Hot iron

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German title Hot iron
Original title The big heat
Hot iron film 1954.svg
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1953
length 89 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Fritz Lang
script Sydney Boehm
production Robert Arthur
music Mischa Bakaleinikoff
not in the credits:
Daniele Amfitheatrof
Arthur Morton
Henry Vars
camera Charles Lang
cut Charles Nelson

Hot iron (original title The Big Heat ) is an American film directed by Fritz Lang from 1953. In this crime film , which is based on a sequel story in the Saturday Evening Post by William P. McGivern , the police officer Dave Bannion goes against the criminal Mike Lagana, who has covered the city with a web of corruption. When the gangsters murder Bannion's wife, the police investigation turns into a campaign of revenge. The Big Heat is at home in film noir and takes on many genre-typical themes and motifs such as urban crime, violence, revenge and fatalism, but in its linear, action-oriented narrative style and its straightforward image design, it points to the coming genre of police films. In 2011 she was accepted into the National Film Registry .


The corrupt police officer Tom Duncan commits suicide. His wife Bertha Duncan finds the body and a dossier sent to the district attorney exposing the criminal activities of mafioso Mike Lagana. In cold blood, she calls Lagana, informs him of the death of her husband and makes it clear to him what she is holding against him. Lagana advises her to call the police and then informs his assistant Vince Stone about Duncan's death.

Homicide Police Officer Dave Bannion is tasked with investigating Duncan's death. He finds no clues as to the reasons for the suicide. Bertha Duncan tells him with mock tears that her husband was sick and killed himself because of it. But a woman named Lucy Chapman contacts Bannion and explains that Duncan did not kill himself. Bannion meets Lucy at a nightclub called The Retreat , where she introduces herself as Duncan's mistress and contradicts Mrs. Duncan's testimony. However, Bannion does not believe the bar girl and accuses her of wanting to profit from Duncan's death.

Bannion returns to Bertha Duncan and confronts her with Lucy's story. Bertha admits that her husband had a lover, but brusquely rejects Bannion when he wants to know the reasons for Tom Duncan's prosperity. Back at the office, Bannion learns that Lucy Chapman has meanwhile been found tortured with burning cigarettes and murdered. Bannion's boss Wilks instructs him not to bother Bertha Duncan with further questions and not to pursue Lucy Chapman's death any further. Bannion nevertheless returns to the retreat and asks the bartender about Lucy. The policeman watches as he makes a call immediately after the conversation. Frustrated, Bannion returns home to his wife Katie and daughter Joyce, suspecting that the bartender has spoken to Mike Lagana.

After an anonymous threatening phone call to the Bannions, the policeman spontaneously drives to Lagana's house to confront him. When Lagana rejects him, Bannion knocks down Lagana's bodyguard and threatens Lagana to stay on his trail. Wilks warns his subordinate again to end the investigation. Bannion goes home and finds comfort in his wife Katie. However, when she leaves the house to drive away, she is killed by a car bomb . Bannion's help comes too late. When the desperate police officer asked his superiors to help investigate the murder of his wife, he was refused. He furiously accuses his bosses of being Lagana's vicarious agents. Bannion is then suspended from duty.

Lagana visits Vince Stone and his fun-loving, but Vince disregarded lover Debby Marsh. The gang boss reports on Bertha Duncan's extortion and reproaches Vince for not planning the two murders of Lucy and Katie professionally enough. Vince's offer to kill Bannion as well is rejected by Lagana. Meanwhile, Bannion searches for his wife's murderer on his own. At the retreat nightclub he witnesses the sadistic Vince Stone burning a bar girl's hand with a cigarette. The ensuing confrontation between Bannion and Stone impresses Debby Marsh so much that she invites the policeman for a drink and finally drives him to his hotel room. Bannion sends her away when she tries to flirt with him. However, the jealous Vince later learns that Debby was with Bannion and in a fit of rage pours hot coffee on her face. Debby's face is disfigured on one side. Desperate she rushes to Bannion, offers him her help against the gangsters and reveals that a criminal named Larry Gordon Vince was vicarious agent in the murder of Katie. Bannion catches Larry, beats him almost to death and threatens him to spread the rumor that Larry betrayed his cronies. In fact, Larry is later killed by Vince Stone while trying to leave town.

