Join me for a moody stroll thru 1930 Berlin on the trail of a child murderer in Fritz Lang’s fascinating (but not necessarily masterful) first talkie. Peter Lorre is the main attraction, supported by a cast of colorful characters.
I examine the three basic ways to view the film (character piece, procedural, and parable on the dangers of vigilanteism). I examine where Lang may be fudging or unsure of what he wants to say. I suggest little improvements like “I would have done this all differently” and “I would have cut out this whole section of the film”. And I praise Lorre’s performance and the directing in general.
I fail to note that the only music is whistling, and it’s done only by the killer (famously), the lead detective, and the lead criminal. Why? No idea. Also, I fail to note that the film was shot in 1.2:1, which is kind of weirdly skinny.
Start the commentary with the film’s title logo, on the countdown.