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Rancho Notorious

USA 1952. Dir. Fritz Lang. 89 min. 35mm

35mm PRINT! ► What is “Chuck-a-Luck”? That’s the “Rosebud”-like mystery driving Fritz Lang’s Technicolor noir-on-the-range, one of the German émigré’s most personal, and characteristically idiosyncratic, works. Uttered by a dying bandit after the rape and murder of a young bride-to-be, it’s the sole clue a Texas frontiersman (Arthur Kennedy) has to hunt down, and exact revenge on, his fiancée’s killer. Lang’s fellow expat Marlene Dietrich, ever the alluring screen siren, owns her role as the shade-throwing, lace-clad matriarch of the titular rancho, harbouring outlaws for a cut of their ill-gotten gains. A cult favourite for its campy excess, in-studio aesthetic, and proto-feminist bent. “A perversely stylized western by Fritz Lang, his last and best” (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader).


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REVIEWS

"Dietrich is as sultry and alluring as ever ... A dazzling recreation of the oldtime saloon mistress"

Variety | full review