The Museum of The Moving Image in New York is screening September 8-30, 2007,
the major movies of Fritz Lang under the banner FRITZ LANG, KING OF NOIR.
This not-to-be-missed series includes his film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s and a selection of important 1930s precursors.
Saturday, September 8, 3:00 p.m.
1931, 99 mins. 35mm. With Peter Lorre. Lang’s chilling drama about the
hunt for a serial killer reveals a city whose angry police and vengeful mobs are
nearly as guilty as the oddly sympathetic murderer they seek. Lang’s experiments
with sound, shadows, and suspense make M his most influential film.
Saturday, September 8, 5:30 p.m.
1936, 90 mins. 16mm. With Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy. Lang’s first
American movie is a bitter tale of lynch law and revenge. The portrait of the
violence lurking within small-town America proves even more disturbing than
Lang’s German work. In the courtroom climax, Lang uses cinema itself as the star
witness as Americans are forced to confront their demonic side.
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
Sunday, September 9, 3:00 p.m.
1933, 122 mins. 16mm. With Otto Wernicke, Rudolf Klein-Rogge. In a film
that scholar Tom Gunning described as a “nightmare vision of a world gone mad,”
a tyrant lays the groundwork for building an empire. Banned by the Nazi party
for its political message, the film’s depiction of a complex crime network made
it a template for the modern crime movie.
Ministry of Fear
Sunday, September 9, 5:30 p.m.
1944, 86 mins. 35mm. With Ray Milland. A widower steps out of an insane
asylum and into a Nazi plot in Lang’s shadowy hallucination of the Graham Greene
novel. Film critic Dave Kehr called this sinister film “Lang at his finest and
The Woman in the Window
Saturday, September 15, 2:00 p.m.
1944, 99 mins. 35mm. With Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond
Massey. Lang’s first full-fledged film noir is a consummate portrait of paranoia
in which a mild-mannered middle-aged professor succumbs to an erotic obsession
that ends in murder. Never had Lang so carefully shown that trying to conceal a
crime actually reveals it.
Saturday, September 15, 4:00 p.m.
1945, 103 mins. Archival 35mm print from the Library of Congress. With
Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea. Arguably the quintessential film
noir, Scarlet Street takes the cast of The Woman in the Window into an even more
tragic and brutal scenario of desire and death as it follows the descent of a
henpecked, sexually obsessed amateur painter into madness.
You Only Live Once
Sunday, September 16, 4:30 p.m.
1937, 86 mins. 35mm. With Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda. A convict, framed
for murder, breaks out of death row and goes on the run with his lover, into a
dark, rainy world. Jean-Luc Godard described the doomed pair as “the last
romantic couple in the world”; the film clearly inspired They Live by Night, Gun
Crazy, Bonnie and Clyde, and Pierrot le Fou.
Secret Beyond the Door
Saturday, September 22, 3:00 p.m.
1948, 99 mins. Imported 35mm print from the British Film Institute. With
Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave. Inspired by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Hitchcock
(particularly Rebecca and Suspicion), and the legend of Bluebeard, this
dreamlike tale unfolds from the viewpoint of a wealthy heiress who thinks her
new husband may be a killer.
House by the River
Saturday, September 22, 5:30 p.m.
1950, 88 mins. 16mm. With Louis Hayward, Jane Wyatt. In one of Lang’s
most underrated films, a writer who coolly murders his maid discovers that the
past isn’t so easily repressed. As the killer channels the event into his latest
novel, the dark imagery evokes his growing madness.
Clash by Night
Sunday, September 23, 3:00 p.m
1952, 105 mins. 35mm. With Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan, Marilyn
Monroe. Filmed on location with beautiful naturalistic detail in Monterey,
California, Clash by Night is a moody love triangle that ignites when a married
woman falls for an impulsive film projectionist.
Sunday, September 23, 5:30 p.m
1954, 91 mins. 35mm. With Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick
Crawford. In this love triangle, largely filmed on location in train yards,
Gloria Grahame smolders as a temptress who urges her lover—a railroad worker
back from Korea—to murder. The film is a contemporary adaptation of Emile Zola’s
novel La Bête Humaine.
The Blue Gardenia
Saturday, September 29, 4:30 p.m.
1953, 90 mins. 16mm. With Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern.
Unsure if she murdered a man the drunken night before, a telephone operator
falls for the reporter covering the story. In Lang’s penetrating and paranoid
view of post-war American bachelor culture, the heroine has to fend off
predatory men— including the reporter, who wants to convict her, and marry her.
The Big Heat
Saturday, September 29, 6:30 p.m.
1953, 89 mins. 35mm. With Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin. Lang’s
1950s masterpiece chronicles corruption through all levels of American society,
as an honest cop takes the law into his own hands after his wife is killed and
he is removed from the force.
While the City Sleeps
Sunday, September 30, 3:00 p.m.
1956, 100 mins. 35mm. With Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming. Lang surveys
the entanglements of a team of reporters who are united professionally even as
they backstab each other personally. Meanwhile, a serial killer goes about
stalking in the background. Lang’s ensemble thriller/comedy/media
satire/anti-romance was one of his favorites of his own films.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Sunday, September 30, 5:00 p.m.
1956, 80 mins. Archival 35mm print from George Eastman House. With Dana
Andrews, Joan Fontaine. A reporter attempting to expose problems with the
judicial system frames himself for murder, but the evidence to prove him
innocent goes up in smoke. No other work so clearly displays Lang’s passion for
plot twists, as the audience and the protagonist find themselves trapped in a
series of tales within tales.