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Four from Fritz

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The Austrian born Fritz Lang was a film maker who spent his early career making movies in Germany. As the Nazi party grew more powerful Lang left for America, where he lived until his death in 1976. Although some consider Lang's work to be too melodramatic he is ofen credited with helping to establish the characteristics of film noir. His movies are full of paranoia, psychological conflict, and characters with very unsteady moral compasses. They can also be rather brutal. He co-wrote both M and Metropolis with his wife Thea von Harbou.

M---I alluded to this film in the post Mob Rule, and I am happy tp report that it is now on order. Unless you "sprechen sie Deutsch" you will be watching this one with sub-titles, but it is absolutely worth it. During the climactic final scene in M, Lang allegedly threw star Peter Lorre down a flight of stairs in order to give more authenticity to Lorre's battered look.

Scarlet Street---a married man, a mid-life crisis, a greedy, lazy woman, and an amoral boyfriend---this can't end well.

House by the River---what a well done creepy movie. The cinematography is wonderfully dark, the scenes on the river are eerie, and somehow the antagonist manages to be both whiny and scary.

Metropolis---I'm not even going to try to tell you about Metropolis---just take my word and watch it. As it is a silent film (from 1927) make sure you have your glasses handy as well as your remote. Beautifully restored, it is an amazing accomplishment. It shows up continually on must see lists and in researching this post I came upon this interesting fact: it used 26,000 male extras, 11,000 female extras, and 750 child extras.Truly a cast of 1000's.


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