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Man Hunt (1941)

Walter Pidgeon , Joan Bennett , Fritz Lang  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine, Roddy McDowall
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Format: Black & White, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001SMC9L2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,864 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Man Hunt" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by author Patrick McGilligan
  • Rogue Mate: The Making of Man Hunt
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Restoration comparison
  • Advertising, artwork, and still galleries

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Fritz Lang was in peak form as a Hollywood studio director when he made Man Hunt (1941), a terrific thriller whose title, like so many things Langian, cuts two ways. First, Capt. Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon), celebrated English big-game hunter, is caught near Berchtesgaden just as he's drawn a bead on Adolf Hitler. Thorndike claims he had no intention to shoot, it was just "a sporting stalk"--a notion mystifying to his Nazi captors, who aim to parade him before the world as a British government assassin. There follows a harrowing escape, in a forest primeval straight out of Die Nibelungen, and now it's Thorndike who's the quarry, pursued across Europe and home to foggy London--not that he finds much refuge there.

Based on Geoffrey Household's hit novel Rogue Male, Man Hunt itself became a big hit on the eve of World War II. It's still a grabber because Lang, abetted by top Fox cameraman Arthur Miller, art directors Richard Day and Wiard B. Ihnen, and composer Alfred Newman, created a brilliantly atmospheric and entirely studio-bound world--just like the old days at Ufa, but with superior production resources. The film is Germanic to the max, with imagery of fierce angularity and chiaroscuro, literally underground confrontations, and a scenario rife with doppelgängers and secret selves. Gestapo pursuer-in-chief George Sanders rates a bravura introduction, posed ramrod straight in a white uniform in a white room with a white mountain vista outside ... and yes, he has a monocle (like Lang's). Man Hunt marked Lang's initial association with two future partners: screenwriter Dudley Nichols, who would script the director's American masterpiece Scarlet Street, and actress Joan Bennett, who starred in three more Lang pictures. Her character--a little English streetwalker, not that the Production Code allowed her to be acknowledged as such--is key to the movie's potent emotional wallop (she anticipates the Gloria Grahame role in The Big Heat). As Lang told an interviewer three decades later, she "had all my heart." Which also cuts two ways. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Based on Geoffrey Household's best-selling 1939 novel, "Rogue Male," a British game hunter takes aim at the biggest prize of all, Adolf Hitler. Captured and tortured, the hunter becomes the hunted as Nazi spies pursue him back to England in a desperate fight to the death.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last, the Hunt is Over March 31, 2009
Format:DVD
Taut direction and splendid performances distinguish this World War II thriller about a big game hunter pursued by Nazis after he is caught targeting Hitler in his gunsights, and manages to escape back to Britain. Walter Pidgeon is fine as the stalwart "Rogue Male" (the film's original title, taken from the book on which the script was based), and George Sanders is supremely villainous as the crafty Nazi who is tracking him. On the distaff side, Joan Bennett is touching and convincing as an ill-fated Cockney streetwalker who is caught up in the conflict between warring ideologies; this is the first film of four that she made with director Fritz Lang, for whom she gave some of her finest film performances in the mid-forties (including "The Woman in the Window" and "Scarlet Street", made for their own independent company, Diana Productions).

Briskly paced and edited, "Man Hunt" remains a tense thriller throughout its 105 minute running time, right up to its suspenseful climax. Seldom screened on television or in revival, and never before released on video, this classic film (which enjoys a small but avid cult following) has been long-awaited and arrives highly recommended.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've been waiting for this one for a long time February 18, 2009
Format:DVD
"Man Hunt" is an excellent thriller that doesn't look like it is almost seventy years old, and is one of my favorite Fritz Lang films. Ahead of its time in the complexity of its characters, it is about a British hunter (Walter Pidgeon) who contemplates assassinating Hitler when he gets him in his gun sight and gets caught doing so. Left for dead at the bottom of a cliff by the authorities, he lives and makes his way to a boat on its way to London. However, on the ship there is someone all too interested in his story. Soon he realizes he is being followed. Back in London he turns to Joan Bennett for help. If I'm getting the details wrong, it's because it's been about ten years since I've seen this one anywhere. Lang manages to do a very good job of portraying the Nazis in a more complex and articulate manner than other films of this time period (it was made in 1941). The following is the list of extras:
Commentary by Author Patrick McGilligan
Rogue Male: The Making of Man Hunt
Restoration Comparison
Trailer
Interactive Pressbook
Still Gallery

