MINISTRY OF FEAR
1944, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Ray Milland plays a Londoner traumatized by his wife’s murder who’s released after two years in an asylum - and walks straight into a network of Nazi spies trying to undermine the British war effort. But who’ll believe the warnings of a crazy person? Taking full advantage of the brilliant artifice of the Paramount art department, Lang spins a dizzying tale of alienation and espionage that’s more fun than any wartime thriller has a right to be. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, and featuring delicious supporting turns from Hillary Brooke and Dan Duryea.


THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE
1933, Kino Lorber, 122 min, Germany, Dir: Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang’s final film before fleeing Nazi Germany picks up where DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER left off a decade earlier - in the insane asylum where Mabuse (Rudolf Klein-Rogge, even more sinister than he was in METROPOLIS) has been confined. From his cell, the criminal mastermind churns out pages of mysterious writing - which Inspector Lohmann (Otto Wernicke, playing the same character he did in M) believes are connected to a wave of terror sweeping Berlin. In German with English subtitles.


M (1931)
1931, Kino Lorber, 99 min, Germany, Dir: Fritz Lang

Peter Lorre is unforgettable as serial killer Hans Beckert, preying on children and whistling “In the Hall of the Mountain King” as he works. When the ensuing police crackdown proves bad for criminal business, all of Berlin’s underworld begins a manhunt for Beckert. This engrossing crime thriller was Fritz Lang’s first sound film, as well as the director’s personal favorite. In German with English subtitles.


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