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Fritz Lang

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna on December 5, 1890 and died in Los Angeles on August 2, 1976. He initially studied architecture and painting and only began writing film scripts after the First World War. His first screenplays were filmed by Joe May and Otto Rippert. In 1919 Lang made his directing debut with the film, Half-Caste. Of his countless films, many have become film history classics.

During the 1920s, Lang was one of the foremost German film directors. He emigrated, through France and England, to the USA in 1933 after Goebbels offered him the position of “Commissioner of Film for the Third Reich.” In the USA he began a second career.
Ornamental styling and architectural structure define Lang’s early films: large sets, ingenious lighting effects and looming shadows often dominate the scenery, in which the human being appears as an unfortunate victim of fateful snares. Forced consequently into a labyrinth of strict lines, the victim is confronted by monumental decor or forced into a faceless crowd.
In the 1920s, Lang, probably more than any other film director, foresaw the emerging problems of his day. As he did not critically reflect but rather intuitively depicted this foreboding, he was and still is often misunderstood by film critics who falsely assume he identified personally with the spirit of the times, especially in light of the fact that his wife and experienced screen writer, Thea von Harbou, quickly came to terms with the new circumstances in Germany after 1933.

After arriving in Hollywood Lang mainly filmed action movies. His attempt to regain a foot-hold in the German film industry at the end of the 1950s was unsuccessful.

  Partial Filmography: 1919 Half-Caste; 1921 Destiny/The Weary Death; 1922 Dr. Mabuse the Gambler; 1924 The Nibelungen: Siegfrid’s Death; The Nibelungen: Kriemhild’s Revenge; 1927 Metropolis; 1928 Spies; 1929 Woman in the Moon; 1931 M ; 1936 You Only Live Once; 1942 Hangmen Also Die; 1944 The Woman in the Window; 1953 The Big Heat; 1958 The Tiger of Eschnapur; The Indian Tomb