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LANG, Fritz (1890-1976)

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LANG, Fritz (1890-1976), Austrian-American film director. He made more than 30 films in Germany and the U.S., his first successful one being Der müde Tod (Weary Death, 1921), issued in the U.S. as Between Worlds. Lang's several masterpieces include Metropolis (1927), in which a magnificent futuristic city is maintained by workers enslaved underground; M (1931), his first sound film, a psychological thriller about a compulsive murderer; and two studies of the criminal mind, Dr. Mabuse (1922) and The Last Will of Dr. Mabuse (1933). The latter won the approbation of Nazi officials who sought Lang's collaboration. Lang, who was half Jewish, fled Germany immediately; he became an American citizen in 1935. Among his films made in the U.S. were Fury (1936), about a lynch mob; You Only Live Once(1937); Rancho Notorious (1952); and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956). Lang's early architectural and art training is evident in his visual approach; he developed narrative and created an atmosphere through expressionistic, symbolic sets and lighting, as well as through his editing.

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