Hastler: To be in chains is sometimes safer than to be free.
I believed after reading Franz Kafka's The Trial, that filming a story such as this would be next to impossible, and after watching Orson Welles attempt, I see that this belief was justified. Welles may have done as good a job as possible at trying to bring an unfinished and surreal story such as The Trial to screen. However, it doesn't mean that the film is a success.
Joseph K. works at a bank and is disturbed to find out that he is under arrest when two guards arrive at his room in the early morning. He isn't taken anywhere though, because they don't want to interfere with his personal, job life. They'll work the investigation around his schedule. When he asks what he is under arrest for, no one tells him. He's as confused by all this as the reader of the story, or in this case, the audience of the film is.
I really enjoyed the book, but it's one of those stories that is pretty much impossible to grasp, especially being unfinished. Welles changes aspects of the book and leaves out some important elements of the book altogether. It just goes to show how challenging an exercise it would be to make a film adaption of The Trial, especially when someone like Orson Welles can't really do it justice.
Captain Alan Thorndike: I present you with this dangerous weapon, madmoiselle, with my undying gratitude and admiration. May you never lodge it in the wrong heart.
Man Hunt is a very interesting movie from Fritz Lang. It has a little bit of everything and it's really well directed, which shouldn't be a shock coming from Lang. At once, it's fun and light and there's jokes and then all of a sudden tones will shift and the film changes to something more serious. This wouldn't work with a lot of other films, but it does here.
Capt. Thorndike is hunting in Germany. We see him come to a ledge and put Hitler in his sights. He pulls the trigger, but there isn't a bullet in it, which he knows. As he begins to get up to leave, he changes his mind and puts a bullet in the gun and re aims at Hitler. A Nazi guard spots him and takes him into custody. He ends up getting away, and soon the hunter becomes the hunted when Maj. Quive-Smith of the German Gestapo won't rest until Thorndike has signed a paper confessing to trying to assassinate Hitler under the command of the British military.
I really loved Man Hunt. There were two good performances from Walter Pidgeon and George Sanders, and although I didn't care for Joan Bennett; she didn't ruin the movie though. In the end, this was one hell of a fun and suspenseful ride from one of the masters, Fritz Lang.
The Tramp is early Charles Chaplin and also was a starting point for a lot of the techniques and ideas Chaplin would use from here on out. This is a fun 20 minute short from one of films first comedians and it's what you'd expect from him. Chaplin plays The Tramp, who fights off some burglars and helps a girl get her money back. He's then taken to her home where her father rewards him with a job. The burglars arrive again and The Tramp must fight them off again.
If you are just getting into Chaplin, The Tramp is a great place to start. I also recommend this to anyone loves Charles Chaplin. This may not be considered one of his best, but it's still Chaplin.
A Trip to the Moon is worth the short runtime. It's the first sci-fi film and has been an influence to everything that has come after it. This is a nice little imaginative sci-fi film from one of filmmaking first pioneer. Putting into context when this was made and how short a period of time it had been since making films had even been possible, is pretty crazy to think about. Definitely give this one a look. It's nice to see where cinema started.