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Fritz LangThe Nature of the Beast$
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Patrick McGilligan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676552

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676552.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

1953–1956

1953–1956

Chapter:
(p.401) Chapter 19 1953–1956
Source:
Fritz Lang
Author(s):

Patrick McGilligan

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816676552.003.0020

This chapter details events in Fritz Lang’s life from 1953 to 1956. Now under contract at Columbia, Lang would stumble across a property that was made to order for him—one of those happy accidents of time and place that for the most part eluded the filmmaker after Germany. This was The Big Heat based on a novel by William P. McGivern. The story follows Sergeant Bannion as he endeavors to investigate the suspicious suicide of a corrupt cop. As filming began on March 11, 1953, Lang was acutely aware that The Big Heat offered a chance at a new lease on his career. The film was previewed in August and released in October. The reviews were fair, the box office average. Yet almost overnight The Big Heat became one of Lang’s most highly esteemed works around the world. The chapter also describes the death of Lang’s ex-wife Thea von Harbou; the making of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt; and his retirement.

Keywords:   Fritz Lang, biography, directors, Columbia Pictures, The Big Heat, Thea von Harbou, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, retirement

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