Blu-Ray Review: Man Hunt

Director: Fritz Lang
Screenplay: Dudley Nichols
Based on a story by: Geoffrey Household
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine, Roddy McDowall
Country: USA
Running Time: 102 min
Year: 1941
BBFC Certificate: PG


I haven’t seen a Fritz Lang film I haven’t liked, in fact I’ve flat out loved most of them, so it didn’t take much convincing for me to choose to review this Signal One re-release of his war time thriller Man Hunt. A few years into his career in the US after leaving his home country of Germany, the film is a blatant indictment of Hitler’s actions there during the early years of WWII.

The film opens in bold fashion by following our hero Captain Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon) as he creeps up on a secret military compound with a sniper rifle in hand, taking aim at Hitler himself. With his first ‘shot’ we realise he hasn’t loaded the rifle, but after he loads a bullet for the second attempt, he’s seen and jumped on a fraction of a second before pulling the trigger. He’s captured, beaten and taken to Major Quive-Smith (George Sanders), who demands that Thorndike sign a confession stating he was sent by the British government to kill Hitler (which would spark war – the film is set just before WWII). Thorndike refuses, claiming he was acting alone and didn’t intend to kill the führer. He only wanted to prove he’d be able to do it, as he’s a master game hunter, so famous in his field that Quive-Smith was already aware of his name. With Thorndike’s refusal to sign the document, the Major is forced to throw him off a cliff, faking a suicide. Thorndike survives though and makes a perilous journey back to England. Even when he makes it, the Germans are hot on his trail though, intent on getting him to sign the false confession before killing him. Along the way, whilst he keeps a low profile, Thorndike enlists the help of a young cockney woman named Jerry Stokes (Joan Bennett) who takes a shine to him.

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Cinecast Episode 361 – We Smell Our Own

With Andrew turning traitor over to The Matinee this week, Kurt & Matt cobble together a much more ‘raw’ style of show. Opening with a bit of name calling on one of the Filmjunk boys, before moving on into The Planet of the Apes franchise with the latest Prequel/Sequel/Reboot chapter. The 1984 project is on hold this week, but no matter, lots of time is spent on the joy, craft and strategies of Marc Maron as The Watchlist focuses on the WTF podcast, his stand up special, Thinky Pain, and other things related to interviewing celebrities and working folks on tour. Matt has a sort spot for Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words, and Kurt loses himself in the two big war films of 1970: M*A*S*H and Patton. There is more in this loose and casual episode, so have at it.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 
 

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