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How Fritz Lang escaped the Nazis

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Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Fritz Lang explains how his meeting with Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Mad Man of Nazi propaganda, made him flee Germany the very same day.

Director of Metropolis and M, Lang had been called to see Goebbels over his undisguised attack on Hitler in his 1933 film, The Testament of Dr Mabuse - which the Nazis had banned. Instead of the expected interrogation and inevitable incarceration, Doctor Goebbels offered Lang the unexpected position of Head of the National Socialist Film Studios. Goebbels explained that both he and Herr Furher hoped the director would accept. Goebbels then offered his advice on the ending of The Testament of Dr Mabuse, which he had found unsatisfactory. Instead of Mabuse going mad, it would have been better if the mobs had destroyed him with their wrath.

It’s a good story, even if the facts don’t add up. One that’s worth retelling - just to hear Lang build up the dramatic tension with his powers of descriptive narration.
 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Tales of the Unexpected: William Friedkin interviews Fritz Lang


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.14.2012
07:11 pm
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