Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang's 1953 crime film noir The Big Sleep

The Big Heat • Member Bonus

May 31, 2021

How about some hot coffee in the face? No? Well, Gloria Grahame sure gives it a shot here in this brutal crime noir film directed by Fritz Lang in 1953, starring Glenn Ford as a ruthless cop hellbent on stopping the local crime syndicate, no matter who dies in his way. This is our May 2021 Member Bonus Episode, voted on by you – our members. It’s a dip back into our Fritz Lang series from 2016, and a solid film to finally review.

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Ministry of Fear

June 9, 2016

“Ministry of Fear” was Fritz Lang’s third film of four anti-Nazi movies that he made, but it feels less anti-Nazi and more just straight up Hitchcockian thriller. And while Lang didn’t like the final result of the film and Graham Greene, who wrote the novel on which the movie’s based, also didn’t like the film, it’s a very fun film to watch and feels a bit like Lang lite. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we wrap up our Lang series with his 1944 film, “Ministry of Fear.”

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Man Hunt

June 2, 2016

1941 was an interesting time for the US as the country started the year off as a passive, neutral observer of what Germany and Hitler were doing in Europe and ended with the attack on Pearl Harbor, leading the US to officially enter WWII. And while Fritz Lang’s 1941 anti-Nazi film “Man Hunt” was rushed by Darryl F. Zanuck and 20th Century Fox into production then subsequently theatres to be current, they still had to contend with the Production Code and how the film would be seen by people while the Neutrality Act was still in effect. It’s a film that reflects the time in which it was made really well, giving us insight now not just how the filmmakers were thinking, but how society and the government were all thinking and working together (or against each other). Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Fritz Lang series with “Man Hunt.”

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May 26, 2016

When “M,” Fritz Lang’s first sound film, opened in 1931, it was clear that Lang already understood how to employ sound to his advantage in telling his story. Unlike many early ‘talkies,’ “M” isn’t wall-to-wall talking; instead, Lang used it as a sparse tool to help catch a killer. He balanced quiet moments with abrupt sharp noises. He brought in off-screen noises that affected those on-screen. He had voiceover. And of course, there is the murderer’s whistling of Peer Gynt’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” Lang was a master of his craft, and certainly not a director who would be held back by the advent of sound. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Lang series with “M.”

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May 19, 2016

Fritz Lang’s 1928 silent spy thriller “Spies” rarely gets brought up when people mention Lang and his filmography. Dwarfed by arguably two of his best made on either side of it – “Metropolis” and “M” – “Spies” was Lang’s first film outside the shell of Ufa, the German motion-picture company. It did well enough for itself, but not well enough to make a big mark in cinema. But if you watch it, you’ll see the birthplace for practically every spy movie trope that has been on screen since. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Fritz Lang series with “Spies.”

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May 12, 2016

Fritz Lang’s sci-fi classic has really been through the wringer since it’s premiere in 1927. After having been cut nearly in half then reshaped, people have struggled over the decades to restore the 2 ½ hour film to its full glory but to little avail. In 2008, however, a 16mm print of a horribly scratched copy of the nearly full version was found in Buenos Aires and the film was given new life. It’s since been beautifully restored and is a marvel to watch, even with the scratches. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we begin our Fritz Lang series with “Metropolis.”

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