Edward G. Robinson shines in a fine comic role as Dr. Clitterhouse, a brilliant psychiatrist doing research into the criminal mind. The good doctor wants to gain a clearer understanding of how a thief feels when he's in the midst of a robbery, so strictly for academic purposes he tries to crack a safe at a high society party to which he's been invited. While trying to get rid of the jewels he swiped in the course of this experiment, Clitterhouse makes the acquaintance of "Rocks" Valentine (Humphrey Bogart), the tough-as-nails leader of a group of professional thieves. Clitterhouse is fascinated by Valentine and discovers that he enjoys committing robberies, so he joins forces with Valentine's gang and uses his superior intellect to mastermind a series of daring and profitable heists. Clitterhouse is also beguiled by Jo Keller (Claire Trevor), a beautiful dame who fences stolen gems. But Valentine doesn't appreciate how Dr. Clitterhouse has worked his way into the gang, and he is soon looking for an opportunity to get him out of the picture. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse was co-written by John Huston and features several key members of the Warner Brothers stock company in supporting roles, including Allen Jenkins and Donald Crisp.
by Mark Deming synopsis