|Lorre as the killer.|
|Marlene Dietrich, Mel Ferrer, and|
4. Ministry of Fear (1944) - I'm sure I'll take some heat for including this highly-entertaining film over more celebrated Lang film noirs such as The Big Heat (1953) and Human Desire (1954). However, Ministry of Fear is a tense, atmospheric espionage tale loosely adapted from a Graham Greene novel. There are several brilliant scenes: Ray Milland winning the cake at the village fair; the "blind" man on the train; the bomb in the suitcase; and the rooftop shoot-out. However, the film's strongest element is how Lang conveys the uncertainly and fear felt by Milland's protagonist, who has just been released from an asylum. I've often thought Ministry of Fear would make a fascinating double-feature with Hitchcock's Spellbound, which was released the following year.
|Robinson--his face says it all.|
Honorable Mentions: Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (the first of Lang's supervillain series); Spies (think of it as a silent 007 film); the mythic Die Nibelungen (both parts); Fury (the word is "memento"); and Hangmen Also Die! (in which one of the villains squeezes a pimple--a scene not easily forgotten).