Posts Tagged ‘ fritz lang ’

Peter Lorre: The Aggressive Mimicry of His Defining Roles

Great villains have the ability to attract and destroy. Like predators in the wild, these characters trick their prey  by posing as something familiar, harmless, or friendly. It’s a form of aggressive mimicry. These monsters of reality and fiction hunt without the world knowing it, a quality Peter Lorre brings to his performances, ensnaring the audience with unpredictable characters. The dangerous and unassuming  Lorre made the most bizarre and terrifying characters unbelievably magnetic.

Lorre’s career has been defined by several iconic roles: the first being in Fritz Lang’s 1931 masterpiece, M. And while his face remains confined to the film’s conclusion, his presence in the film is undeniable. Mostly heard offscreen enchanting children with a wholesome whistle, Lorre remains in the shadows for much of the film’s runtime. The once banal act of whistling shifts the atmosphere. The killer approaches and dread takes over.

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Undercutting Classics

Because who needs another in-depth review of universally agreed upon classics.

Metropolis (dir. Fritz Lange – 1927)

Metropolis cleaves society into two parts: the Head, the wealthy industrialists who enjoy the spoils of their city of light and electricity, and the Hands, the workers living below the city who maintain the machines that keep the Head spinning. Somewhere in the middle is Freder (Gustav Frohlich). The son of the mayor of Metropolis, Freder decides that with the help of the prophet Maria (Brigitte Helm), he will bring harmony to the head and the hands. Of course, Freder’s father, Joh (Alfred Abel), hates team work and commissions his mad scientist, Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), to build a robot in Maria’s likeness to help squash the seeds of dissent. Dads.

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