Lagana plans to kidnap Bannion's daughter Joyce to make the cops docile. Bannion visits Bertha Duncan again and confronts her with her role in the murder of Lucy Chapman; she betrayed Lucy to Lagana. He threatens the woman, but has to flee when the police, informed by Lagana, arrive. Bannion and Debby meet again, and the policeman tells her that the truth can only come to light through Bertha Duncan's death, since this is the only way that Tom Duncan's confession, which Bertha had deposited for his own safety, could come to the public. Bannion gives Debby a gun to protect her and rushes to his daughter when he learns that her police protection has suddenly ended. Fortunately, however, he finds Joyce under the supervision of old friends, and an attack by Lagana is averted. Wilks now realizes that it was wrong to cover up Lagana's machinations and declares his solidarity with Bannion.

Meanwhile, Debby goes to Bertha and shoots her. With her deed she accomplishes what Bannion was unable to do: With Bertha Duncan's death, the way is free to blow Lagana. Then she goes to Vince's apartment and expects her former boyfriend to return home. When he finally arrives, she scalds his face with hot coffee in the same way as he did her. Shortly before Bannion arrives, Vince shoots Debby in the back. Bannion overpowers Vince Stone and points the gun at him. Stone screams “finally shoot!”, But Bannion spares his life and only keeps Stone in check until he is arrested by the police officers who have since arrived. He doesn't do this out of pity at all, but because he knows that a court judgment and the forever disfigured face are the harsher and more just punishment for Vince Stone. Debby confesses to Bertha's murder before she dies in Bannion's arms. Lagana's crime ring is smashed in a concentrated police operation, the Big Heat . Bannion returns to the police force to resume the fight against crime.

History of origin

Template and script

In the early 1950s, the US film industry fell into a sales crisis that resulted from the demographic development in the US and the rising popularity of television. The studios were looking for materials to open up new audiences. One focus was on stories about the police and the methods of fighting crime, inspired by the very successful television series Dragnet . William P. McGivern's novel, The Big Heat, about a police officer who fell victim to his feelings of revenge, was published in the Saturday Evening Post as a seven-part serial between December 1952 and February 1953 . Columbia bought the film rights to the story in the course of its publication and had a first draft of the script drawn up in January 1953. The screenwriter was former police reporter Sydney Boehm , who kept McGivern's story essentially intact but eliminated McGivern's moral undertone. While McGivern's hero Bannion was an intellectually reflective figure shaped by Christian ethics, Boehm shaped him more as an average citizen driven by the powers of fate.

Fritz Lang, who had just passed hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities and had remained without sanctions, had been under contract with Columbia since January 8, 1953. During his time in America, the director had never found a solid bond with a studio or a producer. The filmmaker, known as difficult and capricious, had recently kept himself afloat with average genre productions such as the war film Der Held von Mindanao ( American Guerrilla in the Philippines , 1950), without being able to match the quality of his German films or his first works in the USA . Michael Töteberg comments on Lang's creative period: “His attitude fluctuated between cynicism and resignation”. Lang was interested in The Big Heat project ; he liked it because the book "once again combined a struggle against the forces of fate with a certain social criticism," as Lang explained in 1969. Boehm and Lang worked together on the script for four weeks, with Lang's contributions mainly limited to adding stage directions for the visual implementation.


