When you purchase through Movies Anywhere, we bring your favorite movies from your connected digital retailers together into one synced collection. Join Now


  • NR
  • 1h 45m
  • 1959
Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
PRICING SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Confirm current pricing with applicable retailer. All transactions subject to applicable license terms and conditions.
Compulsion, a psychological courtroom drama, is one re-tellings of the 1924 Leopold and Loeb killings. Artie Straus is the sadistic leader of the duo, and Judd Steiner is Straus' introverted counterpart. Both boys consider themselves above conventional structures of morality. Exercising their feelings of superiority, the two students decide to kill a young boy.
© 1959 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 12+
Common Sense Says
Black-and-white classic about the Leopold-Loeb murder case.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Compulsion is a 1959 black-and-white film based on the 1920 Leopold-Loeb murder case in which two exceptionally intelligent, wealthy, and sociopathic Chicago law students in their teens felt it would be an interesting experiment to plan and execute the perfect murder of an innocent young boy. The emphasis is on the anti-death penalty defense offered by the renowned attorney Clarence Darrow, memorably fictionalized here by Orson Welles. The murder is not shown but it's described. One of the killers tries to force sex on a classmate but quits after a kiss. Goaded by his friend, a teen starts to drive his car into a pedestrian but dodges the man at the last moment. The covered body of a murder victim is seen in a morgue. A group dressed like the KKK leaves a burning cross in front of the defense attorney's office. The case also provided the source material for the 2002 movie Murder By Numbers.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama, Thriller
  • Release Date:May 13, 1959
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
Resolution, color and audio quality may vary based on your device, browser and internet connection.Learn More