Category Archives: Fritz Lang

Blu-Rays News #256: Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic (1959).

The great Fritz Lang returned to Germany to put together two adventure films — The Tiger Of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb (both 1959), got special permission from the Maharana to shoot at Indian locations previously off-limits, and in the end, AIP edited them both down to a single 95-minute thing called Journey To The Lost City (1959) — and had censor trouble thanks to Debra Paget’s barely-there costumes. The original pictures, which were impossible to see for years, are unbelievably cool. (Keep in mind that if Fritz Lang made a movie out of the phone book, I’d be the first one in line.)

Film Movement Classics is bringing The Tiger Of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb to Blu-Ray — with theatrical screenings at NYC’s Film Forum in late September 27. Highly, highly recommended.

By the way, the Warner Archive Blu-Ray of Lang’s Moonfleet (1955) is gorgeous.

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Filed under 1959, AIP, Debra Paget, DVD/Blu-ray News, Film Movement, Fritz Lang

Blu-Ray News #253: Moonfleet (1955).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Joan Greenwood, Viveca Lindfors, John Hoyt, Jack Elam

Fritz Lang makes a pirate movie at MGM, in CinemaScope — and puts Jack Elam in it! That should be enough to sell you on Warner Archive’s Blu-Ray of Moonfleet (1955).

Shot almost entirely in the studio (and Lang’s only ‘Scope film), Moonfleet is a really incredible thing to look at. Lang and cinematographer Robert Planck use color and lighting (or lack of it) to create mood. They gypped MGM out of the big bright color pirate extravaganza they were hoping for — but made a movie perfect for Blu-Ray. I’m so excited to see this again, looking better than I’d ever imagined would be possible. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1955, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fritz Lang, George Sanders, MGM, Warner Archive

Blu-Ray News #212: Human Desire (1954).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Edgar Buchanan, Peggy Maley

Human Desire (1954) is small-town noir as only the great Fritz Lang could do it — and Eureka is bringing it to Blu-Ray in all its B&W widescreen glory.

Glenn Ford’s a train engineer who gets involved in murder, blackmail and about every kind of seediness you can think of — all thanks to Fate and Gloria Grahame. Lang and DP Burnett Guffey come up with some stunning visuals, especially around the railroad yard. And while it’s not the seedy masterpiece The Big Heat (1953) is— which first brought Lang, Ford and Grahame together — it shows how Lang’s stylistics can elevate substandard material. (There were all kinds of problems with thing as it came together.)

Lang in high-definition is always a treat. Can’t wait for this.

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Filed under 1954, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fritz Lang, Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame

Blu-Ray News #171: Ministry Of Fear (1944).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke, Percy Waram, Dan Duryea, Alan Napier

There’s something subversive about Fritz Lang’s movies. Maybe subversive isn’t quite the word. As brilliant as they are, and as polished as they might seem, there’s a B Movie vibe running through a lot of them. Stuff like Western Union (1941), Rancho Notorious (1952) and The Big Heat (1953) are like Republic or Monogram pictures with a much bigger budget, while The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (1933) feels like an art-house Republic serial. (Goebbels had Mabuse banned in Nazi Germany, so it’s got that going for it. Of course, we can thank the Nazis for sending Lang our way in the first place.)

Ministry Of Fear (1944) finds Lang in fine form, turning Graham Greene’s novel into a noir-ish study in paranoia. Ray Milland leaves the nuthouse and is plunged right in the middle of a web of Nazi intrigue. This is the kind of stuff Lang was so good at, offering up one cool sequence after another. I love his American films!

Along with Milland, this one’s got a few of my favorites in it: Dan Duryea (king of the bad guys), Hillary Brooke (who was great on The Abbott & Costello Show) and Alan Napier (Alfred on the Batman TV show).

Anyway, Ministry Of Fear is making its way to Blu-Ray from Powerhouse in the UK in August. Henry Sharp’s cinematography deserves the boost in definition.

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Filed under Dan Duryea, DVD/Blu-ray News, Frank Ferguson, Fritz Lang, Hillary Brooke, Ray Milland

DVD/Blu-Ray News #162: The Woman In The Window (1944).

Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon, Dan Duryea

After seeing Man Hunt (1941) in high school, I figured that if Fritz Lang did it, it was in my best interest to watch it. One of the first movies I tracked down after this realization was The Woman In The Window (1944). It proved my theory.

Mild-mannered professor Edward G. Robinson sees a painting in a store window, then notices that the beautiful woman in the painting (Joan Bennett) is standing next to him. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, Robinson is in a helluva mess and Lang has you completely tangled up in knots.

Kino Lorber is bringing this noir-y masterpiece to Blu-Ray in June. Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under Dan Duryea, DVD/Blu-ray News, Fritz Lang, Kino Lorber