Man Hunt


Action / Drama / Thriller / War


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December 24, 2014 at 01:54 PM



Roddy McDowall as Vaner
John Carradine as Mr. Jones
George Sanders as Major Quive-Smith
Joan Bennett as Jerry Stokes
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mukava991 9 / 10

top-drawer Lang

Man Hunt is one of Fritz Lang's most satisfying films: with the help of the superior scenarist Dudley Nichols, he has crafted an action-packed, humorous, emotionally wrenching, well- paced if not always plausible, literate and imaginatively photographed thriller. The plot grabs you immediately: in the summer of 1939 a tweedy British gentleman game hunter decides that it would be an interesting challenge to see if it would be possible to shoot Hitler if he wanted to, just for the sport of it, so he sneaks to the dictator's Bavarian retreat and fixes him in the sights of his unloaded hunting rifle. After satisfying his curiosity he makes a snap decision to actually load the weapon and fire, but just as he is about to pull the trigger a leaf falls on his gun sight and as he brushes it away, a guard sees his moving arm, jumps him and captures him. After a beating by Nazi goons, he is presented to suave bigwig George Sanders (in a matchless performance that goes a long way toward capturing and holding audience attention in the early scenes) who tries to convince him to sign a confession stating that he had intended to assassinate Hitler. When Pidgeon refuses to comply, Sanders and Co. shove him off a cliff in the middle of the night, but his fall is broken by a tree branch and he escapes with the Nazis at his heels. He manages to make his way to a port where he eludes his pursuers by hiding on board a cargo ship bound for London, with the help of a young ship mate played winningly by Roddy MacDowall. But the henchmen, led by the menacing John Carradine, follow him abroad. The rest of the film involves the cat and mouse action between the hero and villains.

I would be tempted to argue that this is Walter Pidgeon's finest work but I haven't seen everything he's done. Fritz Lang certainly got an uncharacteristically passionate performance out of him, especially in the final scenes. As the prostitute who gets caught up in his intrigues Joan Bennett makes a stronger emotional impact than she had made in films up to that time. Somehow Lang was able to draw out of her an appealing warmth which had escaped her previous directors. Her Cockney accent is perfectly serviceable, especially by contemporary Hollywood standards.

Typical of Lang, the set pieces and the camera-work that takes place within them are stunning, from a spooky and forbidding nocturnal London of narrow streets and wet cobblestones to an extended sequence in the claustrophobic and crowded passageways of the London Underground, with a gorgeous, frenzied, chiaroscuro climax. There are so many superlative visual moments in this film that it's pointless to list them. I can only recommend the film highly to anyone interested in masterful shot compositions. Anyone familiar with Hitchcock's SABOTEUR, made around the same time, will see multiple parallels not only in plot and situation but in an environment bursting with booby traps and evildoers lurking around every corner.

Reviewed by lars95028-1 10 / 10

Great film

This film is far superior to most of the tripe that is currently being shown in the theaters. I am amazed that it has not been released on DVD or VHS. I am equally amazed that TCM or one of the similar channels has not shown it in quite a while.

It is a tight thriller that holds its audience even so many years after WWII. The interaction amongst the characters is quite good and the fast pace of the action makes the film a nail biter. In the film the general public is quite oblivious to the danger around them and one person is pitted against a real enemy. While this may appeal to the conspiracy theory audience the reality of the fifth column in pre-war UK lifts the film beyond the recent and current film using those themes.

Reviewed by gary-224 9 / 10

Great film even after almost 70 years.

I was only seven years old when I first viewed this film and never forgot it. I have been seeing several of the scenes in my minds eye for the last seventy years or so. The scenes I remembered for so long included the the beginning ones involving Hitler, the part on the London Underground and the finale. Now that Man Hunt is out on DVD, everyone can view and enjoy it. It's even better than I thought with a marvelous cast such as Roddy McDowell who went on to make almost 500 more films. The black and white photography, especially the scenes depicting London at night and in fog are extremely well done. This is the only Fritz Lang film that ever saw. Maybe I should look into his other ones. Another surprise was the main song played as a background theme with the scenes in London. This song "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," has allows been one of my favorite WWII songs. You can hear as sung by Vera Lynn, by typing in the title in Google and clicking the U-tube location.

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