Fritz Lang
Austrian-American Film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor
Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang was an Austrian-American filmmaker, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute.
Biography
Fritz Lang's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Fritz Lang
News
News abour Fritz Lang from around the web
INSIDE ART; Kehinde Wiley’s ‘Alios Itzhak’ at Jewish Museum
NYTimes - over 5 years
Kehinde Wiley , 34, is an artist preoccupied with global culture. He is also a history painter whose multicultural images of primarily good-looking men recall the work of old masters like Rubens and Jacques-Louis David. The lush and intricately painted backgrounds make them more interesting still. In “Alios Itzhak,” a 2011 canvas that
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THE ART OF SUMMER; Art of Summer: Grand Central’s Fluid Human Dance
NYTimes - over 5 years
Every city has its own choreography, formal or informal. The composer John Cage loved to point out how any street corner is theater of a kind; the dance critic and poet Edwin Denby wrote ardently of how daily life was full of things to see; and when one of Merce Cunningham’s dancers asked what a piece was about, he took her to the window,
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Silent classics quietly steal the show - China Daily
Google News - over 5 years
Seen as the mother of sci-fi movies, Fritz Lang's awesome futuristic thriller, the uncut version, will be shown here for the first time. The sci-fi epic was the most expensive picture of its day and was set in a futuristic city-state where the upper
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Videos intrigue, inform in 'Stagecraft' at the USF Contemporary Art Museum - Tampabay.com
Google News - over 5 years
The sets and costuming are as stylized as the language, invoking the decadent, demoralized artistic era that emerged during the Weimar Republic, after Germany's defeat, referencing filmmakers such as Fritz Lang and painters such as Max Beckmann
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Classic Silent Film Metropolis Re-Released With Rock Score - PerezHilton.com
Google News - over 5 years
In 1927, this cool German dude Fritz Lang directed the most expensive picture of day. If you're a kid from the 80s, you've actually probably seen the flick as it was re-released in theaters in 1984 with a whole rock score. Performances by Pat Benatar,
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Metallurgy: Tombs - Austin Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Fritz Lang's cinematic fever dream, Metropolis, pulses in Path of Totality's visuals and Teutonic punishment. "Black Hole of Summer" decays civilization, segued into the echoed toll of "To Cross the Land," which then erupts into hardcore death pummel
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Rock Version of Silent Film Classic 'Metropolis' to Hit Theatres This Fall - Hollywood Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
While Fritz Lang's Metropolis is an undisputed silent film classic, a generation of moviegoers that came of age in the 1980s fondly remember the 1984 version of the movie that under the shepherding of Oscar-winning composer Giorgio Moroder included a
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A nightmare for Berlin motorists as cars set alight each evening - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
IN 1931 Fritz Lang directed the chilling tale of a child-killer in Berlin, M: The City Seeks a Murderer. Seven decades on, while other cities are on summer holidays, Berlin is gripped by another drama: A: The City Seeks an Arsonist
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Sean Penn vs. Terrence Malick - New Yorker (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
To quote Fritz Lang's famous response in “Contempt”: “In the script it is written, and on the screen it's pictures.” “The Tree of Life” is a marvel, Penn is very good in it—but Malick wasn't shooting it for the pleasure or the benefit of the actors
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Down in the Catacombs - First Things (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of viewing a newly-restored edition of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a masterpiece of film by most critics' accounts, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. This silent work from 1927 contains a number of observations and
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Lang's 'Metropolis' Restored for $840000 With 36000 Extras: Peter Rainer - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
Fritz Lang's futuristic 1927 classic is one of the most influential movies ever made. The German character-actor Fritz Rasp plays the diabolical henchman "The Thin Man" in this previously excised scene from the now fully restored "Metropolis
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Giorgio Moroder's 'Metropolis' Finally Coming to Blu-Ray! - Crave Online
Google News - over 5 years
Moroder's controversial cut of the film replaced the intertitles of Fritz Lang's silent masterpiece with subtitles and restored a lot of missing footage, and called attention to the incomplete nature of the film, which only just last year received its
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A Mild-Mannered Maniac
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the small bookstore of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, a wall of shelves is devoted to works by and about the great auteurs -- monographs, coffee-table tomes, DVDs. The pantheon of world cinema is too large for the available space, so the masters are arrayed in double rows, one behind the other. In order to browse, you must dig and
