Friday, September 14, 2012

203. Secret Beyond the Door

Secret Beyond the Door
Directed by Fritz Lang

I have really been eager to watch more Fritz Lang movies after the spectacular M (which, by the way, my sister is planning on watching soon because I won't "shut up about it").  I didn't know whether to expect a political movie like Metropolis or just as a thriller like M.  It definitely falls in the latter category.

Now, that is a weird one.  In fact, it kind of felt like a mess.  Fritz Lang always seemed like he was meticulous but this movie is kind of, for lack of a better word, a clusterfuck.  For instance, he kept changing who was doing the voiceovers. While this might not seem that weird, it felt very messy, particularly when you are used to the format of a film noir.  The characters also seemed to contradict their personalities.  Likewise, the story was a bit confusing and I had no idea where it was going half the time (not as confusing as Body Heat though, which I watched yesterday and I had to have my mom explain it to me).

Anyway, I guess my expectations were too high.  I just don't really understand why this warrants a place in the book, let alone in Lang's best works.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Fritz Lang was constantly at odds with Joan Bennett.

Joan Bennett called the film "an unqualified disaster".

Not available on Netflix or YouTube; you will have to buy it.  It was kind of a waste of money.


  1. Afraid I must disagree again! I understand why you didn't like it. It's pretty cheesy.

    For some reason, I enjoyed it though. I loved her outfits, and I thought the tone was pretty creepy. And the "normal" characters, like her male friend who tries to warn her, were very believable. The ending was kind of weird and not in a good way, but overall I enjoyed it.

    1. Also, I forgot to say it reminded me of Rebecca, which I really enjoyed! :-)

  2. Goodness we have been disagreeing a lot! I guess we both liked Letter from an Unknown Woman...for the wrong reasons...

  3. I actually agree with you on this one. It is a mess. There is supposed to be a Freudian symbolism to the movie but to me it just felt odd.

  4. Arguably, this is what you get when you allow a creatively-minded director to produce his own films.

    Hollywood history is littered with tales of interfering producers (Boo! Hiss!) trying to impose their dull, conventional, formulaic will upon heroic, free-thinking directors (Hooray!). We should probably bear in mind that, more often than not, the producer knew their job and probably had the right of it. Especially when they were responsible for the film turning a profit at the box office, which this spectacularly didn't.

    All that said, I still really enjoyed it and was muttering 'wow' after it finished. I'm generally willing to forgive some looseness around the edges in pursuit of ideas. There was some great tension, set pieces and what one could almost call a whodunnit. And a train station. Gotta love trains and train stations.

    1. Definitely something magical about train stations. But yes I recently read an article about white washing in Hollywood, and it was written as if Hollywood had an evil agenda. But it's white people who won't pay to see movies with other races. We create the market.

    2. Very true. When you see an industry or a company or a politician peddling products or opinions you find unpleasant, very often they're guilty of no more than knowing their audience.