As The Big Heat in the shadow of Columbia simultaneously prepared Prestige production to Eternity (From Here to Eternity) was, the cast had no stars from the front row to make do: took over the lead role Glenn Ford , who through his films with Rita Hayworth was known but otherwise only worked in Columbia's rather average westerns and crime films. Gloria Grahame , another regular Columbia actress , had just won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Vincente Minnelli's City of Illusions (The Bad and The Beautiful) and was given the role of Stone's gangster bride Debby Marsh.

Filming began on March 17, 1953 and ended after an unusually short shooting time on April 15, 1953. The film was mainly filmed in the studio and on the grounds of Columbia. While Lang had fond memories of the filming, the actresses in particular had reason to complain about Lang's directing. For example, on her first day of shooting in her first film ever , Marlon Brando's sister Jocelyn Brando had to repeat a scene in which she had to cut a steak 25 times on Lang's instructions. There were major conflicts with Grahame, who played and interpreted each repetition of the scenes differently due to her impulsive nature and thus incurred the displeasure of the perfectionist director who gave little room for improvising play.

Publication and contemporary criticism

The Big Heat celebrated its cinema premiere in the USA on October 14, 1953. In terms of marketing and advertising, the film had to lag behind the Damned, which was published a few days earlier, for all eternity , and so the audience acceptance remained rather moderate. Variety called The Big Heat a "tight, exciting crime melodrama", the direction creates tension by confronting the audience with "unexpected, but believable thrill". Bosley Crowther ruled in the New York Times on October 14th that the film was very much oriented towards the subject of violence, but all other subject areas remained vague: “It is not a beautiful film. But it is fun for those who like violence. ” On November 2, 1953, Time criticized that The Big Heat initially set a high tempo, but lost its tightness and tension as the film progressed. The characters are "just blueprints from previous robber-and-gendarme films."

While US film critics rated The Big Heat mainly as a genre product, European film critics tried to classify the film in Lang's authoritative work context. In the UK, the Monthly Film Bulletin wrote in April 1954: "In its stereotypical way, the story of administrative crime and corruption is smoothly written and staged, although Fritz Lang seems to have lost much of his old ability to create dramatic tension." Lindsay Anderson judged the opposite in Sight & Sound and called The Big Heat “an extremely good thriller, distinguished by precisely the virtues that have been so sorely missed in Lang's films in recent years.” François Truffaut wrote the January 1954 Cahiers du cinéma under the title Aimer Fritz Lang, a three-page hymn of praise for Lang and The Big Heat .

The Big Heat was dubbed by Aura Film Synchron GmbH Munich based on a dialogue book by Harald G. Petersson under the dialogue direction by Conrad von Molo and started in German cinemas on February 5, 1954 under the distribution title Heißes Eisen . German film criticism was rather reserved; the Catholic film service recommended avoiding film because of its “propensity for cruelty and raw attraction”.


Visual style

Contrary to the conventions of film noir, expressively reinforcing character drawings through hard light-shadow contrasts , Fritz Lang mainly uses an even, bright light spectrum in The Big Heat . Only in a few night scenes does the director use typical noir accents through the directional illumination of individual image areas. Lang generates semiotics signals less from the lighting situation than from the composition of images and settings; For example, objects protruding prominently into the cadre such as lampshades and potted plants highlight moments of imminent danger in previously peaceful rooms.

Another characteristic of the film is the frequent use of close-up shots , starting with the first film frames showing a pistol in close-up. Shots in which the faces of the protagonists are shown in large format are often retained for some time after the lines of dialogue have ended. According to Ingo Fließ, this is a sign of Lang's interest in precise characterization and “the increased interest in physiognomy with simultaneous psychological deepening.” Lang In The Big Heat, generally avoids high visual value images and sophisticated visual compositions in order not to distract from the narrative; he “subordinates the visual style to the content shown”. as Paul M. Jensen explains.


