COMPULSION


Anytime is a good time to review a classic and TCM is never short. So, I thought I'd peer into Orson Well's acting days and I found COMPULSION.


The definition of Compulsion is

  • The action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.

The film COMPULSION is about two sociopathic students Artie Straus (Bradford Dillman) and Judd Steiner (Dean Stockwell) who murder a boy in a philosophical exercise to commit the flawless crime. Despite their precautions, one of them inadvertently left a key piece of evidence at the crime scene, and they have been arrested and put on trial. It's up to their nationally famous attorney (Orson Welles) to save these misguided souls from execution. The film is based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb case of 1924.


Haven't seen or heard of the film, but somehow its synopsis reminds you of "any case in the U.S.A," where the affluent aren't a viable pursuant? This is true of the 1959 film where art's depiction of reality is served with a dollop of elite meringue to soothe the view and further confuse the pallet.


Orson Wells plays the part of the attorney who argued the case and saved the two law students from the death penalty, which by today's standard is way more than a mulligan. Well's was amazing, as were the two protagonist law students played by Dean Stockwell and Brad Dillman.


Still, there's something to be said about storytelling. "Compulsion" is proof that a great storyteller can change the momentum of natural and lawful emotion. Richard Fleischer did a great job of Directing art imitating life in a society void of body cam and digital surveillance. Though had the technology been so mature, "Compulsion" might have been reduced to an episode of ID INVESTIGATES instead of the brilliant reel of homage that it is.


Compulsion is a way of life, a bundle of emotions that hit hard like a hammer; though if passionately swung in the wrong direction one could end up in the slammer, like the characters. "Compulsion" is art directly mirroring life. It is a feat to tell a compelling story based on truth because the comparison exists, Meyer Levin (Writer) and Fleischer produced an excellent reel expulsion of headline news via "Compulsion."


Writers by and large remain hopeful in all compositions, however inspired. Hope is very much needed to voice a stronger tale where good vibes reign over art-imitating hell. A life of compulsion is no way to live.


We, at Qui-Me, believe mindful composition is the best seed to sow.

Therefore, if real life is looking trife, we'll script another way to go.


Story is everything, it renders the civil pulse of me and you. Kudos to yesterday's view. Story is a great vehicle to hitch better views to.