Crime and Punishment (1935 French film)

Crime and Punishment (French: Crime et châtiment) is a 1935 French crime drama film directed by Pierre Chenal and produced by Michel Kagansky starring Harry Baur, Pierre Blanchar and Madeleine Ozeray.[1][2] It is an adaptation of the 1866 novel of the same title by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The same year a separate American film adaptation was made featuring Peter Lorre.

Crime and Punishment
Directed byPierre Chenal
Produced byMichel Kagansky
Written byMarcel Aymé
Pierre Chenal
Christian Stengel
Vladimir Strizhevsky
Based onCrime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Starring Harry Baur
Pierre Blanchar
Madeleine Ozeray
Music byArthur Honegger
CinematographyRené Colas
Joseph-Louis Mundwiller
Edited byAndré Galitzine
Général Productions
Distributed byLes Grands Spectacles Cinématographiques
Release date
15 May 1935
Running time
107 minutes

The film's sets were designed by the art director Aimé Bazin. Chenal rejected Bazin's original designs as too realistic and historically faithful, as he wished to create a more expressionist ambience for the film.[3]

Critical reception

Writing for The Spectator in 1936, Graham Greene gave the film a moderately good review, praising the direction and the camerawork particularly during the murder scene, the fidelity of the film to the text upon which it was based, and the acting of Pierre Blanchar in portraying Raskolnikov. Of Harry Bauer's portrayal of Porphyrius, Greene described the acting as "a lovely performance, the finest I have seen in the cinema this year". For Greene, the major problem with the film was that by converting it into a film in the third party instead of approaching the tale from within Raskolnikov's mind, the film was necessarily curtailed.[4]



  1. Hardy, Phil (1997). The BFI Companion to Crime. University of California Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-520-21538-2.
  2. Chenal, Pierre (1935). Crime and Punishment. Général Productions. Film.
  3. Andrew p.162
  4. Greene, Graham (13 March 1936). "Crime et Châtiment/Veille d'Armes". The Spectator. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0192812866.)


  • Andrews, Dudley. Mists of Regret: Culture and Sensibility in Classic French Film. Princeton University Press, 1995.
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