Monday, August 3, 2015

Ministry of Fear (1944)

 (SLWB - June 21, 2012)   

Director: Fritz Lang, Writers: Seton I. Miller (screenplay), Graham Greene (novel). Starring Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds. Dan Duryea, Hillary Brooke, and Carl Esmond.

This whole film has a sort of stylistically surreal/cheap quality to it, in part because its all studio bound, and it also has a plethora of interesting characters in minor parts one notably for me was Hilary Brooke who was imprinted upon me as a child from the numerous Abbott & Costello TV show episodes where she was a regular. She makes a stunning entrance as a Spiritualist. Dan Duryea has some memorable appearances also.




The film opens on a ticking clock in a dark room and then to Steven Neal (Milland) sitting at a table. Tick tock tick tock. He's waiting for 12:00 when he will be released from an asylum where he has been for two years for the mercy killing of his terminal wife. He is released into WWII England after two years in an asylum, but it doesn't seem so normal on the outside either.

He stumbles upon a carvival/charity bazaar where the patrons seem a bit off and downright loony, and he wins a cake at the advise of a fortune teller, which he takes back with him on the train to London. His companion in the train compartment is a blind man who is not what he seems. Neal doesn't quite know who to turn to or who to trust. Some very nice stylistic cinematography from Lang

Fortune Teller & Milland

The Blind Man

Very interesting addition to a Noir library, one of the first Noirs filmed during WWII 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment