When someone mentions “the stain of the world” in a Fritz Lang film, it doesn’t wash out easily.
A moral ambivalence about systems of justice runs deep in the M director’s second US film.
Henry Fonda’s ex-con tries to go straight with his pregnant lover (Sylvia Sidney); Depression-era circumstance and society stack up against them.
The poignancy combines with Lang’s expressionist shadows, setting a moody standard for all later ‘criminal lovers’ flicks. Bonnie And Clyde owes this indelible tragi-noir a big one.