The movie was slightly controversial for its time. Made during a period of neutrality, just before the US entered WWII, the Hayes Office and studio were afraid Man Hunt would be seen as a "hate film" against Germans and that it could insight further political tension. The studio tried to take control of the final cut, but Lang apparently edited the movie in secret to his satisfaction. Man Hunt made its debut on June 13th, 1941. By September of 1941, FDR order all warships to fire on German vessels found in US defensive waters (from America across the North Atlantic to Great Britain). The United States officially entered the war in December, putting Man Hunt on the forefront of public imagination. Lang may have even seemed prophetic, just as his work had commented on the rise of the National Socialist party in the early 1930s. Other major anti-Nazi films like Casablanca followed Man Hunt a year and a half later. Fritz Lang was the master of expressionist thrillers and his work had a lasting influence on Alfred Hitchcock and other directors. Lang essentials: M, Spies, Testament of Dr. Mabuse, 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, Ministry of Fear, Cloak and Dagger, and Metroplolis. Man Hunt was based on the 1939 novel, Rogue Male, by Geoffrey Household (1900-1988). The book was also adapted for a TV movie (Rogue Male/1977), starring Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim, Harold Pinter, and Michael Byrne. Blu-ray info below.
From SAE: "Director Fritz Lang’s masterful Man Hunt (1941), made before the United States had entered World War II, is an unabashed call to arms disguised as an expressionistic thriller. It opens with a bang—or lack thereof—as celebrated hunter Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon) draws a “sporting” bead on none other than Adolf Hitler, and promptly finds himself arrested by the Gestapo, led by the sinister Quive-Smith (George Sanders). When Thorndike escapes, the hunter becomes the hunted: pursued through London’s back alleys and subterranean byways by a gang of ruthless Nazis, with only a love-struck girl of the streets (Joan Bennett) to help him." Limited edition of 3,000 units. Region free. 1080p 1.33:1. Special features include commentary track, isolated score, making-of documentary, and theatrical trailer.
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