Yesterday, I mentioned that Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious (1952) was available through Warner Archive. Today I came across an interview with the picture’s cinematographer, Hal Mohr, in Leonard Maltin’s The Art Of The Cinematographer:
Hal Mohr: “I think Fritz Lang is a hell of a good director… but I don’t like people who abuse people… He got very abusive to some of my camera crew. So one day I finally had to have it out with him; it was a very unhappy occasion. But I finished the picture. Howard Welsch was the producer, and I wanted to get off the picture, I wanted to quit. Howard prevailed upon me to stay — and Lang wanted to fire me, he wanted me to get off the picture. So we never talked to each other for a long time, we just went ahead and did the work.”
Lang told Peter Bogdanovich (from Fritz Lang In America): “I wanted to write a picture about an aging (but still very desirable) dance hall girl and an old gun hand, who is not so good on the draw any more. So I constructed this story. Now, Marlene resented going gracefully into a little, tiny bit older category; she became younger and younger until finally it was hopeless. She also ganged up with one actor against another actor; it was not a very pleasant thing.”
Sound like a happy set?