Film - Feature | July 12 | 8:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
In Langs crisply directed thriller, a mild flirtation draws a college professor into a hopelessly tangled web of blackmail and murder. The story mirrors the harsh geometry and stringent fatalism of Langs visual styleas Tom Kemper wrote, everything that stimulates our dark attraction to the noir genre: the claustrophobic urban studio sets, the wide-awake camerawork, the restless shadows, the nocturnal temptress, and the lapsed hero. Edward G. Robinson is Langs Everyman, a psychology professor whose obsession with the problem of murder and motive turns real when he is forced to commit one himself. As in a recurring dream, the guilt-ridden Robinson is led through the crime scenes by his D.A. friend (Raymond Massey), maintaining a world-closing-in feeling down to the films own closure, which is both inevitable and surprising.