Ministry of Fear: Fritz Lang’s De-suturing Operation

Part of the Palgrave Close Readings in Film and Television book series (CRFT)


This chapter considers one of Fritz Lang’s less-heralded American films, showing how it employs idiosyncratic editing and staging strategies to imprint a seemingly conventional espionage/mystery thriller with Lang’s particular brand of self-reflexive paranoia. After reviewing much of the extant academic criticism of the film and providing a brief summary of the film’s production history, this chapter presents analyses of staging, framing and editing strategies in individual scenes, identifying stylistic and formal motifs that work to convey an ongoing sense that the action is constantly being observed by some unknown and unseen off-screen presence. It then relates Lang’s filmmaking choices in these instances to theories of cinematic “suturing” and proposes that the film’s dominant strategy may be seen as deliberately disrupting the system of the suture.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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