Hollywood Doesn’t Make Em’ Like They Used To: Fritz Lang’s “Man Hunt”


There were days when Hollywood often took sides against evil, as you can imagine that was a long time ago. I recently watched Fritz Lang’s 1941 Man Hunt which is a great example of what Hollywood used to be like. If you can picture a film today about an Al-Queda leader that calls him out as evil and discusses how their demise would help the world, then you might get a sense of what Man Hunt was like. This film is a brilliant exposition of a time when Hollywood opposed the evils of the world.

Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon) was on vacation, hunting in Bavaria when he spots Adolf Hitler. Thorndike lines up a shot and pulls the trigger, the barrel was empty. He loads the rifle and lines up again, only this time a property guard notices and tackles him. Once captured by the Nazis, Thorndike asserts he was only guilty of a sporting stalk. After being told that Hitler is innocent of any crime, Thorndike responds:

“He’s guilty against me and against humanity, against every decent person in the world, he’s guilty of hatred, intolerance, and murder!!!”

Released while Hitler was obviously still alive, the film was a brave condemnation of fascism from Hollywood. In fact, the screenplay was given the green light while America was still under a neutrality agreement. If only the Hollywood of today could stand as strongly against Islamo-fascism. Lang certainly had inspiration to make the film, after being a successful filmmaker in Germany (M, Metropolis) he fled Europe after being asked to head the German film studio (UFA) by Hitler and Joseph Goebbels in 1933.

Man Hunt ends by showing Thorndike parachuting into Germany. The audience is assured that no matter what, someone has their sights on Hitler and it is only a matter of time before the evil Nazis will be stopped. While there was some fear from studio executives who felt the film portrayed all Germans as evil Nazis, the film was made regardless. Today, the entertainment industry prefers to cower in the corner as seen by the recent censoring of South Park due to intimidation from Muslim extremists.

It would be great to see Hollywood stand against the evils of today. More industry types need to do their homework and see films like Man Hunt. Maybe Lang’s example will give them the courage to stand against the radical Islamic fascists of today.