Director: Fritz Lang
Year Released: 1934
A former prostitute falls in love with a charismatic carnival worker (Charles Boyer), but he's a run-around, a gambler and an insensitive lover - when he discovers she's pregnant, he takes drastic action to acquire money. I like the way the film addresses the two main characters' flaws - Boyer's maliciousness and laziness as well as his wife's refusal to leave him (when a friend tries to partner her up with a more 'ordinary' man, she turns him down - women do seem to love their bad boys) - though I feel that the last act belongs to a different movie altogether, becoming meta-physical and spiritual (even comical) where it gave no inclination towards doing so earlier. Fritz Lang certainly has a way of evoking the worst in people - not to mention exhibiting a knack for stretching out his material as far as he can. In terms of inspired casting, who can argue with the multi-talented Antonin Artaud playing both a knife sharpener and a guardian angel?