House By The River (DVD)
Directed by Fritz Lang
Writer Mel Dinelli
Directed by Fritz Lang
Exiled to poverty-row Republic Pictures in 1949, Fritz Lang (M, Metropolis), the self-proclaimed "master of the unusual," created House by the River, a shocking and mordant low-budget thriller. Like fellow cinema giants Orson Welles (Macbeth) and John Ford (The Quiet Man), Lang enjoyed a freedom at Republic that allowed him to make a unique and truly personal film. In House by the River, Cahiers du Cinema declared, "Lang's main erotic obsession is displayed more clearly than in any of his other films."
Victorian ne'er-do-well Stephen Byrne (Louis Hayward) assaults and murders his wife's virginal housekeeper. With the reluctant assistance of loyal brother John (Lee Bowman), Stephen remorselessly consigns the girl's corpse to the river. But as John's affection for Stephen's wife Marjorie (Jane Wyatt), police suspicion about the girl's disappearance, and the depths of Stephen's depravity all escalate, the river itself provokes a horrifying reunion between victim and murderer. By House by the River's climax, "melodrama is transformed into a work of art [and] a moral nightmare" (Lang biographer Lotte Eisner).
Boasting an ingenious script by Spiral Staircase scribe Mel Dinelli and evocative photography by Edward Cronjager (I Wake Up Screaming), House by the River is a criminally underrated American Grand Guignol that belies its modest origins.
DVD Extras Include:
- Mastered from rare archival material at the National Film and Television Archive, London
- Interview with celebrated producer and cineaste Pierre Rissient
- Gallery of Images
"[Scarlet Street and House by the River] Both are indispensable for admirers of the great German filmmaker." - Dave Kehr, The New York Times
"...plot details hardly matter in the face of Lang's enveloping visual style, in which shadow corridors and billowing curtains transform what looks like a standing hotel set from a Republic western into an expressionist nightmare." - Dave Kehr, The New York Times
Interested in bringing House By The River to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.
House By The River may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.
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