Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang

Highest Rated: 100% The Big Heat (1953)

Lowest Rated: 53% Human Desire (1954)

Birthday: Dec 5, 1890

Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary

While the exact origins of film noir are impossible to pinpoint, no director worked within the genre more consistently or more brilliantly than Fritz Lang. Bringing to the screen an obsessive and fatalistic world populated by a rogues' gallery of strange and twisted characters, Lang staked out a uniquely hostile corner of the cinematic universe; despair, isolation, helplessness -- all found refuge in the shadows of his work. A product of German Expressionist thought, he explored humanity at its lowest ebb, with a distinctively rich and bold visual sensibility which virtually defined film noir long before the term was even coined.Born Friedrich Christian Anton Lang in Vienna, Austria, on December 5, 1890, he initially studied to become an artist and architect, later serving in the Austrian army during World War I and earning an honorable discharge after being wounded four times. He first entered the German film industry as a writer, penning a series of horror movies and thrillers beginning with 1917's Hilde Warren Und Der Tod. In 1919, he and director Robert Wiene teamed on the script of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and although Lang exited in the pre-production stages to begin work on another project, his major contribution to the story -- a framing device ultimately revealing the story line to have been a dream -- went on to rank among the most imitated structural techniques in history.As a director, Lang debuted in 1919 with the now-lost Halbblut. Upon completing 1920's two-part The Spiders, his early rise to fame culminated with 1922's Doktor Mabuse der Spieler, which marked the full emergence of his striking Expressionist aesthetic and introduced his popular Mabuse character. Another two-part epic, Die Nibelungen, followed two years later, and in 1927 he filmed the science fiction landmark Metropolis. Lang's transition from the silents to sound began with his masterpiece M (1931). Written by wife Thea von Harbou, as were most of his principal films of the era, M documented the crimes of a deranged serial killer (Peter Lorre) preying on the children of Berlin. The film went on to become a tremendous influence on the work of filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell, and Jacques Tourneur. The success of M positioned Lang as a leading figure of the German film industry, but its power may have been too great -- Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels offered Lang the opportunity to direct films for Adolf Hitler, unaware of the director's own Jewish heritage. According to legend, Lang -- already stinging from a government ban on his recent Die Testament des Dr. Mabuse -- fled the country that same evening, leaving without the pro-Nazi von Harbou. After briefly stopping in France to shoot Liliom, he landed in Hollywood, earning immediate acclaim with 1936's Fury, a stinging indictment of mob mentality. Lang spent the next several decades in America working in a variety of styles and genres, including the Western (among his more notable efforts being 1940's The Return of Frank James and 1952's Rancho Notorious). However, his greatest achievement during the period was a series of grim thrillers which went far in defining the look and texture of film noir; pictures like 1944's Ministry of Fear and The Woman in the Window, 1945's Scarlet Street, 1953's The Big Heat, and 1956's While the City Sleeps offered bleak, gripping depictions of life on the cliff's edge of desperation, exploring recurring themes of obsession, vengeance, and persecution in haunting detail. However, by the mid-'50s, Lang had become disenchanted with the Hollywood system, and after completing 1956's superb Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, he briefly stopped in India to film 1958's Die Tiger von Eschnapur before returning to Germany after an absence of decades. Upon completing 1959's Indische Grabmal, he directed one last Mabuse picture, Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse, before announcing his retirement from filmmaking. After appearing in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 featur

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Das Wandernde Bild Screenwriter Director 2014
No Score Yet Die Pest In Florenz Screenwriter 2011
No Score Yet The Complete Metropolis Director 2010
No Score Yet Shadows in Paradise: Hitler's Exiles in Hollywood Actor 2008
No Score Yet M (Restored) Director 2004
No Score Yet Giorgio Moroder's Metropolis Director Screenwriter 2002
94% Contempt Himself $39.7K 1964
86% Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse (The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse)(Diabolical Dr. Mabuse) Director 1960
88% The Tiger of Eschnapur Screenwriter Director 1959
88% The Indian Tomb (Das indische Grabmal) Screenwriter Director 1959
71% Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Director 1956
89% While the City Sleeps Director 1955
69% Moonfleet Director 1955
53% Human Desire Director 1954
80% The Blue Gardenia Director 1953
100% The Big Heat Director 1953
73% Clash by Night Director 1952
100% Rancho Notorious Director 1952
67% American Guerrilla in the Philippines Director 1950
62% House By the River Director 1950
54% Secret Beyond the Door Producer Director 1948
80% Cloak and Dagger Director 1946
100% Scarlet Street Screenwriter Producer 1945
91% The Woman in the Window Director 1944
87% Ministry of Fear Director 1944
85% Hangmen Also Die Producer Director 1943
No Score Yet Moontide Director 1942
80% Western Union Director 1941
92% Man Hunt Director 1941
83% The Return of Frank James Director 1940
86% You and Me Producer Director 1938
100% You Only Live Once Director 1937
100% Fury Screenwriter Director 1936
100% Liliom Director Screenwriter 1934
89% The Testament of Dr. Mabuse Director Producer Screenwriter 1933
No Score Yet Crimes of Dr. Mabuse Director Screenwriter 1932
100% M Screenwriter Director $18.1K 1931
75% Frau im Mond (By Rocket to the Moon) (Woman in the Moon) Director Screenwriter Producer 1929
94% Spione (Spies) (The Spy) Director 1928
98% Metropolis Director Screenwriter $0.6M 1927
No Score Yet Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (Siegfried's Death) Director 1924
90% Destiny (Der müde Tod) Screenwriter Director 1924
No Score Yet Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (Kriemhild's Revenge) Director 1924
No Score Yet Die Niebelungen Director 1923
93% Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler - Ein Bild der Zeit) (Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime) Director Screenwriter 1922
No Score Yet Four Around a Woman (Vier um die Frau) Director 1921
No Score Yet Spiders, Part 2: The Diamond Ship (Spinnen, 2. Teil - Das Brillantenschiff, Die) Director 1920
100% Spiders, Part 1: The Golden Lake (Die Spinnen, 1. Teil - Der Goldene See) Director 1919
No Score Yet Harakiri Director 1919
No Score Yet Hilde Warren Und Der Tod Screenwriter 1917


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