21 March 2010

The Secret Beyond the Door (Fritz Lang, 1948)

I caught the Fritz Lang noir matinee at the Music Box today, The Secret Beyond the Door. It's one of those 1940s Freudian thrillers. As a genre these haven't aged very well and this is no exception to that remark. It's really weak for Fritz Lang. It's like Spellbound without Ingrid Bergman or Salvador Dali. Or like Bluebeard rewritten by someone who just read a sensationalized paperback about psychoanalysis. A woman marries a guy she meets in Mexico although she knows nothing about him. She suspects he wants to kill her and naturally she's right. There's a lot of awful pop psychology here that doesn't work at all. It's interesting enough but kind of blows it in the final third. The atmosphere isn't as dense or lurid as I expected from Lang. C

(It's funny, my memory of this film seems to favor the film more than this post suggests I should, though I'd honestly forgotten the film existed until I stubled upon this post. Perhaps I'll have occasion to revisit it some day. Bad Fritz Lang is better than no Fritz Lang. 11/10/12)

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