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Man Hunt (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, War | 20 June 1941 (USA)
British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Geoffrey Household (novel), Dudley Nichols (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Captain Alan Thorndike
Joan Bennett ... Jerry Stokes
George Sanders ... Major Quive-Smith
John Carradine ... Mr. Jones
Roddy McDowall ... Vaner
Ludwig Stössel ... Doctor (as Ludwig Stossell)
Heather Thatcher ... Lady Alice Risborough
Frederick Worlock ... Lord Gerald Risborough
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Captain Jensen
Egon Brecher Egon Brecher ... Pawnbroker
Lester Matthews ... Major
Holmes Herbert ... Saul Farnsworthy
Eily Malyon ... Lyme Regis Postmistress
Arno Frey Arno Frey ... Police Lieutenant
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... Ambassador (as Fredrik Vogeding)
Edit

Storyline

British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rogue Male See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally proposed as a subject for director John Ford, but he turned it down. See more »

Goofs

London tube trains have a unique 4-rail electrification scheme - a third rail in the usual outside position at 420 volts and an unusual center rail at -210 volts. The movie's tunnel set has only the center rail. See more »

Quotes

Vaner: Have you committed a crime, sir?
Captain Alan Thorndike: No.
Vaner: Was it, um, about a woman?
Captain Alan Thorndike: [smiling] I see you know life.
Vaner: I thought so. They're a dickens of a problem, aren't they, sir?
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une histoire seule (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

She Was Poor but She Was Honest
(uncredited)
Music by R.P. Weston
Lyrics by Bert Lee
Sung by the street singers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine example of why Lang is the equal of Hitchcock.
4 February 2010 | by st-shotSee all my reviews

Fritz Lang's Man Hunt is a remarkable achievement in visual suspense and editing. Lang sustains tension throughout by creating a series of plausible hurdles for the protagonist to deal with giving the viewer little time to catch their breath as he is hunted by the Gestapo from Germany to London.

British officer and renowned big game hunter Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon)literally sets his rifle's sight on Hitler at Berchtesgarten but is foiled by security then tortured by the Gestapo to sign a confession. When he refuses they throw him off of a cliff to cover-up but his fall is broken and he manages to escape back to England on a tramp steamer where Nazi agents (England and Germany were not at war at the moment)continue to pursue him. Enlisting the assistance of a cockney streetwalker (Joan Bennett) he eludes their grasp until cornered in a cave.

Fritz Lang's complete command of the medium in Man Hunt is a master class in film-making. Timing, atmosphere, mise en scene, use of sound and editing deftly create a realistic world that morphs into Kafkaesque nightmare of unrelenting tension and suspense.

Pidgeon's Thorndike has a clumsy James Bond like quality and charm about him as he parries with head nemesis George Sanders Gestapo chief. Sanders is a fascinating villain displaying a fluent bi-lingual authority (another testament to Lang's superb ability at visual story telling) checkmating Thorndike continuously.

Within in this suspenseful framework Lang manages to comment on the English class system, hunting ethics, the enemy within and the need for US involvement in fighting Fascism without missing a beat. The score does some arm twisting but doesn't interfere too much with Lang's magnificent construction and follow through. Man Hunt is precision suspense film making at its best.


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