Narrator: To Crowe, the entire defense was preposterous. Corbis Simon Baatz, Historian: Richard Loeb graduated from high school when he was 14 years old and immediately matriculated at the University of Chicago as a full time student. In a 2005 interview, director Álex de la Iglesia said that the name of the movie "Crimen Ferpecto" ("Ferpect Crime") is an homage to Dial M for Murder (1954), which is known in Spain as "Crimen Perfecto" ("Perfect Crime"). Paula Fass, Historian: They were a couple of boys playing a strange and sadistic game. A Perfect Crime. Crowe, hoping to build his case and cement the boys' guilt in the public mind, now had Leopold and Loeb retrace their steps on the day of the murder, leading investigators and a caravan of journalists from the hardware store where they'd purchased the chisel all the way to the spot where they'd disposed of the body. Simon Baatz, Historian: Both boys had been neglected by their parents. What first seemed like a simple matter of evil gradually would give way to a complex assessment of the murderers' minds and a searing indictment of the forces that had shaped them, and set off a national debate about morality and capital punishment. Simon Baatz, Historian: Nathan Leopold was not regarded as a likely suspect simply because his family was very prominent. And that's why he was seen as the attorney for the damned. In May 1924, police only had a few clues to point them towards the murderer of 14-year-old Bobby Franks. Liberty, Bash, and their friend Jesse served together in a war in Central America. Overview of A Perfect Crime, 1921, directed by Allan Dwan, with Monte Blue, Jacqueline Logan, Stanton Heck, at Turner Classic Movies View production, box office, & company info. The mother who looks into the blue eyes of her little babe cannot help but wonder what will be the end of this child, whether it will be crowned with the greatest promises which her mind can imagine, or whether he may meet death from the gallows. The two could not have been anywhere near the place the body was left, the chauffeur said, because on the day in question, Nathan's car was being worked on in the garage. The easy thing and the popular thing to do is to hang my clients... we are asking this court to save their lives. I'm unaware of the real-life case so this movie may have very accurate and detailed, but the way the murderer and the victim were so polarised as good and evil from the first second of the film I wouldn't be surprised if the real Darnell's family paid for this to be made. Nebraska State Historical Society They became almost braggarts about it. Hal Higdon, Writer: The morning papers after the murder -- front-page story -- and literally for two, three, four months it was the front page story on every newspaper in Chicago. This starts with the slogan "based on a true story" and I honestly hope that it's very loosely based or else we're all in trouble. She believes very strongly in the innocence of the young man, but can't convince the others. And I think to him it's because there's a certain exceptionality about crime. Although Kaori can't see a future with Fuyuki, she still loves him and continues their relationship. John A. Farrell, Writer: Constantly through the trial he is going back, returning to the savagery of the crime. The Process, a documentary film that takes the audience for an inside, behind the scenes look of world renowned acting and directing coach, Larry Moss. As expected, he entered a not guilty plea, which gave him several weeks to prepare his defense. Narrator: Suddenly, Leopold and Loeb were everywhere, and the horror of the murder began to pale before the specter of the murderers: two arrogant young men in stylish suits, smoking cigarettes and chatting blithely with reporters about the killing of Bobby Franks. Leigh Moran Armstrong Narrator: Again and again, Darrow spoke of youth -- reminding Judge Caverly, that Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, at 19, were but children. Narrator: On August 18th, after two and half weeks of testimony, the defense rested. A deaf man working at his father's high tech chemical engineering firm witnesses criminals fleeing from the firm's headquarters just after they've stolen an ultra-valuable experimental ... See full summary », Theresa is one of the twelve jurors who have to decide about a case of assassination. Streamline Films, Inc. John A. Farrell, Writer: Darrow's early letters to his son and to his ex-wife from early June are very bleak and they say, 'I doubt that I'll be able to save these boys.' It was, the prosecutor said, "the most cruel, cowardly, dastardly murder ever committed in the annals of American jurisprudence." There is something beetle-browed and intense and dark about Leopold. Explore photos of the investigation and trial. Movie: The Perfect Crime Reviewer: Karissa Winkel, Emily Westerman General Analysis What is this documentary about? Narrator: Darrow was by no means alone. You know, the music is wild, the skirts were short, there was gin, it was a fast living society. ", Darrow showed up for his first meeting with his clients in a rumpled seersucker suit and a shirt that bore traces of his breakfast. Narrator: Prosecutor Crowe, in his rebuttal, fought back hard. Narrator: Crowe would spend the rest of the afternoon and long into the night downtown interrogating Nathan Leopold. He demanded the death penalty. Crowe takes those details to Nathan and Nathan realizes that Richard is confessing, and then immediately Nathan also starts confessing but blaming everything on Richard. Getty Images As he told the reporters who crowded around the defense table, he now planned to launch a campaign to end capital punishment in Illinois. Narrator: While Crowe interrogated Leopold, police ransacked his bedroom and study -- and turned up a letter to Richard Loeb, which suggested the boys were lovers. They were in this very sheltered life with cold families and that therefore they should be pitied rather than hated. Swarmed by reporters outside of the prison, Leopold pleaded for privacy. Simon Baatz, Historian: The prescription was actually a very average one. He fairly wore himself out with objections and vehement cross-examinations. Hal Higdon, Writer: The two most helpful people in sorting out the evidence were Leopold and Loeb themselves. Director:Tony Scott|Stars:Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, Victor Gojcaj. The judge had tears in his eyes when Darrow was done. This is not Chicago, The New York Times, three days in a row. Nathan Leopold had been abused sexually by his governess when he was about 12 years old. And what at first seemed a simple matter of evil gradually would give way to a complex assessment of the murderers' minds, and a searing indictment of the forces that had shaped them. A Perfect Crime. Simon Baatz, Historian: Robert Crowe was very politically ambitious, and his ambition was eventually to become mayor of Chicago, to become one of the most powerful men in the city. A better script would have allowed him to play these characteristics in a more subtle way and allowed us some doubt in our minds.I'm sure that the real-life events were tragic and produced a more conclusive conclusion (it must have been - all subsequent appeals have been turned down), but this is dull from start to finish - this case was supposedly something of a legal milestone but you wouldn't know that from this. Narrator: The murder would rivet the nation, all the more so when police at last caught the killers: Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb -- wealthy, well-educated teenagers, who had done it, they said, for the sheer thrill. But for many others, Darrow's defense offered an intriguing new perspective on human behavior. John Logan, Playwright: They were the last people who had any reason to commit a kidnapping, much less a murder. (Enter your ZIP code for information on American Experience events and screening in your area.). It didn't seem to make any sense. So the madcap fun was suddenly a very dark implication of unchecked emotion, unchecked youth, unchecked wildness can lead to things. And then Clarence Darrow who was a complete shambling mess. He was dazzlingly handsome. Mitzi Kapture portrays a military investigator trying to convict an officer of killing his wife. Perfect Movie cmmalt4 September 2005 I have seen this movie before and enjoyed it very much. She has been having a secret affair with her married boss Fuyuki for years. Simon Baatz, Historian: I think that the murder said something to people about American society. Paula Fass, Historian: So there was a lot of uneasiness about who we were and where we were going. This FAQ is empty. Narrator: As a police stenographer took down their words, first Loeb then Leopold described how they'd rented a car under an assumed name to use on the day of the murder, and typed out the ransom note even before they chose their victim. With Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Price, James Gregory, Gavin Gordon. Get the latest on new films and digital content, learn about events in your area, and get your weekly fix of American history. Narrator: On May 22nd, 1924, just hours after the body of Bobby Franks was found, the hunt for his killers got underway. Simon Baatz, Historian: He believed that everything we do is determined by our upbringing, by our childhood, by our parents, and therefore there's very little free choice. Caleb Moses From the very start he has an attitude towards the investigators and from there on he just adds on the bad qualities - threatening, scheming, mysterious, defensive - yup he's got them all. The glasses, he said, must have fallen at some point from his jacket pocket. Meanwhile, the boys' unfathomable crime prompted a rash of national hand-wringing over the perils of modern life. It is not your average mystery drama in my opinion, but rather similar to the popular criminal documentary programs in as much as it doesn't follow a regular fictional-Hollywood type plot but takes on a … Stephen McCarthy, Sound Recording John Logan, Playwright: One of the terrifying implications of the case in 1924 was, if the boys who had everything in the world ahead of them could do this act, why could not other people do this act? He'd been sent by Nathan's father with information Mr. Leopold was sure proved the boys' innocence. But when he meets a dancer named Alexia, the two discover together that the toughest fight may be not be of the body, but of the heart. Perfect Crime ( 1997) Perfect Crime. John A. Farrell, Writer: So you had all of a sudden this question thrown up against our culture which is that, is it rotten? G.R.O.W. I think they were in as much shock as anybody else. "It was remarkable," one observer noted, "to see two kids on trial for their life acting like that.". Simon Baatz, Historian: One of the things that was very striking was their absence of remorse. Narrator: There were plenty of Americans who agreed with Crowe that the boys' guilt was all that mattered. Price: $19.95 FREE Shipping Get free shipping Free 5-8 day shipping within the U.S. when you order $25.00 of eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon. Clare Manchon and Olivier Manchon, Cinematography Now Liberty and Bash work with youths, helping them stay out of crime and becoming a positive part of the ... See full summary », Mitzi Kapture portrays a military investigator trying to convict an officer of killing his wife. Brown Brothers, Sterling, PA He wore clothes incredibly well. Simon Baatz, Historian: Crowe thought he had everything sewn up, that he was all ready for a plea by the defense of not guilty on account of insanity. Narrator: Concerned for his clients' image, Darrow sent men into the streets of Chicago to gauge public opinion. Carol Steiker, Professor of Law: Crowe's alienists all said that the defendants were perfectly sane and there was nothing wrong with them other than that they simply failed to appreciate the enormity of what they'd done. Convinced the officer committed the crime but hindered by lack of physical evidence (including a body), she must interview military personnel who have differing views of the events and circumstances surrounding the murder. Although the whole thing is poorly scripted and doesn't provide any interest or insight the actors must shoulder some of the blame. Yvonne Boudreaux Carol Steiker, Professor of Law: Darrow has this radical idea that he's going to introduce evidence about his clients' backgrounds, and about their mental states to argue for a sentence less than death. So essentially what he was saying to Judge Caverly was, 'We admit that we committed the crime, but I'd like to show you why we committed the crime.'. Darrow, disheveled as ever, his thumbs hooked under his trademark suspenders, spoke first, and turned the entire case on its head by entering a plea of guilty. Then they'd driven out to the wetlands near Lake Michigan, stopping along the way for hot dogs and root beer, poured acid over Bobby's face and genitals to obscure his identity, and pushed him into the drainage pipe where he'd been found. Carol Steiker, Professor of Law: It is not possible to over-state the media attention given to this case. John Logan, Playwright: The crime itself was so shocking. Clarence Darrow had died back in 1938, at the age of 80, having spent much of his time outside of the courtroom advocating with little success against the death penalty. Framepool A wealthy Wall Street speculator discovers that his wife has a lover. He vowed that justice would come in the form of the death penalty. And it just grabbed the American public. Olivier Manchon That small transgression had bound the boys together, put them in league against the rest of the world, but Richard longed to play more dangerous games. Perfect Crime is a 1987 murder mystery/thriller play by Warren Manzi. "Cassy" St. John and Tom Ryan are the new duo in town. A Perfect Murder is a 1998 American crime thriller film directed by Andrew Davis and starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress There are no approved quotes yet for this movie. He believed people act the way they act because they're brought up in poverty or because they themselves have been ill-treated, and that the supreme virtue was mercy. What could have happened to Darnell?! The parents retreated to their summer home. As used by some criminologists and others who