Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fritz Lang at his best, 13 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Man Hunt [DVD] (DVD)
British officer and renowned big game hunter Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon)literally sets his rifle's sight on Hitler at Berchtesgarten but is foiled by security then tortured by the Gestapo to sign a confession. When he refuses they throw him off of a cliff but his fall is broken and he manages to escape back to England on a tramp steamer where Nazi agents (England and Germany were not at war at the moment)continue to pursue him. Enlisting the assistance of a cockney streetwalker (Joan Bennett) he eludes their grasp until cornered in a cave.This UK region 2 release comes with scene selections and a trailer and the video and audio transfer is clean and crisp.Its easy to see why Fritz Lang is often compared to Hitchcock.Both directors are master story tellers and both use visual techniques which are quite stunning for a film nearly seventy years old.I particularly enjoyed the recreation of foggy London at night,complete with narrow alleways and wet cobbled streets.The scene where a body is dragged along leaving scuffmarks in the carpet is equally brilliant.Lang is also a master of using light in ways other directors only dream of.A great example is the torture scene where all the viewer sees is a shadow of someone in a chair.It gives the scene a more sinister edge and proves you dont always have to graphically show violence to get your message across.The film is tightly directed and moves along at a good clip with Lang using all the tricks he knows.The actors all give credible performances in which the monocled George Sanders plays his Gestapo role of Quives Smith with aplomb,giving his character more depth by playing him bi-lingual is another fine example of Langs ability to avoid such stereotypes of Gestapo agents of this era.Keep your eye out for a young Roddy Mcdowell (who went on to make over 500 movies)as a cabin boy.The only annoying thing regarding the characters is that awful cockney accent of Joan Bennets character,its simply awful.Despite this handicap she pulls off her character quite convincingly and gives Walter Pidgeons character a run for his money in acting terms in one of his better performances.John Carradines gestapo agent is silently menacing and also well acted.It does get a little propagandist towards the end but it was made in 1941 where the outcome of the war was still unknown.So if you like 40's film noir then i am sure you will enjoy this so give it a go.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Apr 2012 09:51:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Apr 2012 19:48:48 BDT
I must buy this film it sounds very good according to your fine review. However, Joan Bennett as a cockney streetwalker the mind boggles. Please reassure me that she isn't a graduate of the Dick van Dyke school of cockney impersonators. Well bless moi soul it's Moiry Pappins.
Further, what is a cockney tart doing in a cave, I know it was rough down the East End even in my young day but where did the cave come from? Perhaps Roddy McDowell might have been better cast as the streetwalker and Joan as the cabin boy, that would certainly brighten up any seafarers day, night, delete as required.

No! I really must buy this, Joan Bennett speaking cockney, I can hardly wait.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 20:18:15 BDT
Hi Big Al,cheers for the kind comments but I am afraid I can't reassure you about Joan Bennetts accent. She graduated with an honours degree from the class she took along with her fellow student Dick Van Dyke!
Don't worry the cave section of the film is credible I just don't like to put too much in a review(I don't like it myself when people put spoilers in reviews).Roddy McDowell's only about ten years old in this so not sure about playing a streetwalker!(It did make me chuckle though).
Perhaps when you have seen it you could submit a review or even pop back here and let me know what you thought of it.Incidentally this film was re-made under the title "Rogue Male" with Peter O'Toole starring and the whole film is nearly as bad as Bennets accent.
Thanks again for the nice comments(they are few and far between).

Scott

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 22:20:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2012 22:20:50 BDT
Hi ! Scott,
Thanks for the info' re: 'Rogue Male', if it is really that bad I may have to buy it, there are so few truly funny films around these days ; )

Posted on 28 Aug 2013 15:50:51 BDT
stevep says:
great review of a great movie thanks steve

Posted on 20 Dec 2013 13:42:42 GMT
Ténès says:
What's this about "England" and Germany not being at war ? The equivalent of that, equally foolish, would be to say that Britain and Bavaria were not at war. I thought our English cousins had some time ago stopped their arrogant use of "England" when the term they should be using is "Britain", "Great Britain" or the "United Kingdom".

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2014 18:33:00 BDT
Whatever Tenes.Only you have pointed this out and yet i'm arrogant ha!
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