Even the exposure of the film makes it clear that Lang keeps the narrative taut, without embellishments or digressions, at high speed and linearly. The first shot shows the weapon on the table, a hand reaching for it and, after a shot, a body sinking onto the table. As a result, the widow Duncan calls the gangster Lagana, who in turn informs Debby and Vince by phone. After a scene change initiated by the flash of a police camera, Bannion can be seen entering the crime scene. In a few minutes, all main characters (except for Bannion's wife) are introduced and their character traits are sketched out, dramaturgically linked by technical aids of urban life such as weapons, telephones and cameras. Colin McArthur calls this exposition "a masterful thickening of cinematic narrative."

The story develops and finds its twists on the basis of the acts of violence, which - apart from the "coffee attacks" and the injury to the bar girl by Vince - always take place outside of the picture shown. In order to activate the viewer's imagination, for example, Lang does not show the tortured victim in the first “coffee scene”, but rather a close-up of the perpetrator's face. The director creates commentary connections between the scenes through cross-fades : For example, he fades from Bertha Duncan's face to Lucy Chapman's death report or from the gun with which Bertha was shot to Bannion in order to illustrate the fateful entanglements between the characters.

It is striking that Lang shows shots from Bannion's subjective perspective in order to create opportunities for the audience to identify with the hero. Typically for a noir film, the perspective of the main character, who at first only reacts to external events, leads further and further to an introspection and to reflection on one's own moral values; In the course of the story, Bannion's tendency towards violence and his feelings of revenge becomes increasingly clear. Unlike in many other noirs, however, in which the viewer's level of information corresponds to that of the film hero at all times, in The Big Heat the audience experiences some connections in front of the film character Bannion, for example the connection between the Duncans and the criminals; a cinematic means to increase the viewer's empathy with the unsuspecting hero.

Themes and motifs

Crime and society

As a detective film , The Big Heat focuses on crime and how to combat it. Lang affirmed that the film was "an indictment against the crime". The director depicts a society ruled by violence and corruption, and Boehm's script gives it a realistic look with laconic dialogues and realistic details. Langana is portrayed as a first generation immigrant who has moved into luxurious areas of life through his criminal career; his children grow up sheltered in upper-class America and have little idea of ​​their father's crime.

Lang's indictment implies that if no initiative is taken, the crime will prevail. The hero Bannion thus becomes the bearer of hope in American society: an average citizen who stands up against injustice. Frieda Grafe comments: “In democratic America everyone, John Doe , becomes a hero by making everyone's thing his own.” Lang himself also generalizes his character into a heroic role: “Deep down [...] in every human being it is the longing that good should conquer evil. Could it be that the people in [Bannion] see a symbol of hope in these days of taxes, insecurity and the hydrogen bomb ? "

Bannion's status as a hero is, however, typically broken by a fatalistic and nihilistic tone. As in films like M (1931), police officers and criminals act in a shared urban environment, the circumstances and laws of which have a lasting impact on the fate of both groups. According to Paul Werner , they result in “mutual dependence on cops and criminals”; the police officer is forced to use similar means as his opponent, and the boundaries between “good” and “bad” become unclear, the characters ambivalent.

Violence and vengeance

The crime story in The Big Heat goes hand in hand with an escalation of violence, because, according to Elisabeth Bronfen , "in the dark web of corruption that Lang spins, every revelation can only generate more violence." Such a concentration on violent acts can be found in many film noirs of the later phase in the 1950s, for example in Secret Ring 99 ( The Big Combo , 1955) or Rattennest ( Kiss me Deadly , 1955). For Robson, this increasingly explicit portrayal of violence in the noir film is an echo of America's war experience in World War II .

Fritz Lang emphasizes that he did not want to put the acts of violence in the foreground, but rather their effects: "I show the result of violence." "Taste and tact" prevented him from explicitly showing the murders; the challenge to the viewer's imagination is far more important to him. Lang continues: "Violence becomes an absolutely legitimate dramatic element in order to make the audience a participant, in order to let them empathize." Here, the pain shown is the key to reaching the audience because they feared for their own Experience "only one thing: the pain."

