Moonfleet

Fritz Lang, Etats-Unis, 1955, Warner Bros.

Comment

This sequence is based on the idea that dreams can sometimes reveal what is hidden or repressed. Here it is about a moment in M. Fox’s past that John’s mother, Olivia, told her son about: One day her family members, the Mohume, unleashed the dogs on someone who broke into their wealthy home. John wakes up from a nightmare agitated and tells M. Fox what he’s just dreamt of, which is what her mother told him. Jérémie Fox denies the truth of this scene to repress the truth: he was rejected for social segregation by Olivia’s wealthy family, and their love story was broken. He doesn’t want to feel responsible for this boy that was sent to him by his mum just before her death, this forces him not to admit he is the father.

Fritz Lang widens the frame and we discover what he carefully hid from us until then, Lady Minton is in the room, we understand late that she heard everything about John’s story and Fox’s lie by omission. She undresses Fox’s back and reveals to John, and to the spectators, scars he kept from this dogs story. The truth, engraved in Fox’s body, became stronger than repression powers: Fox was John’s mother’s lover, and therefore he is very likely his dad.