Fritz Lang

Lang

How did you come to leave Germany at the height of your career and seek refuge outside the country?
 
Fritz Lang: I had made two Mabuse films and the studio had asked me if I could make another one because they made so much money. So I made one which was called The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.
 
I have to admit that up to two or three years before the Nazis came I was very apolitical; I was not very much interested and then I became very much interested. I think the London Times wrote about the fact that I used this film as a political weapon against the Nazis—I put Nazi slogans into the mouth of the criminal.
 
I remember very clearly one day, I was in the office and some SA men came in and talked very haughtily that they would confiscate the picture. I said if you think they could confiscate a picture of Fritz Lang in Germany, then do it, and they did. I was ordered to go and see Goebbels, and they were not very sympathetic to me, but I had to go, maybe to get the picture freed, so I went.
 
I will never forget it. Goebbels was a very clever man, he was indescribably charming when I entered the room. He never spoke at the beginning of the picture. He told me a lot of things, among other things that the Führer had seen Metropolis and another film that I had made, Die Nibelungen, and the Führer had said, “This is the man who will give us the Nazi film.” I was perspiring very much at this moment, I could see a clock through the window and the hands were moving, and at the moment I heard that I was expected to make the Nazi movie I was wet all over and my only thought was “How do I get out of here?” I had my money in the bank and I was immediately thinking “How do I get it out?” But Goebbels talked and talked and finally it was too late for me to get my money out! I left and told him that I was very honored and whatever you can say. I then went home and decided the same evening that I would leave Berlin that I love very much.
 
[ Interview with Alexander Walker, 1967 ]

2 responses to “Fritz Lang

  1. Pingback: Before There Was 007, There Was No 326 - The Little Jazz Baby

  2. Pingback: Restored and Re-Released – Fritz Lang’s M (1931) To Get Theatrical Tour Thanks to Kino Lorber « Durnmoose Movie Musings

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