With the shown spiral of violence, the film come "a vigilante vision of Flughafen Wien dangerously close" as Clarens notes. Bannion's emotional involvement in violence and revenge overshadowed the normality of his life, he was becoming “an expressionist golem , beyond rational control […] and yet acting with relentless logic.” The end of the film offers Bannion no real salvation: when he meets a new one Tatort is called, he instructs an employee: "Keep the coffee hot"; a poster on the wall shows the slogan: "Give blood - now". McArthur comments: "The vicious cycle has started again."


The main determining factors in The Big Heat are the roles of women. The four central female characters Debby Marsh, Bertha Duncan, Katie Bannion and Lucy Chapman drive Bannion forward in his madness of justice and set the decisive turning points for the film plot. Only Bannion's wife Katie is portrayed as an honest and trustworthy-loving character; According to the logic of film noir, she pays for it with her life, as there seems to be no place for it in the thoroughly corrupted noir world. The other women are subject to a misogynous view of the male world, they are held like property, are dispensable when it comes to maintaining male power and, from the male point of view, have flaws such as weakness (Lucy Chapman), advanced age (Bertha Duncan) or an uncontrollable age independent sexuality (Debby Marsh) that earns them contempt.

According to Reynold Humphries, the female characters play “a central and ambiguous role in the film: they are signifiers of a discourse about the nature of truth itself.” Either they lie and you believe them, or they tell the truth and you don't believe them . The figure of Debby in particular stands out in this context of ambivalence. Clarens describes her as a "mixture of stupid blonde, dea ex machina and victim." She becomes an angel of vengeance, the executor for Bannion, who is not allowed to cross the threshold of lawlessness. Only in her death does she gain the affection of Bannion and to a certain point relieve him of his lust for revenge and his grief. Bannion can only love her now, because, according to Shadoian, "her death prevents a chaos of completely uncontrolled emotions and urges."

Ambivalence of the characters

It is also the figure of Debby that Lang most clearly symbolizes the ambivalence of the protagonists, their position between good and evil. After the attack with the brewing coffee, one half of the face is whole and beautiful, the other half disfigured. Barbara Steinbauer-Grötsch explains that the burn was “a symbol of the ambiguity of her personality, because the destruction of her physical attractiveness opens up a view of the true nature of her being.” Such a deeply “German” motif of double-faced, divided personalities and Lang already worked on the encounter with character doubles in his silent film classics such as Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922).

If Debby is a vanitas- dominated personality at the beginning of the film , who admires her likeness in the mirror with self-love, her wounding brings about moral change and the realization of her own status. When she stands across from Bertha Duncan, both dressed in mink coats - that, according to Ingo Fließ, “attribute of the endured woman” -, shortly before the murder, she confronts Bertha with the truth about the two faces of both women: “We are sisters under the mink.” In the reversal of “normal” moral concepts, it is now the gangster bride who convicts the supposedly good wife of immorality and punishes her. The change that Debby goes through lets her hide her disfigured side in her fur coat as she dies, because it is only through this visible sign that her scarred ugliness no longer corresponds to her personality that she becomes lovable for Bannion.

Classification and evaluation

In rating The Big Heat , Fritz Lang emphasized its qualities as a tough action film : “It's definitely a film noir, but not like The Blue Gardenia or the psychological films. Its rhythm is driven, not dreamlike, not nightmarish. ”Lotte Eisner confirms that the film offers“ relentless action, spurred on by hatred, murder and revenge. ”Sidney Boehm's“ excellent script ”is“ masterfully designed ”by Lang. The characters are “not just gangsters and police officers, but real people”, which gives the film its “remarkable density”.

