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Peter van Eyck,
Based on the story "Mob Rule" by Norman Krasna. Joe Wilson and Katherine Grant are in love, but he doesn't have enough money for them to get married. So Katherine moves across the country to make money. But things go disastrously wrong for Joe when he stops in a small town and is mistaken for a wanted murderer. Through the course of the movie, Fritz Lang shows us how a decent and once civilized man can become a ruthless and bitter man. Written by
Andre'a M. Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was Fritz Lang's first film in Hollywood and he wasn't accustomed to labor laws that require meal breaks. Shortly after filming began Lang took a quick lunch between set-ups and resumed filming. Some of the crew members wondering about their lunch break asked Spencer Tracy, who in turn pointed out to Lang that it was "1:30 pm and the crew had yet to take their break". Lang replied that it was his set and "that I will call lunch when I think it should be called". Tracy, knowing that it would take at least 90 minutes to set his make-up, subsequently took his hand across his face and smeared the make-up hopelessly, yelled "Lunch!" and promptly walked off the set with the crew. See more »
When Joe is shown standing looking into a flower shop window imagining his future life without Kathleen he turns around but the next shot shows him standing in front of a haberdashery. See more »
In what was his fourth film on his new MGM contract Spencer Tracy finally broke through the ranks and became an A picture star. Tracy had been in Hollywood for six years five of them with Fox. Most of his work there was relegated to B picture second features. In this, the first American film by Fritz Lang, Tracy emerges with a powerhouse performance of a man who nearly destroys himself in a quest for vengeance against the mob that nearly kills him by setting a jail on fire where he's being held on a suspicion of kidnapping.
Remember that this was the 30s with news of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial fresh in the minds of the movie-going public. Probably the most hated man in America was Bruno Hauptman, the Lindbergh kidnapping suspect. That's a dimension that can hardly be appreciated by seeing the video today. But Lang's direction of the mob scenes still retains the power to frighten.
Sylvia Sydney registers well as Tracy's fiancé and Bruce Cabot stands out as the local town bully who whips up the mob in the first place against the innocent Tracy being held in the town jail.
In the first of many climactic monologues Tracy comes forward and redeems himself from the twisted personality his victimization by the town mob has left. The speech is simple, direct, profound; pure Spencer Tracy. And that's as good as it ever gets.
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