“Men of your character have accidents.”
When a Gestapo leader (George Sanders) captures an aristocratic hunter (Walter Pidgeon) training his sights on Hitler, Pidgeon is relentlessly pursued by both Sanders and a Reich agent (John Carradine) out of Germany and into England, where he befriends a Cockney seamstress (Joan Bennett) who falls in love with him.
- Cross-Class Romance
- Fritz Lang Films
- George Sanders Films
- Joan Bennett Films
- John Carradine Films
- Roddy McDowall Films
- Walter Pidgeon Films
- World War II
Man Hunt was the first of a quartet of ant-Nazi films Fritz Lang made after he emigrated to the United States, followed by Hangmen Also Die! (1943), Ministry of Fear (1944), and Cloak and Dagger (1946). It opens with a decidedly provocative and startling scene, as sportsman Pidgeon points his rifle directly at Hitler:
before being captured and sent on the run back to his home country. Man Hunt remains a reasonably exciting and atmospherically filmed (by Arthur Miller) action-thriller, with a screenplay hampered by Pidgeon’s romance with Bennett (I guess I’m really not a fan of besotted Cockney lasses).
However, it’s worth a look, especially as “the first war film to attract the attention of the then-neutral America’s Hays Office” (Joseph Breen was “alarmed by the script” and referred to it as a “hate film”).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Walter Pidgeon as Alan Thorndike
- Arthur Miller’s cinematography
- A clever, unexpected ending
Yes, once, for its historical relevance.