Archive for November 17, 2020

Balustrade of Peril

Posted in FILM on November 17, 2020 by dcairns

It’s often remarked that Fritz Lang, who trained as an architect, often used architectural features or structures in the titles of his films — SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR (pictured), THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, SCARLET STREET, THE HOUSE BY THE RIVER, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, METROPOLIS of course, and, perhaps stretching a point slightly, THE INDIAN TOMB, THE BLUE GARDENIA (a night club), RANCHO NOTORIOUS, WESTERN UNION (they have offices, don’t they?), THE MINISTRY OF FEAR, and MOONFLEET (the name of a house).

This HAS to be mostly coincidence — only a few of those projects were initially developed by Lang (METROPOLIS, TOMB and DOOR), and we can’t seriously believe he chose the others based on the architectural references alone.

Still, it’s a shame Lang’s career stopped when it did (creeping blindness — his bad eye — injured during WWI when he had several horses shot out from under him — the monocle clamped to it became a defining part of his image — his bad eye, I say, became his good eye, not by improving, but by staying stubbornly the same while the formerly good one fell to pieces — leading to the eyepatch-and-monocle look, the belt-and-braces approach to dragging up as a Hollywood auteur). There were so many architectural structures he hadn’t crammed into a title yet. Here are some movies he might have done:

LINTEL OF DANGER

THE DARK TRANSOM

THE MYSTERY OF THE GREY SPANDREL

WIPE THE BRAINS OFF MY CORNICE

DIAGNOSIS: DEFENESTRATION

THE MURDER OF ROGER BANNISTER

COLONNADE OF DOOM

NIGHTMARE LATTICEWORK

I, THE TURRET

STRANGLER’S ARCHITRAVE

PARAPET!

HAZARDOUS MANSARD

DEATH BY STUCCO

HUT FULL OF MURDER

BLOOD SHED

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