Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German film director, screenwriter, and occasional film producer and actor. One of the best known émigrés from Germany's school of Expressionism, he was dubbed the "Master of Darkness" by the British Film Institute. Andrew Sarris in his influential book of film criticism The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929–1968 included him in the "pantheon" of the 14 greatest film directors who had worked in the United States. Lang's most famous films are the groundbreaking science-fiction film Metropolis (1927) - the world's most expensive silent film at the time of its release - and the influential thriller film M (1931), made before he moved to the United States. Lang's work had a significant influence on the film noir genre and in Hollywood, he made some classics himself, such as Scarlet Street (1945) and The Big Heat (1953).