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Director - Pedro Almodóvar - movieScope (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In my mind, I was trying to make a silent Fritz Lang movie—but I thought it was too risky. There was enough risk already. And I was a little afraid. I like to take risks myself when I'm making a movie. But you need to have an idea of the risk that
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Scottsdale Public Art Presents 'Zap! Retro Movie Night' - Phoenix New Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and Ed Wood's "Plan9 from Outer Space" will play to the delight of all retro-fiends from 7 to 9 pm at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Be warned, "Metropolis" is five minutes short of being a three-hour silent movie
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DVD; Frolicking in Berlin and Outer Space
NYTimes - over 5 years
People on Sunday Next to the superproductions like ''Metropolis'' coming out of Germany's dominant studio, Ufa, at the end of the Weimar era, ''People on Sunday'' must have looked like the mumblecore hit of its day. Announcing itself as a ''film without actors,'' this micro-budgeted independent production discarded the elaborate studio aesthetic so
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Frolicking in Berlin and Outer Space - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Announcing itself as a “film without actors,” this micro-budgeted independent production discarded the elaborate studio aesthetic so beautifully engineered by filmmakers like FW Murnau and Fritz Lang in favor of off-the-cuff shooting in the streets of
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Fritz Lang
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1976
    Age 85
    Lang died in 1976 and was interred in the Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details The Academy Film Archive has preserved a number of Fritz Lang's films, including "Human Desire," "Man Hunt," and "The Art Director."
  • 1963
    Age 72
    In 1963, he appeared as himself in Jean-Luc Godard's film Contempt.
    More Details Hide Details While his career had ended without fanfare, his American and later German works were championed by the critics of the Cahiers du cinéma, such as François Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. Truffaut wrote that Lang, especially in his American career, was greatly underappreciated by "cinema historians and critics" who "deny him any genius when he 'signs' spy movies... war movies... or simple thrillers." Filmmakers that were influenced by his work include Jacques Rivette and William Friedkin.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1945
    Age 54
    Lang's film titled in 1945 as Scarlet Street is considered a central film in the genre.
    More Details Hide Details One of his most famous films noir is the police drama The Big Heat (1953), noted for its uncompromising brutality, especially for a scene in which Lee Marvin throws scalding coffee on Gloria Grahame's face. As Lang's visual style simplified, in part due to the constraints of the Hollywood studio system, his worldview became increasingly pessimistic, culminating in the cold, geometric style of his last American films, While the City Sleeps (1956) and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). Finding it difficult to find congenial production conditions and backers in Hollywood, particularly as his health declined with age, Lang contemplated retirement. The German producer Artur Brauner had expressed interest in remaking The Indian Tomb (a story that Lang had developed in the 1920s which had ultimately been directed by Joe May). So Lang returned to Germany, to make his "Indian Epic" (consisting of The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb). Following the production, Brauner was preparing for a remake of The Testament of Dr. Mabuse when Lang approached him with the idea of adding a new original film to the series. The result was The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960), whose success led to a series of new Mabuse films, which were produced by Brauner (including the remake of The Testament of Dr. Mabuse), though Lang did not direct any of the sequels. The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse can be viewed as the marriage between the director's early experiences with expressionist techniques in Germany with the spartan style already visible in his late American work.
  • FORTIES
  • 1939
    Age 48
    Lang became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1939.
    More Details Hide Details He made twenty-three features in his 20-year American career, working in a variety of genres at every major studio in Hollywood, and occasionally producing his films as an independent. Lang's American films were often compared unfavorably to his earlier works by contemporary critics, but the restrained Expressionism of these films is now seen as integral to the emergence and evolution of American genre cinema, film noir in particular.
  • 1934
    Age 43
    Lang left Germany in 1934 and moved to Paris after his marriage to Thea von Harbou, who stayed behind, ended in 1933.
    More Details Hide Details In Paris, Lang filmed a version of Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, starring Charles Boyer. This was Lang's only film in French (not counting the French version of Testament). He then went to the United States. In Hollywood, Lang signed first with MGM Studios. His first American film was the crime drama Fury, which starred Spencer Tracy as a man who is wrongly accused of a crime and nearly killed when a lynch mob sets fire to the jail where he is awaiting trial.
