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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

Edward G. Robinson, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Allen Jenkins, Donald Crisp, Gale Page, Henry O'Neill, John Litel, Thurston Hall
Ronald Reagan | ethyl alcohol-chloral hydrate | paradol chloride
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Dr. Clitterhouse gives an order by telephone: “Give Mr. Grant an injection of Dialanoid, 115.“ (0:03)

Police Inspector Lane tells Clitterhouse, “The commissioner’s going crazy.” (0:06)

Clitterhouse tells a nurse by telephone, “No, I’ll do it with a spinal anesthetic.” (0:07)

Lane tells Clitterhouse, “But I’ll be there soon, doc, unless I’m in a padded cell first.”
Clitterhouise tells Lane, ”Here’s a prescription for some sleeping tablets.”
Lane: “Now if we can get a hand on those jewels I won’t need any sleeping tablets.” (0:12)

Nurse Randolph asks Clitterhouse, “Start psychologically?” (0:16)

Clitterhouse asks Randolph, “Are you hinting that I have some slight mental aberration?”
”This is a professional matter, and a very confidential one.”
Randolph: “I’m looking for a sleeping tablet.” (0:18)

Clitterhouse tells police lieutenant Johnson, “Now I have a very poor memory for faces.” (0:28)

Gangster Butch, referring to Clitterhouse: “If he ain’t a lunatic, he must be a genius.” (0:31)

Clitterhouse tells fence Jo, “And as for my coming here with all this on me... I had the upper hand... psychologically speaking...” (0:32)

Clitterhouse tells the others, “Above all, never permit yourselves to yield to panic or excitement. If any of you feel the least bit nervous report at once to me.” (0:43)

Clitterhouse asks gangster Pal, “Any nervousness?”
Pal: ”Who, me, nervous?” (0:46)

Gang boss Rocks tells Clitterhouse, “You’re daffy.” (0:57)

Randolph tells Clitterhouse, “I don’t believe Mrs. Ganswoort will annoy you tonight, but here are some paradol chloride tablets.” (1:01)

Clitterhouse drugs Rocks’ drink. Mickey Finn?
Clitterhouse tells Rocks, “That whiskey was flavored by a heavy overdose of paradol chloride.” (1:06)

Lane: “Paradol chloride. What is paradol chloride?”
”A sedative and a poison.” (1:11)

Butch: “Jo, you off your nut?” (1:13)

Lane asks Clitterhouse, “How’s paradol?”
Clitterhouse: “Paradol chloride isn’t very effective for headaches...”
”Chiefly insomnia. In minute doses it’s a sedative.”
Lane: “Yet an overdose causes death.” (1:14)

Attorney Grant tells Clitterhouse, unknowingly referring to Clitterhouse himself, “He would be intent solely upon his idea, so obsessed that he could commit murder.”
”Because the fellow’s as mad as a hatter.”
Clitterhouse: ”Yes, but he’s not mad, Grant.”
Grant: “... but he isn’t sane, therefore not legally responsible.”
”... perfectly sane, except on the subject of their monomania.”
Clitterhouse: “And a monomaniac is legally insane?” (1:18)

New York Chronicle headline: “CLITTERHOUSE SANITY BIG ISSUE”
New York Dispatch headline: “DEFENSE PYSCHIATRIST TESTIFIES” [sic] (1:21)

Forensic psychiatrist Ludwig testifies on the witness stand: “But, of course, we are not dealing with relatively simple psychiatric pathology, such as, uh, manic-depressive psychosis, involutional melancholia, or any other elementary psychosis.”
”... theory of the symptoms of hyper-amnesia and the hypnagogic state.”
Cross-examining attorney: “Well, do such hypnagogic states have any bearing on this case?”
Ludwig: “We must realize that psychiatry is still far from an exact science.”
Judge: “Prof. Ludwig, are you telling us that the prisoner was or was not insane at the time of committing the crime?”
Ludwig: “... sufficient glandular and nervous imbalance may have occurred to justify an hypothesis of pseudo-schizophrenic tendencies, and then again, it may not have.” (1:21)

The jury foreman asks the jury, “How many of you still think he was insane?”
”Now, the rest of you still think he was sane.”
Juror: “He’s sane.”
Juror: “The man is sane.”
Foreman: “This is driving me crazy.” (1:22)

Judge: “Dr. Clitterhouse... do you believe it possible for an insane man to write a sane book?”
Clitterhouse: “... you must not question the sanity of my book.”
Judge: “And so Dr. Clitterhouse assuming that it is impossible for an insane man to write a sane book, in your own opinion you are perfectly sane?”
Jury foreman: “Not guilty on ground of insanity.”
”Well, Your Honor, the prisoner’s only hope lies in proving himself insane when he committed the crime. In fact his life depends on it, but there he sits, doing his best to prove himself sane, then and now. Only an insane man would do that, so he must have been, and still is, sane, I mean insane... uh, unsane.”
Judge: ”The court orders the defendant remanded to the custody of the sheriff for examination by the State Lunacy Commissioner.”
Juror, referring to the foreman: “He fainted.” (1:24)

Was Dr. Clitterhouse a case of malingering or factitious disorder, or neither?

Includes the (uncredited) voice of Ronald Reagan as a radio announcer.