USA - 1941
Hello, America!! This is Mad Professor Mike with the Headbanger Late Show Review!! One guy. Alone against impossible odds. Fighting Bad Guys who speak German and smoke lots of cigarettes. Ahh... The archetypal Bruce Willis vehicle: "Joe Six Pack Against the World." With a cute gal helping him out, just like Steven Seagal had in "UNDER SIEGE." Using his wits and ingenuity to survive in the wilderness, just like "RAMBO." Are these elements found only in action flicks of the 80's and 90's?
No. They ain't. Check out Fritz Lang's flick "MAN HUNT," starring Walter Pidgeon. This is the touchstone of all the actioners we take for granted these days, except, it being made in 1941, our hero ain't quite as invincible as Stallone, and the movie's tone is a lot darker than "DIE HARD" ever tried to be.
Walter Pidgeon plays a British master huntsman, who, in order to test his skill, stalks Adolf Hitler just to see if he can get a killing shot at the F¸hrer. He gets Hitler in his sights, and is caught and tortured by the Gestapo. Folks, I'm not giving away the plot, because all that happens in the first five minutes!! No B.S. set-up of our hero's bad relationship with girlfriend. No cop/buddy set-up in the police station with the two mismatched partners who just won't get along. Now that's pacing, kids!!
Action movies are only as good as their Bad Guys. And George Sanders absolutely purrrrs with venom as the disgustingly charming Gestapo head who makes Alan Rickman's suit-wearing Hans Gruber in "DIE HARD" look like an uncultured clod. As a bonus, there's *JOHN CARRADINE* as a calculating Nazi assassin. Good stuff, man.
And... there's Joan Bennett as Pidgeon's cute, Cockney sidekick! Little Roddy McDowell as a British cabin boy!! Fights to the death in the London subway!! Chases across Europe! Shoot outs! All done with Fritz Lang's amazing use of camera angles and shadows! The coolest!
The forerunner of all the action movie's 80's and 90's, "MAN HUNT" gets four big Headbangs!!! "MAN HUNT" is not on video, but shows up on late night TV. Check it out. With the Headbanger Late Night Movie Review, I'm Mad Professor Mike for "Movie Magazine."
© 1996 - Michael Marano - Air Date:
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