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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie of the Day: Man Hunt

The Mike here once more, with a classic Movie of the Day pick!

From German born director Fritz Lang (he of M, Metropolis, and more!) comes a rousing bit of wartime propaganda. Walter Pidgeon (of Forbidden Planet!) stars as a British hunter who decides to have a "sporting stalk" and see if he can literally get a German leader in his sights. You may have heard of that leader, he was called Adolf Hitler.

When a film opens with crosshairs on Hitler, it's hard to believe that there's anywhere it can go but down. That's most definitely not the case with Man Hunt, as the film quickly turns into a Hitchcockian man-on-the-run film with a clever game of cat and mouse being played between Pidgeon's escaped Brit and a German officer determined to prove that this was an act of war. That German officer is played by one of the most beloved actors in all of Mike-time, George Sanders. Also showing up is Joan Bennett (later the headmistress in Suspiria!) as the woman of the streets that our hero befriends in his quest for freedom.

Man Hunt has everything a classic can offer, but really shines due to its opening scene and the ideas behind it. It's shocking to think that this film - made relatively early in the progression of WWII by a German born director - so accurately captured the image of Hitler we all have studied, and still raises questions today in viewers, almost 70 years later. If you're looking for a thinking-man's thriller with great performances and a moral center, there aren't many movies better than Man Hunt.

(I can't seem to find a trailer online, but here's the first encounter between Pidgeon and Sanders' characters that sets the plot. Don't tell me you're not interested...)

1 comment:

The H-Bomb said...

Looks like a good movie!