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Pioneering director born in Vienna, Austria in 1890. Lang worked with actress and writer Thea von Harbou (1889?-1954), who wrote with him the scripts for his most celebrated films, Dr. Mabuse der Spieler, Die Nibelungen, Metropolis, and M (credited to von Harbou alone). They married in 1922 and divorced in 1933. In that year, the newly-installed Nazi régime refused to allow the exhibition of Lang's Testament des Dr. Mabuse. Lang left Berlin for Paris.

After about a year in Paris, Lang moved to the United States in mid-1934. He was initially under contract to MGM. Over the next twenty years he directed numerous American films before retiring in 1960. He died in 1976.