Laughter in Hell. 1933. USA. Directed by Edward L. Cahn. 70 min.
This radical work, adapted from a contemporary novel by Jim Tully, effectively ended Edward L. Cahn’s career as a major studio director, though he continued to work at a furious pace on B-pictures and shorts. Relentlessly bleak, the film describes the downward spiral of a decent man (train engineer Pat O’Brien), whose impulsive killing of his wife and her lover (depicted with slam zooms 40 years ahead of their time) leads to his descent through several distinctively American circles of hell.