study criminal investigations (including mystery writers), a perfect crime goes unsolved not because of incompetence in the investigation, but because of the cleverness and skill of the criminal. There was too much prosperity, too much modernism, too much indulgence of American children taking place at the time. Narrator: Leopold and Loeb confessed that they'd bludgeoned Franks with a chisel, then crammed a rag into his mouth -- which had suffocated him. Simon Baatz, Historian: The intention was always to murder from the very beginning. "Hero parts. So the whole thing is a struggle between these two legal titans -- Crowe and Darrow -- for the judge's mind. Jason Longo Calling his team of experts to the stand one by one, Darrow spelled out for the court the findings from the elaborate pre-trial examinations of Leopold and Loeb, offering a catalogue of the boys' abnormalities. Perfect Crime Jasmine Guy (Actor) Rated: PG-13. Also sign me up for FanMail to get updates on all things movies: tickets, special offers, screenings + more. Molly accidentally takes a picture of a woman who turns out to be her mother, who abandoned her fourteen years ago. Paula Fass, Historian: Leopold's father came to every single day of the hearing. John Logan, Playwright: You couldn't imagine three more different planets in constellation. Hal Higdon, Writer: It was almost as though he had been scripted by Shakespeare. Crime movies have been popular as long as movies have been around, and the world keeps providing ever stranger real-life material for them to use. Literally looking for a victim. He'd not only graduated from high school, but already had completed his first year of college at the University of Chicago. Some of it is clever (as I'm sure it was in real-life) but the way the film makes it look it is a) very dodgy and b) a complete anti-climax for those hoping for some legal fireworks at the end. With the issue still being hotly debated all over the country, Darrow sensed an opportunity to tip the scales. In the Leopold and Loeb case, he knows he has this amazing spotlight. The handwriting on the ransom note's envelope matched Nathan Leopold's, and the note itself had been linked to a typewriter he owned. He had a flashing smile. But the perpetrators of the "perfect crime" would continue to compel fascination for decades to come. Simon Baatz, Historian: And suddenly on the other side of the street they saw Bobby Franks who was the cousin of Richard Loeb. I think the deeper truth -- they sensed another predator in the room, and they were drawn to each other. By 2pm, more than 2,000 people had massed at the doors and begun pushing their way in. So Richard is blaming Nathan, Nathan is blaming Richard. Then, the Leopold family's chauffeur showed up at Crowe's office. Narrator: On June 11th, Darrow appeared with his clients before Judge John Caverly. And with all this Searcy is almost taunting the investigators knowing that they won't find the body to prove anything. One witness testified to their dysfunctional endocrine glands; another to the delusions that had led to their crime. Read Full Synopsis Cast + Crew Previous Cast Members More Cast Members. Kevin Hurley/Kauffman & Davis, Musicians Darnell Russell (Jasmine Guy) goes missing with no trace, Joanna Jensen (Mitzi Kapture) is put on the case. Molly Jacobs, Production Assistant, Digital Media During the... See full summary ». Paula Fass, Historian: They literally demonstrated how they had done it and walked them through the scenes of the crime as if once they were discovered they were proud of the plotting. In other words, the defining factor is the primary causative influence of the criminal's ability to avoid investigation and reprisal, and not so much the ability of the investigating authority to perform its duties. Whatever decision he makes he is going to be criticized. All of these things rained down on the Leopold and Loeb case. Richard Loeb's father was the vice-president of Sears Roebuck. Narrator: As the case unfolded over that hot summer of 1924 -- with Cook County Prosecutor Robert Crowe and famed defense attorney Clarence Darrow debating the death penalty and scores of commentators weighing in from the sidelines -- the question of motive would be turned over and over again. Also, 'Dial M for Murder' is one of the movies Rafael bought to plan the crime. He read detective novels, pulp periodicals, he devoured the newspapers for stories of crime. Written by I can only imagine what the prosecution thought of the judge's sentence because I could imagine them saying, 'if these guys don't get the death penalty, who should get the death penalty?'. Fandango FANALERT® Sign up for a FANALERT® to find out when tickets are available in your area. -Clarence Darrow. Directed by Andrew Davis. He was stripped of his clothes and left in a culvert. "It is as easy to justify such a death," he said, "as it is to justify an entomologist impaling a beetle on a pin."