Born on This Date – December 5 – Fritz Lang and Otto Preminger
No, these birthday twins (Lang in 1890 and Preminger in 1905) were not a Viennese comedy duo, but they were Austria’s best exports since schnitzel. And two of the greatest film directors of all time.
They must have met in Hollywood – or even back in Vienna – at some point, but I have no idea when or how and it’s a good bet they weren’t the best of friends and didn’t celebrate their birthdays together. For one thing, that would be too much ego for one room.
Each of these guys deserves a book … and both have inspired several … so I’ll just post a still from my favorite films by each: Fritz Lang’s M (1931, starring the phenomenal Peter Lorre in the first serial killer movie and still the best) and Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959, possibly the best courtroom drama ever and the first to realistically depict the motives of all the people involved in a trial).
I wish I could see both tonight – in a double bill at a great revival house – and sing “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag” while the final credits roll.