Fritz Lang Telling the Goebbels Story
In his review of The Big Heat, Wade Sheeler made passing mention of a very famous anecdote told by Fritz Lang regarding a meeting with Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda. According to Lang, Goebbels called Lang to his offices to inform him that The Testament of Dr Mabuse was being banned, but that he was nevertheless so impressed by Lang’s abilities as a filmmaker (especially Metropolis), he was offering Lang a position as the head of German film studio UFA. Lang embellished this offer with a very dramatic (and cinematic!) tale about a clock and closing banks, and claims he fled Germany that very night.
It’s a good story. But is it just a tall tale, designed to make Frtiz Lang seem dramatic and romantic? Maybe. The truth or untruth of this story remains hotly debated and it surely doesn’t help that Lang himself was a little, shall we say plastic, with the details over the years.
Here’s one instance of Frtiz Lang relating the story.