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GEORGE HAMILTON KILLS FOR 'CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A.'

Title: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. Year: 1959 Rating: ****

Actually more like the previous years' COMPULSION than a modernization of Fyodor Dostoevsky's CRIME AND PUNISHMENT... although that's exactly what it is, by title, and if Frank Silvera's friendly, complimenting homicide detective is reminiscent of the 1970's TV-cop COLUMBO, both are based on the same literary character...

And ironically, George Hamilton became a victim-of-persuasion from both determined constables and here, resembling Anthony Perkins with the combined personalities of either brainy COMPULSION killer... heavily into Atheist philosophy while inwardly justifying a necessary murder... he's more aimless than guilt-ridden...

George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A.

Overall, the B&W Los Angeles-set sequences between Hamilton's Robert and the affable yet clinging detective are no different in tone than existential conversations with deep-thinking heart-of-gold-hooker Mary Murphy, his best buddy (Wayne Heffney) or his sister's middle-aged fiance (seeming straight from an Actor's Studio workshop)... yet the overall stagey aspect's so upfront and natural, CRIME feels more intriguing than meandering...

And while never claiming to be a thriller, it's no melodrama either, fitting within a kind of Beatnik's soulless journey that... between the genuine street thug film noirs and the colorful counter-culture neo noirs... exists within the sharpened jazz-soaked cinema of the late 1950's, as unappreciated now as back then. 

George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. with Frank Silvera
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. with Mary Murphy
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. at Pacific Ocean Park
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. at Pacific Ocean Park
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A.
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. with Wayne Heffley
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A. with Mary Murphy
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A.
George Hamilton in CRIME AND PUNISHMENT U.S.A.


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