Ludwig Maibohm praises “firmness and speed, modesty of intention” and the “intelligent […], artistic […] script”. The staging is characterized by "dramatic [...] sharpness". Andrew Dickos describes The Big Heat as an "uncompromising, conscientiously composed and elegant film". The sequence of scenes is designed "with a logical and dramatic severity that reinforces both the emotional power of the story and its moral perspective". Paul M. Jensen places The Big Heat in a row with Dr. Mabuse. M and Blinde Wut ( Fury , 1936) and certifies it to be a “strong, tight film with characters that are consistently close to reality”. Clarens calls The Big Heat Langs "probably the best American film."

Eddie Muller judges that the film is “the ultimate angry bull noir” and that the story of revenge is “with almost painful precision”. The Big Heat is “the stimulating combination of brooding German fatalism and tough Wild West action.” Ingo Fließ points out that The Big Heat , with its renunciation of many noir attributes and its focus on police investigative work, is “a precursor to a new one Genre: the police film "

According to Ballinger and Graydon, “one of the most notorious scenes in film noir” is Vince's coffee attack on Debby. The plasticity of the representation and the shocking effect ensured that the scene was canonized both in the noir imagery and in the work of actor Lee Marvin . Pedro Almodóvar quotes the sequence in a fictional coffee commercial that is part of his film What did I do that? ( ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? 1984) is.


The German dubbed version was created at Aura Film Munich under the direction of Conrad von Molo based on the dialogue book by Harald G. Petersson .

role actor Voice actor
Dave Bannion Glenn Ford Curt Ackermann
Debby Marsh Gloria Grahame Eleanor Noelle
Mike Lagana Alexander Scourby Walter Richter
Vince Stone Lee Marvin Christian Marshal
Bertha Duncan Jeanette Nolan Eva Vaitl
Ted Wilks Willis Bouchey Wolf Ackva
Higgins Howard Wendell Ernst Fritz Fürbringer
Tierney Peter Whitney Wolfgang Eichberger
Gus Burke Robert Burton Klaus W. Krause
Larry Gordon Adam Williams Peter-Timm Schaufuss
George Rose Chris Alcaide Herbert Weicker
Lucy Chapman Dorothy Green Ursula Traun


Literary template

  • William P. McGivern : The Big Heat. Book first published by Dodd, Mead & Company, New York 1953.

