Apr 9, 2009

Upcoming Spy DVDs: Man Hunt (1941)

Fox Home Video has announced Fritz Lang's WWII spy movie Man Hunt, starring Walter Pidgeon and George Sanders, for release on DVD May 19. This release has been rumored for over a year, but now it's actually happening! Man Hunt, based on the novel Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household, follows a British big game hunter (Pidgeon) who decides to put his talents to use by taking a shot at the biggest prize of all: Adolf Hitler. Upon returning to England, unsuccessful, he finds himself in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with Gestapo agents (including Sanders and John Carradine) who want him to sign a confession saying he was acting on behalf of the British government in his assassination attempt. Special features include the featurette "Rogue Male: The Making of Man Hunt," a trailer, a stills gallery and an audio commentary by film historian and author Patrick McGilligan. Retail is just $14.98.


David said...

Terrific news! This is a great film I remember quite fondly. I saw it eons ago as a late-night movie, then years later I was watching a color film with Peter O'Toole and I kept thinking, "This is exactly like Man Hunt!" Turns out the later film was "Rogue Male," starring Peter O'Toole and named after the novel that inspired both films. I have to say the Walter Pigeon version was more fun, not least because of the ending, which would have been all kinds of cool in 1941, before history was a "done deal."

Anwyay, thanks for brightening up my day. I'm all over this one.

Tanner said...

Thanks for the year correction, David; I've fixed the post. I've never seen either film, but this one has me more excited. Rogue Male is kind of a staple of the revival circuit; it plays about twice a year in Los Angeles theaters. Is it worth seeing one of these days?

David said...

I prefer Man Hunt personally, but then I have a soft spot for black and white. It's just cool seeing Walter Pigeon as an "action hero", plus as I said the ending has extra punch if you imagine watching it in a darkened theater with the war still on. No 70s film could recreate that, really.

I didn't see all of "Rogue Male." I came in late and only got into it as I realized I was watching "Man Hunt" in color. :-) I like Peter O'Toole, but by this point he was already debauched enough that his looks were mostly gone, which always hurts to see (except in "My Favorite Year," where it's kind of the point). I believe "Rogue Male" is listed as a BBC production, and it certainly did have that sort of feel to it. Which is to say (with apologies to BBC fans), it looked cheap. Washed out colors, overlit interiors, sometimes muffled sound and the usual "countryside" shots that leave me expecting to see Jeremy Brett wander in as Holmes, or maybe Hyancinth Bucket out for a picnic. The original is better at maintaining an ominous mood.