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8/10
The prototype thriller
16 February 2006
The film reads like a trainer for all the thrillers that came thereafter: The staring face reminiscent of 'Alien', the scary opening scene, which deserves to be better known, the tough but lovable cop, the haunted (literally) master criminal, the asylum, the heroine with an excuse to get her dress all wet and clingy, the Mae West look-alike, the spooky special effects, the explosions and the fires (real ones not your computer generated rubbish), the shoot out, the chase through the woods, the car chase, the high tech gadgets (using 78 vinyl!). There's even what looks like a placement add (Mercedes, during the car chase). Yes, all the thriller clichés are there but way back in 1933 they weren't clichés. Unfortunately some rather wooden acting by the heroine, Wera Liessem, who seems to be stuck in silent film mode, mars the film.

As for the political overtones, I'm not sure if these were deliberate. Lang's stories about himself were as fantastical as his films, especially the one about being offered the head of the Reich films.
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