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Dr. Crippen is a 1962 British biographical film directed by Robert Lynn and starring Donald Pleasence, Coral Browne and Samantha Eggar. The film's plot concerns the real-life Edwardian doctor Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was hanged in 1910 for the murder of his wife. The cinematography was by Nicolas Roeg.[1]

Dr. Crippen
"Dr. Crippen" (1962).jpg
Directed byRobert Lynn
Produced byJohn Clein
Written byLeigh Vance
StarringDonald Pleasence
Coral Browne
Samantha Eggar
Music byKen Jones
CinematographyNicolas Roeg
Edited byLee Doig
Torchlight Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
Running time
98 mins
CountryUnited Kingdom



The film takes a surprisingly sympathetic approach to Crippen, who is portrayed as a downtrodden cuckold continually humiliated by his coarse, overbearing wife. There is a strong suggestion in the story that he may have been innocent of murder, having killed his wife by accident, and that his younger mistress Ethel Le Neve was completely ignorant of the killing. The plot ostensibly covers Crippen’s trial but the story is fleshed out with flashbacks to the doctor’s relationship with his wife and his affair.[2]


Critical receptionEdit

Bosley Crowther in The New York Times wrote, "well, one must give good scores to Mr. Pleasence, Miss Browne, Miss Eggar and the rest of the cast for giving a sense of solemnity and suffocation to this stiff tale...the mystery, the action and the pathos are all too academic and thin—too milky and uneventful — except for those who are real Crippen fans".[3] Britmovie noted a "sincere historical reconstruction about the infamous Edwardian murderer blending courtroom and melodrama. The direction from tv helmer Robert Lynn is satisfactory and is brightly captured in atmospheric black-and-white by cinematographer Nicolas Roeg."[2]


  1. ^ "Dr. Crippen". BFI.
  2. ^ a b "Dr Crippen".
  3. ^ "Movie Review - Dr Crippen - Dr. Crippen' Stars Donald Pleasence:British Movie Opens at the Paramount -".

External linksEdit