I have heard this is being released to coincide with the DVD release of Tom Cruise's Valkyries. Even though that movie is not as good as this one, I'll take it any way I can get it. This is somewhat like the release of the Dracula - The Legacy Collection (Dracula / Dracula (1931 Spanish Version) / Dracula's Daughter / Son of Dracula / House of Dracula) as a publicity stunt for the laughable CGI-fest Van Helsing (Widescreen Edition). Sometimes great films from the past emerge on DVD as a result of publicizing the films of the present.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Restoration and Special Features May 20, 2009
Format:DVD
I have loved this film for many years and have awaited it coming out on video. That said, the restoration looks great compared to TV versions I've seen. I've only seen a few minutes of the documentary plus the trailer, but these features seem to be more than on most older films. It's an exciting story played out against the backdrop of early WWII (even if the central premise is a bit far-fetched.) This is one movie I can watch several times and still enjoy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars .......Great WW2 Thriller........ April 25, 2007
This is an icon movie set in Nazi Germany and Great Britain, perfect cast: Walter Pidgeon-Joan Bennet-George Sanders-John Carradine and a new kid/star, Roddy McDowall...it's all about a world/class game hunter who inadvertantly decides to assassinate, Adolph Hitler, just to prove it can be accomplished...it gets botched and the SS/Gestapo chase is on to hunt down and capture the worldy hunter from Germany to London...probably the most thrilling scene is the chase in the subway tunnel of underground London town...another is Pidgeon's expertise in the field to...improvise...at the end of the chase in a swampy area [well done]...the art/direction is superb [like you are there]...many little intrigues populate this fine film made during the WW2 years...you are in for a good Hollywood treat and a run [no pun] for your money...sit back and enjoy this movie [DVD] whenever it gets transferred to DVD....SSGT CHRIS SARNO-USMC FMF....PS.....FYI, the British/novel was entitled, "Rogue Male" and Peter O'Toole starred in the remake [the role of Walter Pidgeon]...it can't measure up to the "Manhunt" movie edition...not even close. folks.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film from Fritz Lang May 25, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Man Hunt by Fritz Lang was a great Noir with Walter Pidgeon, John Carradine, George Sanders, Joan Bennett. It takes place during WW2 - Walter Pidgeon is being hunted by Germans (headed by George Sanders) to have him sign a paper admitting he tried to kill Hitler during a hunt for fun/sport moment. This has some great chase scenes all around London, & a really good love interest. It was a great subplot. This has great direction by Fritz Lang; I loved the scenes where there is no sound or music while Pidgeon tries to escape the Germans. George Sanders is great in this. Watch for a young Roddy McDowall. With its great acting, a great story, atmospheric,this is an all around great film that I very much recommend. The DVD transfer is crisp and sharp.
To be honest, I bought this without seeing it first because I heard so many great things about this title. Now I can stand behind all those opinions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Manhunt
This is a great old movie; I think this was Roddy McDowall's second film...he's just a kid, a cabin boy. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Fred Di Francesco
4.0 out of 5 stars Man Hunt
Until TCM started showing this just a few years ago, most of us had never heard of this one. Its a good one.
Published 2 months ago by Shoveldog
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
Stacks up well with the Peter O'Toole remake "Rogue Male" I am a big fan of the old Black and White movies
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Enid L. Breese
5.0 out of 5 stars KEY FRITZ LANG AMERICAN MASTERPIECE
Pidgeon and Sanders deliver memorable performances and the suspense is sustained throughout. Bravo Criterion for your usual thoroughness in reviving this standout in Lang's... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Cody Robert at Spokane
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Opening Sequence
Set "shortly before the War", (WWII) - (for England and Europe only, since this film was released June 1941, before the United States had entered the war), the opening... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marion
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Fritz Langs best Hollywood films!
One of Fritz Langs best American films! A political statement as well as a crystal-clear, stone-cold work of art. Watch and study it!
Published 4 months ago by film-maniac
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge on a Lunatic
A very acted Film, it depicted most likely what could have happened at that particular time. Murder or attempted murder could have saved the World from a lunatic, unfortunately... Read more
Published 5 months ago by marree
5.0 out of 5 stars George Sanders sui generis
George Sanders is superb. Crisp black and white film based on the novel Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. Vintage classic
Published 5 months ago by Battlefield Balladeers
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Fritz Lang's best American films
Fritz Lang, the great German director, left the country in 1933 as Hitler's Nazi movement was underway. Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Oleson
5.0 out of 5 stars Man Hunt
B&W Mystery, Suspenseful, Spy? Pre WWII film, a really good yarn, told by a master. Oh what would it be like if this was true and our hero had not been distracted. Read more
Published 7 months ago by halh
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