Lang uses a minimal visual style here, but his unique method of intercutting works wonders. Every scene, in microcosm, essentially involves two or more people engaged in mutual deception. Barrymore's killer enters the mis - en - scene as an unbalaning element, disrupting the flow of everybody's life - a pretty unique idea for a serial killer film.
I hereby erase my lukewarm 3 star review and bump it up to 4 with a better appreciation of irony. It falls short of Lang's Hollywood peak, but it's close: a chase plot kicked off by a serial killer with stunted, repressed male sexuality, where the people who hunt him have more socially acceptable (but not exactly innocent) outlets for their sex drives and hangups. Have fun spotting the subtexts and contrasts.
Great late period Lang. This is many types of films rolled into one. Police procedural, psychological thriller, and a commentary on journalism in general. Sanders, Andrews, Price, Lupino, etc are all excellent in their roles, and though this film is particularly star studded, it still has a B noir feel throughout. At times it reminds of Dassin's Naked City, and thats def not a bad thing. 4 stars, a forgotten gem.
Am I the only who feels like Hitchcock must have seen this film before he made Psycho, since the first 5 minutes, from the murder in the shower to the momma's boy of a killer, seem awfully familiar. That would be nice, since it would give me a reason to care about that film even less. In any case, this was another solid noir by Lang where for once the crime wasn't even the most interesting aspect.
while the audicence sleeps......this is a routine studio picture complete with a 2 cent love story in wich a stereotype of a "serial killer" happens to walk in.It's light years away from Lang's own M and feels more like a comedy than Monsieur Verdoux(way better and made in the late 40's).It's free of any film noir distinct visual style and it moves unraturally slow for something made in the 50's.Avoid at all costs.
Strangely great and fascinating. Somewhat boring and stiff in its studio-mannerisms, but in the end it all just work to evoke this pervasive feeling of inorganic dread. "Come on, we're cultured adults", someone says near the end, and it's right in all the wrong ways. A tragicomedy (which is not particularly funny, nor entertaining) on competative capitalism & mass media.
Solid newspaper flick directed by Fritz Lang (his penultimate American film), with Dana Andrews as a Winchell-esque TV man caught in the middle of a murder story, and power play involving Vincent Price, George Sanders, and Thomas Mitchell. Those four alone are worth the price of admission, and Ida Lupino's here too!