Man Hunt


Action / Drama / Romance / Thriller / War

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright76%
IMDb Rating7.2105620

on the runsniper

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO


Top cast

Roddy McDowall Photo
Roddy McDowall as Vaner
Joan Bennett Photo
Joan Bennett as Jerry Stokes
John Carradine Photo
John Carradine as Mr. Jones
George Sanders Photo
George Sanders as Major Quive-Smith
1.64 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
P/S 1 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rmax3048236 / 10

Tense Wartime Thriller

Fritz Lang brought with him from Germany the ability to use light and shadow effectively and it certainly shows in this taut drama. When Joan Bennett enters her apartment for the last time, she flicks on the light and sees three strange men in the corner, waiting for her. The two men on the sides act as bookends for the boss in the middle, George Sanders, who stands in silhouette except for the glint of his monocle. It's a shocking moment.

The story has Walter Pidgeon as an aristocratic big game hunter visiting Germany just before the war. He makes what he calls "a sporting stalk" and zeroes in with his high-powered rifle and scope on Adolf Hitler, resting on a balcony 500 yards away. He pulls the trigger on an empty chamber. The sporting stalk is now complete. But as he prepares to leave, Pidgeon has second thoughts, repositions himself, and inexplicably inserts a round into the chamber.

He's captured by German guards before he can fire the rifle and is beaten before managing to escape. Roddy MacDowell, as a cabin boy, stows him on a Danish ship that brings him to England.

Thereafter it gets a little complicated. The Germans still have Pidgeon's passport and identification and they slip a spy into England disguised as Pidgeon. At least I think the fellow is a spy. It was never clear to me why he was sent in. Nor was it clear to me why it was so necessary for this cabal of German miscreants in England to murder Walter Pidgeon.

Joan Bennett is conventionally pretty. Her features are even. And she does her best at a working-class London accent but fails. (George Sanders' German is perfectly acceptable.) But she has a function in the plot. She gets swept up in Pidgeon's predicament and gets him out of some tight spots, paying for it later. And she teaches the upper-class Pidgeon how to eat fish and chips with his fingers. Too bad they weren't at the Edinburgh Castle on Geary in San Francisco. Their fish and chips are better than any I've had in England.

The story is confusing at times but still chilling with its urban paranoia and its setting of dark alleys and empty underground stations.

The ending has Pidgeon parachuting into Germany armed with a new precision rifle and fully aware of his intention now to kill the Fuhrer. In 1941, that was wish fulfillment on a large scale.

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

It's worth seeing, but is hampered by a silly premise

The film begins with Walter Pidgeon sneaking up on Hitler's mountain retreat and putting the Nazi in his gun sight. Then, when he pulls the trigger, nothing happens--as the gun has not been loaded! It seems that Pidgeon is a world famous hunter and just wanted to see if he COULD have killed Hitler to prove to himself what a great and supreme hunter he was. While this all sounds very stupid and contrived, I must point out that...hey, wait...that IS stupid and contrived!! This plot point makes no sense at all and is just beyond ridiculous (though cool to watch).

However, despite this silly beginning, the film is rather exciting as the Nazis chase Pidgeon across Germany and back to Britain--where they continue relentlessly pursuing him. There are some wonderful surprises, such as how well George Sanders spoke German. His portrayal of a crazed Nazi officer was a major plus in the film. Also, the way that several Nazis died in the film were surprisingly and amazingly creative.

The bottom line is that this is an exciting film but one that doesn't make much sense. If you can just turn off your brain and accept it as a wartime propaganda, then it is a very good time-passer, as the acting was good as well as some of the action.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird7 / 10

The man hunter

'Man Hunt' had all the ingredients to be a great film. It had a great director on board in Fritz Lang, whose best work was very influential. It had immensely talented actors in it, have always loved George Sanders and Walter Pidgeon was also a fine actor (Joan Bennett was a bright spot in a good deal of her work). Alfred Newman was one of the best film composers of the 30s-50s and Arthur Miller was a great cinematographer, 'Song of Bernadette' for instance still is striking in its visuals.

While 'Man Hunt' is very much well worth watching and almost everything cited above comes over very well (though all did a lot better before and since),part of me does wish it was better than it was. It could easily have been great considering what it had going for it, but it only turned out to be a little above average and a stronger second half and a more consistently executed story would have helped it immensely. Also the source material is well worth reading, but if you love the book and haven't seen the film yet but plan to be prepared for a lot of unfaithfulness in detail and in spirit. On its own though, and it is best to judge it on its own terms without comparing, 'Man Hunt' really isn't a bad way at all to pass the time.

Visually, 'Man Hunt' looks great. It's handsomely designed which is enhanced by the eerily shadowy lighting and Miller's cinematography that is gritty and shadowy yet also luminous. Newman may not be at his finest, but it complements well and one recognises his style from anywhere. Especially standing out of the whole music score are actually the recurring themes, an instrumental version of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and the ominous recurring theme for the Germans. Lang directs with skill and generates some nice tension.

The script is tight and intriguing and while the story is uneven, enough of it is compelling and suspenseful. The brilliant opening and an exciting climax stand out. The characters may not be complex but carry the narrative well. Was worried initially about miscasting upon hearing of the film, but actually most of the cast come off very well. Was not sure before watching as to whether Pidgeon would have the intensity for the lead role, with it being different from his previous roles, to my relief in his best moments he seared in it. Had no doubt though that Sanders would be perfect as his character, it was one that played brilliantly to his strengths and he is chillingly sinister in it. John Carradine also gives one the chills.

Bennett didn't work quite as well for me however. She does credibly in making her character likeable but there are points too where she tries much harder than necessary. Others have commented negatively on her accent, she gives it a noble go but yeah it is far from great (proof that Cockney accents are not easy to do if not cockney, from my experience watching films and plays/musicals the accent can be over-exaggerated, the case with Bennett, or sounds too Australian). She and Pidgeon don't have enough chemistry and their romantic scenes really slow the film down, at worst they are quite tedious.

As said too, while with enough fine moments, the story is uneven. At its worst in the scenes between Pidgeon and Bennett, but the second half suffers from being too over-complicated to the point of not always being coherent and some of it is implausibly ridiculous to the extreme. It is a shame because of the amount of promise it and the film had.

In summary, worth watching but somewhat disappointing. 6.5/10

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