Throughout director Fritz Lang’s career, he often examined the justice system. In this film, we see that in America there may be laws on the books concerning crime, serving your time for doing it, and being released from prison, but that in reality you are branded for life.

The film begins with the release of Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda) from prison and his subsequent marriage to a secretary named Joan Graham (Sylvia Sidney). He tries to go straight with the trucking job that was setup for him by the prison, but the second the slightest thing goes wrong they drop him. Soon a bank robbery happens and it’s pinned him. He is convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of officers who died during the robbery. With a little bit of help, he is soon on the run with his wife and their baby in tow.

Lang’s style is on full display in this film, his second made in America. Here are some examples:

Ultra Low Angle Shot

We Watch The Conversation In The Reflecting Waters

Hidden Eyes

Light And Shadow


It’s a visually stunning film with a strong message that doesn’t lose any of it’s bite right up to and including the end of the film. I highly recommend it.