A Story That You Probably Didn’t know about F. W. Murnau 

We are all familiar with F. W. Murnau’s work, especially the legendary Nosferatu. Recently, I shared a few facts about the film that were rather interesting. I wrote about painted rats and a short cameo from the director himself; none of those facts, however, come close to the story that I am about to share with you.

For those of you who didn’t know, Murnau died long before his time. It saddens me to think of the beautiful films he could of added to his portfolio. Murnau was being driven up to California from Los Angeles in a hired car. The driver was a young teenage servant from the Phillipines who was not much older than the age of 14. Perhaps the giant Rolls Royce was too powerful for the young servant or perhaps it was freak accident, regardless, the car plowed in to a pole which lead to Murnau suffering severe head injuries and dying in hospital the following day at the young age of 42. Murnau had been travelling to California for the premier of his film Tabu, unfortunately he never made it there. 

As sad as the story is so far, it is one that you may be thinking that you’ve heard before. However, it is the next part that some may find shocking. 

Last July (2015), Murnau’s grave was disturbed and his skull stolen. Some suggest that signs of wax indicate rituals of the occult or some kind of ceremony. Most find it incredibly unusual, mainly because this is not the first time that people have disturbed F. W. Murnau’s grave. It is currently not known what happened to the skull of this legendary director and it is looking less than likely that we will ever find out. 

What a world we live in. 

The Day That Fritz Lang Stuck Two Fingers Up at the Nazi Party

Fritz Lang is one of the greatest directors in the history of film. Even though many people did not appreciate him during his active years, which allegedly hurt him on a personal level,  he will forever be remembered for some of the most brilliant films in our history.

Lang was responsible for renowned features such as ‘Metropolis’ and ‘M’; it is said that these films, amongst his other work, were part of the reason for the directors legendary meeting with Joseph Goebbels. 
As we all know, Goebbels, minister of propaganda, was probably one of the biggest reasons that the Nazi party found success, albeit brief. Goebbels was known for his ill-feeling towards the Jewish community and famously made comments that sympathised with the use of guns to gain power. He was perhaps better known for his mindset that it was “more gratifying to win the heart of a people and keep it”. This lead Goebbels to, allegedly, set about reeling in one of the greatest directors in the history of filmmaking. 

In 1933, Goebbels allegedly invited Lang to his office in the hope of getting the director to climb aboard his propaganda train. Metropolis was one of Goebbels favourite films but his distaste of a particular Dr. Mabuse film was well-known. Goebbels had gone out of his way to ban ‘The Testament of Dr. Mabuse’, perhaps for its perception of the public not having any trust in their leaders. Lang arrived at Goebbels’ office with the idea that he may be able to convince the minister to remove the ban. 

Lang did not get the chance to discuss this however. Instead, the director claims, he was railroaded in to Signing up to make the Nazi’s their national socialist film at the request of Hitler. Lang accepted, feeling that he had no other choice. He returned to his home where he had his servant pack his bags for a last minute ‘trip to Paris’. He left that day, and did not return until the tail end of the 1950’s. For whatever reason, Lang, an apparent “fierce nationalist”, chose not to be a part of the Nazi’s plans and fled to continue his work elsewhere. 

 Fritz Lang made the right choice in his decision to bail on the Nazi party and some of his later work is definitely testament to that. Without his reluctance to be a part of the system, we would not have films like “Fury” in our collection today. It is not all cut and dry though; some doubt that this legendary meeting ever took place and insist that it was just Lang’s, overly-dramatic, penchant for storytelling. The main line of argument being that none of this was ever recorded in Joseph Goebbels insanely accurate diary. 
Whether you believe the story or not, One thing is for sure. Lang definitely left Germany in 1933 and chose not to be involved with the nazi party’s plans. A decision that was for the better when speaking of his career in later years.