Â. Narrator: The police had few clues: the ransom note, a tip about a grey sedan that had been idling where Bobby Franks was last seen, and a pair of eyeglasses found near the body. A young girl from an affluent family rebels and becomes involved with a much older photographer. When Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two well-educated college students from a wealthy suburb of … Carol Steiker, Professor of Law: The judge says, 'I'm basing my decision not to impose the death penalty entirely on the defendants' youth.' In April 1991, Detlev Rohwedder, the head of Treuhand, the East German Privatization and Restructuring Agency, was assassinated in Dusseldorf. Hal Higdon, Writer: Attorney Crowe really was sort of between a rock and a hard place. Watch this urban crime drama which has received awards and fabulous reviews! Clarence Darrow (James Cromwell, audio): Why then did these two boys commit this rash and horrible deed? Over the next five weeks, Leopold and Loeb would be subject to rigorous examinations derived from the cutting edge of modern science. The state's attorney had even arranged for Leopold and Loeb to be examined by Chicago's leading alienists -- as psychiatrists were known -- in an effort to block what he assumed would be Darrow's only possible line of defense: not guilty by reason of insanity. He was a recognized expert on birds, he boasted to Crowe, the author of an article about the rare Kirtland's Warbler. So I hope what was in the film is very much toned down from real-life. It was nice to have someone around him who would always make him feel beautiful or intelligent or special. Carol Steiker, Professor of Law: They said they did it because they could, because he was there, because it was fun -- for the thrill of it. This was a pinning down of these guys, and everything pointed to them. And I think in a way that's why we're still discussing the case because they did something mad, and we're all capable of doing something mad. As in Glengarry Glen Ross, humor in The Perfect Crime is a bit morbid, especially when the two sales reps must cram Don Antonio's body into an incinerator. He even went so far as to insinuate -- without any conclusive evidence -- that there had been a sexual motive for the crime. The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection/ University of Minnesota Law Library Steve Bores Both had a governess and these governesses exerted an enormous amount of control over the children. The film follows Moss working with a ... See full summary ». He was worth about $10 million by 1924. (1997) "He was a perfect solder, a perfect husband and a perfect suspect." Sandra Chandler They bludgeoned a child to death, poured acid on his face to try to disguise his features. Heinonline In love with murder. Lincoln Else Kristin Lipkowski "We'll pay you anything, only for God's sake, don't let them hang." Narrator: What would end with the murder of Bobby Franks had begun almost innocently, with a scheme Richard devised to cheat at cards. Back in his cell at the county jail, Nathan called to the sheriff and arranged for what surely would be the boys' last good meal: thick steaks smothered in onions and chocolate éclairs. Northwestern University Archives Paula Fass, Historian: What the Leopold and Loeb defense team did was to introduce Freudian interpretations into the courtroom, and that was all very new. They found it in their hearts to grant it... Narrator: By the time Nathan Leopold was released from prison in 1958, he'd been behind bars for more than 33 years. Harry Ransom Center/ The University of Texas at Austin Narrator: The boys had met four years earlier, in the summer of 1920. Melissa Martin Pollard Carol Steiker, Professor Law: Clarence Darrow had that courtroom eating out of his hands. Hal Higdon, Writer: And when you plead somebody guilty it changes the game entirely because now you're not going to impanel a jury. Paula Fass, Historian: There are mysteries wrapped inside of enigmas in this case and it's why it won't go away. 4 episodes. No free will. We've curated a list of lesser-known films to help you explore the space-time continuum from the comfort of your couch. Susana Fernandes, Post Production Your Honor stands between the past and the future. Taunting the investigators knowing that they would be subject to rigorous examinations derived from the very beginning boasted... Just a matter of good and evil, murdered by a fellow inmate who claimed Loeb made... Penitentiary at Joliet was sort of between a rock and a Perfect crime Guy. Perfect … Perfect crime near you was represented by one of the penalty. 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