Secondary literature

Web links

References and comments

  1. McArthur, p. 23.
  2. a b c Robson, p. 166.
  3. McArthur, p. 12.
  4. ^ Töteberg, p. 117.
  5. ^ Töteberg, p. 119.
  6. ^ "It appealed to me because it combined yet another struggle against the forces of fate with a certain social criticism." Quoted in: Barry Keith Grant: Fritz Lang - Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson 2003, ISBN 1-57806-577-1 , p. 119.
  7. ^ Robson, p. 167.
  8. ^ Robson, p. 168.
  9. McArthur, p. 27. Robson reports March 11th as the first day of shooting. Robson, p. 168.
  10. McArthur, p. 27.
  11. Barry Keith Grant: Fritz Lang - Interviews. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson 2003, ISBN 1-57806-577-1 , p. 119.
  12. a b Robson, p. 169.
  13. ^ Robson, p. 170.
  14. ^ McArthur, p. 29.
  15. Quoted in: Robson, p. 170. “a taut, exciting crime melodrama. [...] builds [...] suspense, throwing unexpected, and believable, thrills at the audience "
  16. Quoted in: Robson, p. 170. “It isn't a pretty picture. But for those who like violence, it's fun. "
  17. cited in: Robson, p. 170. "merely carbon copies from previous cops-and-robbers films"
  18. cited in: Robson p. 170. "In its stereotypical way, the story of crime and administrative corruption is slickly written and directed, although Fritz Lang seems to have lost most of his old power to sustain dramatic tense."
  19. quoted in: McGilligan, p. 406. "An extremely good thriller, distinguished by precisely those virtues which Lang's pictures in the past few years so painfully lacked."
  20. McGilligan, p. 406.
  21. quoted in: Töteberg, p. 119.
  22. ^ Andrew Dickos: Street with No Name - A History of the Classic American Film Noir . University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2002, ISBN 0-8131-2243-0 , p. 33.
  23. ^ Carlos Clarens: Crime Movies. Da Capo Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-306-80768-8 , p. 238.
  24. a b c d Ingo Fließ: The Big Heat in: Michael Töteberg (Ed.): Metzler Film Lexikon. 2nd Edition. Verlag JB Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 2005, ISBN 3-476-02068-1 , p. 72.
  25. ^ Paul M. Jensen: The Cinema of Fritz Lang. The International Film Guide Series. Barnes, New York and Zwemmer, London 1969, DNB 577809431 , p. 183: "[Lang] subordinates visual style to the content that is being shown."
  26. According to Lotte Eisner, this elliptical representation of the suicide is due to a letter from the Breen Office , which insisted in advance of the production that the course of events should not be explicitly shown. Eisner, p. 329.
  27. McArthur p. 50: "a masterly condensation of film narrative"
  28. ^ Andrew Dickos: Street with No Name - A History of the Classic American Film Noir . University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2002, ISBN 0-8131-2243-0 , p. 31.
  29. McGilligan, p. 405.
  30. McArthur, pp. 59ff.
  31. Eisner, p. 336.
  32. JP Telotte: Voices in the Dark. The Narrative Patterns of Film Noir. University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Champaign 1989, ISBN 0-252-06056-3 , p. 94.
  33. ^ McArthur, p. 56.
  34. Quoted in: Bogdanovich, p. 84. "an accusation against crime"
  35. ^ A b Carlos Clarens: Crime Movies. Da Capo Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-306-80768-8 , p. 237.
  36. Frieda Grafe : One place, no memorial in: Peter W. Jansen / Wolfram Schütte (ed.): Fritz Lang. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna 1976, ISBN 3-446-12202-8 , p. 68.
  37. quoted in: Eddie Muller: Dark City. The Lost World of Film Noir. St. Martin's Press, New York 1998, ISBN 0-312-18076-4 , p. 45. “Deep down […] in every human being is the desire that good shall conquer evil. Could it be that people see in [Bannion] a symbol of hope in these days of taxes, insecurity and the H-Bomb? "
  38. Eddie Muller: Dark City. The Lost World of Film Noir. St. Martin's Press, New York 1998, ISBN 0-312-18076-4 , p. 45.
  39. ^ Paul Werner : Film noir. The shadow games of the “Black Series”. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1985, ISBN 3-596-24452-8 .
  40. ^ Ingo Fließ: The Big Heat in: Michael Töteberg (Hrsg.): Metzler Film Lexikon 2nd edition. Verlag JB Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 2005, ISBN 3-476-02068-1 , p. 71.
  41. a b Elisabeth Bronfen : Hot iron in: Norbert Grob (Hrsg.): Film genres: Film Noir. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-018552-0 , p. 197.
  42. ^ Robson, p. 171.
  43. quoted in: Bogdanovich, p. 87. "I show the result of violence."
  44. quoted in: Bogdanovich, p. 86. "taste and tact"
