Wednesday, December 1, 2010

1955 - MOONFLEET, Fritz Lang boy's adventure

The kind of adventure story Fritz Lang filmed when he first started making films in the 1920's.

Moonfleet is one of those "smugglers on the English coast" stories set in the 18th century films.  A young boy gets mixed up with a mysterious English gentleman who leads the gang of smugglers and they have adventures.    It's a creaky old plot with creaky old dialog. The story has an awful lot of moldy coincidences in it, more than it should have.

Fritz Lang was strictly a director for hire on Moonfleet, he had no input into the story or the casting.  About the only thing he brought to it was strong visual sense.  The film's compositions and gothic settings look very good in Cinemascope.  The Englishman is kind of a Dr. Mabuse master criminal but that's probably more  coincidence than deliberate on the part of Fritz Lang.

The acting is not so hot, Stewart Granger, the poor man's James Mason is mighty stiff, the little kid actor is mighty stiff, George Sanders is mighty stiff, no one tried to hard on this one.

Interesting, but not much of a film.  Fritz Lang had better luck with his Indian adventure films, The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb.

87 minutes

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