Lang, Fritz

Lang, Fritz läng [key], 1890–1976, German-American film director, b. Vienna. His silent and early sound films, notably the iconic masterpiece Metropolis (1926) with its dystopian vision of the future, are marked by brilliant expressionist technique. The film premiered (1927) in Berlin and shortly thereafter was abridged by about 25 minutes; the missing footage was found in the early 21st cent. and restored in 2010. Lang gained worldwide acclaim with M (1933), a study of a child molester and murderer. After directing 15 films, Lang fled Nazi Germany (1933) to avoid collaborating with the government and settled in the United States. His 20 Hollywood films continued his exploration of criminality and the cruel fate that can overtake the unwary. His notable American works include Fury (1936), You Only Live Once (1937), Hangmen Also Die (1943), The Big Heat (1953), and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956).

See studies by P. Bogdanovich (1967), L. Eisner (1972), R. A. Armour (1978), F. W. Ott (1979), S. Jenkins (1981), C. Schnauber (1986), P. McGilligan (1997), and T. Gunning (2000).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Film and Television: Biographies