  45. quoted in: Bogdanovich, p. 88. "Violence becomes an absolutely legitimate dramatic element, in order to make the audience a collaborator, to make them feel."
  46. Quoted in: Alexander Ballinger, Danny Graydon: The Rough Guide to Film Noir. Rough Guides, London and New York 2007, ISBN 978-1-84353-474-7 , p. 61. "only one thing: pain"
  47. ^ Carlos Clarens: Crime Movies. Da Capo Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-306-80768-8 , p. 228. "perilously close to a vigilante fantasy"
  48. Andrew Spicer: Film Noir. Pearson Education Ltd, Harlow 2002, ISBN 0-582-43712-1 , p. 127. "Bannion has become the expressionist Golem, beyond rational control [...] and yet acting with an implacable logic."
  49. McArthur, p. 77. "The bleak circle has begun once more."
  50. ^ Elisabeth Bronfen : Hot iron in: Norbert Grob (Hrsg.): Film genres: Film Noir. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-018552-0 , p. 195.
  51. ^ A b Eileen McGarry: The Big Heat in: Alain Silver, Elizabeth Ward (Eds.): Film Noir. An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style. 3. Edition. Overlook Press, New York 1992, ISBN 0-87951-479-5 , p. 30.
  52. ^ Reynold Humphries: Fritz Lang. Genre and Representation in His American Films. Johns Hopkins University Press , Baltimore / London 1989, ISBN 0-8018-3699-9 , p. 49. "play a central and ambiguous role in the film: they are the signifiers of discourse on the nature of truth itself."
  53. ^ Carlos Clarens: Crime Movies. Da Capo Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-306-80768-8 , p. 228. "Combination dumb blond, dea ex machina and victim."
  54. ^ Elisabeth Bronfen : Hot iron in: Norbert Grob (Hrsg.): Film genres: Film Noir. Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-018552-0 , p. 200.
  55. Jack Shadoian: Dreams and Dead Ends. The American Gangster Movie. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, New York 2003, ISBN 0-19-514292-6 , p. 179. "Her death prevents an anarchy of totally unchecked emotions and instincts."
  56. Barbara Steinbauer-Grötsch: The long night of shadows. Film noir and film exile. Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-86505-158-8 , p. 86.
  57. Barbara Steinbauer-Grötsch: The long night of shadows. Film noir and film exile. Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-86505-158-8 , p. 57.
  58. Quoted in: Alain Silver, James Ursini, Robert Porfirio (Ed.): Film Noir Reader 3. Limelight Editions New York 2002, ISBN 0-87910-961-0 , p. 38. “It is definitely a film noir, but not like The Blue Gardenia or the psychological films. It has a pace that is driven, not dreamlike, not nightmarish. "
  59. Eisner, p. 329. “Relentless action, spurred by hate, murder and revenge.” Eisner thus quotes the title song of the thematically similar Fritz Lang western Engel der Gejagt from 1950.
  60. ^ Eisner, p. 335. “Sidney Boehm's excellent script is masterly constructed by Lang. [...]. The characters are not merely gangsters and cops, but real people, and this gives the film is remarkable density. "
  61. Ludwig Maibohm: Fritz Lang. His films - his life. Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-453-86034-9 , p. 230.
  62. ^ Andrew Dickos: Street with No Name - A History of the Classic American Film Noir . University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2002, ISBN 0-8131-2243-0 , p. 31. “an uncompromising, scrupulously composed, and elegant film” “with a logic and dramatic rigor that increases the story's emotional power as it reinforces is moral vision"
  63. ^ Paul M. Jensen: The Cinema of Fritz Lang. The International Film Guide Series Barnes, New York and Zwemmer, London 1969, DNB 577809431 , p. 183: "a strong, tense film with characters that are consistently close to reality"
  64. ^ Carlos Clarens: Crime Movies. Da Capo Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-306-80768-8 , p. 237. "arguably his best American film"
  65. Eddie Muller: Dark City. The Lost World of Film Noir. St. Martin's Press, New York 1998, ISBN 0-312-18076-4 , p. 43. “the ultimate angry cop noir, ist tale of vengeance rendered with almost tantalizing perfection” “the exhilarating union of brooding Germanic fatalism and Wild West ass-kicking "
  66. Alexander Ballinger, Danny Graydon: The Rough Guide to Film Noir. Rough Guides, London / New York 2007, ISBN 978-1-84353-474-7 , p. 61. "one of the most notorious sequences in film noir"
  67. ^ McArthur, p. 33.
  68. Hot iron. In: German synchronous file , accessed on July 30, 2018 .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on February 5, 2010 in this version .