After fleeing Nazi Germany following the success of M and re-establishing himself in Britain as a villain for Alfred Hitchcock, the great Peter Lorre arrived in Hollywood in 1935, signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures. His dream star vehicle: a big-screen adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky s most famous novel Crime And Punishment. His choice of director: Josef von Sternberg, already celebrated and castigated in equal measure for his seven-film collaboration with Marlene Dietrich.
Roderick Raskolnikov (Lorre) has graduated from university as a noted expert in criminology, but nonetheless lives in extreme poverty. Desperate and anguished, he murders a miserly pawnbroker, stealing her valuables before fleeing into the night. The next day, he encounters Inspector Porfiry (Edward Arnold), the detective assigned to the murder, and is asked by Porfiry to consult on the case when an innocent man is arrested as a suspect. How long until the conflicted, guilt-ridden Raskolnikov arouses the master detective s suspicions?
One of many attempts at the time by Hollywood studios to give cinema an air of prestige by adapting great works of literature, Von Sternberg s stylish direction and Lorre s tour-de-force performance are ready for rediscovery in this Blu-Ray premiere of their only collaboration.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation, restored from original film elements
Original lossless mono soundtrack
Isolated music and effects track
Light And Dark, a newly-filmed appreciation by David Thompson, critic and director of Josef von Sternberg: The Man Who Made Dietrich
The Double Face of Peter Lorre (1984), an hour-long German TV documentary directed by Harun Farocki
Mystery In The Air: Crime And Punishment, a 1947 radio adaptation with Lorre reprising the role of Raskolnikov
Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Martin