kessler.

There's also no reason for it.

It wasn't for spite or hate... or for money.

The great misfortune of this case is money.

If Your Honor shall doom these boys to die, it'll be because... their parents are rich.

I hope I don't need to mention, I'll fight as hard for the poor as the rich.

If I'd come into this court alone... with two ordinary, obscure defendants...

- who'd done what these boys have done... This crime was no-

And hadn't been all this weirdness...

And notoriety and this sensational publicity... and I'd said, "Your Honor, I'm willing to enter a plea of ‘guilty'... and let you sentence them to life in imprisonment"... do you suppose the State's Attorneys would raise their voices in protest?

There's never been a case in Chicago when a plea of guilty"... a boy under 21 has been sentenced to death.

Not one. Yet, for some reason... in the case of these immature boys of diseased minds, as plain as day... they say you can only get justice by shedding their last drop of blood.

Isn't a lifetime behind prison bars enough for this mad act?

And must this great public be regaled with a hanging?

For the last three weeks...

I've heard nothing but the cry of blood" in this room.

I've heard nothing from the offices of the State's Attorney but ugly hatred.

For God's sake, are we crazy?

If you hang these boys... it will mean that in this land of ours, a court of law... could not help but bow down to public opinion.

In as cruel a speech as he knew how to make... the State's Attorney... told this court that we're pleading guilty because... we're afraid to do anything else.

Your Honor, that's true. Of course I'm afraid... to submit this case to a jury... where the responsibility must be divided by 12.

No, Your Honor... if these boys must hang... you must do it.

It must be your own... deliberate, cool, premeditated act.

The State's Attorney has laughed at me for talking about children's fantasies... but what does he know about childhood?

What do I know? Is there anyone of us who hasn't...

What do I know? Is there anyone of us who hasn't... been guilty of some kind of delinquency in his youth?

How many men are there here today, lawyers and congressmen... and judges and even State's Attorneys... who haven't been guilty of some kind of wild act in youth?

And if the consequences didn't amount to much and we didn't get caught... that was our good luck, but this was something different... this was the mad act of two sick children who belong in a psychopathic hospital.

Do I need to argue it? Is there any man with a decent regard for human life... with the slightest bit of heart... that doesn't understand it?

We're told it was a cold-blooded killing because they planned and schemed.

Yes, but here are officers of the state... who for months have planned and schemed... and contrived... to take these boys' lives.

Talk about scheming.

Your Honor, I've become obsessed with this deep feeling of hate and anger.

I've been fighting it, battling with it... till it's fairly driven me mad.

What about this matter of crime and punishment anyway?

Through the centuries, our laws have been modified.

Till now, men looked back with horror... at the hangings and killings of the past.

It's been proven that as the penalties are less barbarous... the crimes are less frequent.

Do I need to argue with Your Honor that cruelty only breeds cruelty?

Every religious leader who's held up as an example has taught us... that if there is any way to kill evil... it's not by killing men.

If there's any way of destroying hatred and all that goes with it... it's not through evil and hatred and cruelty... through charity, love, understanding.

This is a Christian community- so-called.

Is there any doubt that these boys would be safe... in the hands of the founder of the Christian religion?

I think anyone who knows me knows how sorry I am for little Paulie Kessler... knows that I'm not saying it simply to talk.

Artie and Judd enticed him into a car... and when he struggled, they hit him over the head and killed him.

They did that.

They poured acid on him to destroy his identity... and put the naked body in a ditch.

If killing these boys would bring him back to life...

I'd say, "Let them go. "

And I think their parents would say so too.

Neither they nor I would want to release them.

They must be isolated from society.

I'm asking this court to shut them into a prison for life.

Any cry for more goes back to the hyena.

It roots back to the beasts of the jungle.

It's no part of man.

This court is told to give them the same mercy that they gave their victim.

Your Honor, if our state is not kinder, more human... more considerate, more intelligent... then the mad act of these two sick boys... then I'm sorry that I've lived so long.

I know that any mother might be the mother of little Paulie Kessler... who left home and went to school... never came back.

And I know that any mother might be the mother... of Artie Strauss... or Judd Steiner.

Maybe, in some ways, these parents... are more responsible than their children.

I guess the truth is that all parents can be criticized... and these might have done better if they hadn't had so much money.

I do not know.

The State's Attorney has pictured the putting... of the poor, little dead body in a ditch.

Your Honor, I can only think now of taking these two boys...

18 and 19... penning them in a cell.

Checking off the days and hours and minutes... until their wakened in the gray of the morning and led to the scaffold... their feet tied, black caps drawn over their heads... stood on a trap, the hangman pressing the spring.

I can see them fall through a space.

I can see them... stopped by the rope... around their necks.

It would be done, of course... in the name of justice.


Who knows what it is?

Do I know?

Does Your Honor know?

Can Your Honor tell me what I deserve?

Can Your Honor appraise yourself and say what you deserve?

Do you think you can cure the hatreds and maladjustments of the world... by hanging them?

Mr. Horn says that if we hang Artie and Judd... there'll be no more killing.

The world has been one long slaughterhouse from the beginning until today... and the killing goes on and on and on.

Why not read something? Why not think... instead of blindly shouting for death?

"Kill 'em"- Because everybody's talking about the case.

Because their parents have money.

"Kill them. "

Will that stop other sick boys from killing?


It's taken the world a long, long time to get to even where it is today.

Your Honor, if you hang these boys... you turn back to the past.

I'm pleading for the future- not merely for these boys, but for all boys, for all the young.

I'm pleading not for these two lives, but for life itself... for a time when we can overcome hatred with love... and we can learn that all life is worth saving... and that mercy is the highest attribute of men.

Yes, I'm pleading for the future... in this court of law.

I'm pleading for love.

The court- The court stands in recess... until 10:00 tomorrow morning.


I don't know whether you'll believe me or not-

I don't know why you should.

After listening to Wilk...

I'm glad you went on the stand.

It took a lot of courage.

I just wanted to tell you that.


For the crime of murder, to be confined in the penitentiary at Joliet... for the term of your natural life.

For the crime of kidnapping for ransom... to be confined in the penitentiary at Joliet... for 99 years.

The sentences to run consecutively.

Court is adjourned.

So we sweat through three months of misery just to hear that.

I wish they'd have hung us right off the bat.

Is that your only reaction, Artie? No remorse, no feeling of-


I wasn't expecting you to fall down on your knees... and thank God for deliverance. God?

That sounds rather strange coming from you, Mr. Wilk.

A lifetime of doubt and questioning... doesn't necessarily mean I've reached any final conclusions.

Well, I have... and God has nothing to do with it.

Are you sure, Judd?

In those years to come you might find yourself asking... if it wasn't the hand of God dropped those glasses.

And if he didn't, who did?