'Man Hunt' (1941)
When Quentin Tarantino shot, burned and blew up Adolf Hitler in Inglourious Basterds, he joined a long line of filmmakers who've indulged in a little wish-fulfillment by beating the hell out of Der Führer. Everyone from Daffy Duck in "Daffy – The Commando" to Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission have taken a shot at the Nazi chief; and in the 1940s especially, there was a mini-boom in "death to Hitler" pictures, such as Hitler—Dead or Alive and The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler. The ballsiest of the bunch is Fritz Lang's 1941 thriller Man Hunt, made for 20th Century Fox before the United States declared war on Germany. Right in the opening scene, big game hunter Alan Thorndike (Walter Pidgeon) creeps through the brush, assumes a firing position and looks through his scope at the familiar mustachioed face of the world's most notorious dictator — the image alone is bracing, even today. Both the U.S. government and Fox chief Daryl Zanuck questioned Lang's diplomatic tact, but Man Hunt was still released, six months before Pearl Harbor.