The first of Fritz Lang's anti-Nazi features begins with one of those "what if" moments that preoccupy history buffs and dovetails nicely with Lang's preoccupation with the vicissitudes of destiny. None other than Adolph Hitler himself is seen through the crosshairs of a rifle scope. The gunman, hiding among some trees, slowly pulls the trigger and the gun clicks. It was just a practice shot. He carefully loads a single bullet into the chamber, but just as he is about to fire, a leaf falls on his gun, causing him to miss and attracting the attention of a patrolling SS Guard, who promptly apprehends him. The would-be assassin turns out to be the dashing Captain Thorndike, played with consummate charm by Walter Pidgeon. After suffering torture at the hands of his Nazi captors, he finagles an escape aboard a boat bound for London. There he enlists the help of a streetsmart Cockney girl (Joan Bennett) to help him avoid his pursuers. From there, the film follows a relatively standard chase film arc -- albeit with at least one shockingly brutal plot twist -- from foggy nighttime London streets (brilliantly evoked by Arthur C. Miller's low-key lighting) to the remote English countryside. If nothing else, Man Hunt proves that, even when churning out wartime propaganda with a generic story line, Lang was still capable of making a work that is both darkly compelling and, given his own experiences with the Nazis, intensely personal.