  • 1932
    Age 41
    At the end of 1932, Lang started filming The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.
    More Details Hide Details Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, and by March 30, the new regime banned it as an incitement to public disorder. Testament is sometimes deemed an anti-Nazi film as Lang had put phrases used by the Nazis into the mouth of the title character. Lang was worried about the advent of the Nazi regime, partly because of his Jewish heritage, whereas his wife and screenwriter Thea von Harbou had started to sympathize with the Nazis in the early 1930s and joined the NSDAP in 1940. They soon divorced. Lang's fears would be realized following his departure from Austria, as under the Nuremberg Laws he would be identified as a Jew even though his mother was a converted Roman Catholic, and he was raised as such. Shortly afterwards, Lang left Germany. According to Lang, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels called Lang to his offices to inform him that The Testament of Dr Mabuse was being banned but that he was nevertheless so impressed by Lang's abilities as a filmmaker (especially Metropolis), he was offering Lang a position as the head of German film studio UFA. Lang had stated that it was during this meeting that he had decided to leave for Paris – but that the banks had closed by the time the meeting was over. Lang has stated that he fled that very evening.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1921
    Age 30
    She and Lang co-wrote all of his movies from 1921 through 1933, including Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse the Gambler; 1922), which ran for over four hours in two parts in the original version and was the first in the Dr. Mabuse trilogy, the five-hour Die Nibelungen (1924), the famous 1927 film Metropolis, the science fiction film Woman in the Moon (1929), and the 1931 classic, M, his first "talking" picture.
    More Details Hide Details Considered by many film scholars to be his masterpiece, M is a disturbing story of a child murderer (Peter Lorre in his first starring role) who is hunted down and brought to rough justice by Berlin's criminal underworld. M remains a powerful work; it was remade in 1951 by Joseph Losey, but this version had little impact on audiences, and has become harder to see than the original film. During the climactic final scene in M, Lang allegedly threw Peter Lorre down a flight of stairs in order to give more authenticity to Lorre's battered look. Lang, who was known for being hard to work with, epitomized the stereotype of the tyrannical German film director, a type embodied also by Erich von Stroheim and Otto Preminger. His wearing a monocle added to the stereotype. In the films of his German period, Lang produced a coherent oeuvre that established the characteristics later attributed to film noir, with its recurring themes of psychological conflict, paranoia, fate and moral ambiguity.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1920
    Age 29
    In 1920, he met his future wife, the writer and actress Thea von Harbou.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1918
    Age 27
    He was discharged from the army with the rank of lieutenant in 1918 and did some acting in the Viennese theater circuit for a short time before being hired as a writer at Decla, Erich Pommer's Berlin-based production company.
    More Details Hide Details Lang's writing stint was brief, as he soon started to work as a director at the German film studio Ufa, and later Nero-Film, just as the Expressionist movement was building. In this first phase of his career, Lang alternated between films such as Der Müde Tod ("The Weary Death") and popular thrillers such as Die Spinnen ("The Spiders"), combining popular genres with Expressionist techniques to create an unprecedented synthesis of popular entertainment with art cinema.
  • 1916
    Age 25
    At the outbreak of World War I, Lang returned to Vienna and volunteered for military service in the Austrian army and fought in Russia and Romania, where he was wounded three times. While recovering from his injuries and shell shock in 1916, he wrote some scenarios and ideas for films.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1910
    Age 19
    After finishing school, Lang briefly attended the Technical University of Vienna, where he studied civil engineering and eventually switched to art. In 1910 he left Vienna to see the world, traveling throughout Europe and Africa and later Asia and the Pacific area.
    More Details Hide Details In 1913, he studied painting in Paris, France.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1890
    Born
    Fritz Lang was baptized on December 28, 1890, at the Schottenkirche in Vienna.
    More Details Hide Details Lang's parents were of Moravian descent and practicing Roman Catholics. His parents (his mother, Jewish born, converted to Roman Catholicism) took their religion seriously and were dedicated to raising Fritz as a Catholic. Lang frequently had Catholic-influenced themes in his films. Late in life, he described himself as "born Catholic".
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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