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I have went out of my way to not watch subtitled films.  There have been numerous films I have run across that I wanted to screen, only to find out that they were subtitled.  TCM is running a Peter Lorre night so I went ahead and screened my first subtitled film.  I'm glad I did. It wasn't as bad as I thought It would be ( Trying to keep up with the action and the subtitles at the same time).

As most know the plot centers around a German serial killer played by Peter Lorre in what he considers his first major film role.  The main gist of the plot surrounds the fact that the police cannot find the killer.  The intense police presence in the city (Berlin) is hurting the business of the criminal syndicates in the area.  They decide to do what they believe the police cannot do, find the killer.  The  plot is not complicated so I will leave it at that to avoid spoilers.

What struck me about the film is the social commentary and the acting of Lorre.  Though he appears over the second half of a 111 minute film, his appearance and subsequent acting makes up for his absence and the plot build up.  This was Lang's first sound film.  The cinematography was fantastic here.  The light and shadows and his extensive use of German expressionism was intense here. For that alone this is a masterpiece.

I rank this a a solid 9.5 out of 10.  Now, I'm being subjective here because of the subtitling.  If this was a original English Language film I would most likely bump this up to a perfect 10.  Its a masterpiece nonetheless...

 

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It's a terrific film. I also like the 1950s remake, starring David Wayne.

Both Peter Lorre and David Wayne were top-notch actors, in my opinion.

By the way, there are quite a few terrific foreign language thrillers out there. Following the subtitles isn't tough at all.

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