M

M

DVD - 2004 | German
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When a serial killer is stalking the children of the city, everyone, including the criminal underworld, wants to see him brought down. The story is based on the Düsseldorf child murders of 1929.

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k
KingKongKool
Dec 20, 2017

With 1931's "M" now being 86 years old - Believe me - I really did try to look beyond its flaws (etc.) and cut it some slack.

But, I have to be honest with my opinion here and say that (at 110 minutes) this German production about a paedophile serial-killer seriously cried out for some major editing. It really did.

Of course - It certainly didn't help matters much that (though actor Peter Lorre certainly did look the part of "M") his hammy, bug-eyed, scenery-chewing performance in his final scenes was so agonizingly over-the-top that it became downright laughable to watch, in the long run.

The one real plus about this b&w picture was the impressive clarity of the print. "M's" flawless restoration was truly remarkable.

Anyway - If you happen to be a true film-buff of vintage cinema, then Fritz Lang's "M" may appeal to you more than it did me.

w
wodebaobei38
Jun 12, 2016

The dvd froze at two places, one at 2:15 which is near the end of the film. So, I couldn't see the end of the film. Tried watching the commentary but it froze at the exact same places. Does this happen to any one else?

a
akirakato
Feb 16, 2015

This is a 1931 German thriller directed by Fritz Lang, based on the Düsseldorf child murders of 1929.
Under mounting pressure from city leaders, the police work around the clock.
Inspector Karl Lohmann instructs his men to intensify their search and to check the records of recently released psychiatric patients to look for those with a history of violence against children.
The funny thing is that the plice's frequent raids disrupt underworld business so badly that Der Schränker ("The Safecracker") calls a meeting of the city's criminal bosses.
They decide to organize their own manhunt, using beggars to watch and guard the children, and eventually they nab the child murderer and bring him into "the court."
At the real trial, before the sentence is announced, victim' mother says no sentence would bring back the dead children, and "One has to keep closer watch over the children."
The screen goes black as she adds, "All of you."
In 1937, the director told a reporter that he made the film "to warn mothers about neglecting children."
Did the German mothers neglect their children so badly in the late 1920s?

n
Nursebob
Jan 29, 2015

Originally banned by the Nazis, Fritz Lang’s darkly brooding tale of a murderous pedophile, part policier, part social critique, has lost none of its bite in the intervening years. Peter Lorre gives his greatest performance as Hans Beckert, a painfully withdrawn young man compelled to kill children by his “darker half”. Lang’s gorgeous B&W photography and severe camera angles lend a sense of hyperreality to the film’s Kafkaesque industrial landscapes. In addition there are a few beautifully executed tracking shots, one that actually goes between two floors, that were highly innovative for the time. The murders themselves, though never shown, are made painfully real by the most innocuous of images; an abandoned ball, a child’s balloon tangled in power lines, or an empty place setting at a dinner table. As a crime drama it is fascinating to watch the devices of modern detective work...circa 1931. But the film’s true strength lies in the way it chronicles the effect of the murders on an entire society; from the mayor’s office right down to the common pickpocket. A form of mass paranoia erupts in which vigilantism replaces law and an innocent conversation with a child leads to hysterical accusations. The tortured Beckert himself, clueless and mentally ill, is used to illustrate this capricious nature of mob justice. Thoroughly modern themes for such an old film.

m
Monolith
Oct 18, 2013

Wow. I repeat. WOW. What a terrific film. I was completely absorbed, start to finish. I recently watched Lang's "The Testament of Dr. Mabuse", loved it, and was anxiously anticipating seeing this one. Same character & actor for Inspector Lohmann, whom Lang explored more in-depth in the later film. A blockbuster performance from Peter Lorre; hugely emotional from the cartoonish, bug-eyed character actor, (usually of the macabre), launching his career. What a suspenseful story! Simultaneous meetings of cops and criminals to capture the creep. And "The Organization of Beggars". Wait, what? That's what's lacking in today's society; a structured crime-fighting ring of poverty-stricken hobos to clean up the streets. It's a win/win situation. (LOL) I can't praise this one enough. Outstanding film noir. FIVE STARS.

s
Shreddies
Jun 04, 2012

A brilliant movie; a great classic. Fritz Lang's early movie,made during the rise of Nazism, is big on images. One of the early "talkies" he doesn't overuse dialogue, rather executes a timeless story of human drives.

g
Grayce11
Jan 01, 2011

they should make movies this great today, I loved the way that they "cleaned up" the picture and the audio, totally amazing, wonderful movie, classy stuff...

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m
Monolith
Oct 18, 2013

Beggar (at the organization of the beggars' 'headquarters'): "God, this cheese stinks so good."

m
Monolith
Oct 18, 2013

Beggar (to another, at their 'headquarters'): "Hey, stop snoring. You'll wake up the lice."

m
Monolith
Oct 18, 2013

Hans Beckert: "...I have to roam the streets endlessly, always sensing... that someone's following me. It's me! I'm shadowing myself! Silently... but I still hear it! Yes, sometimes I feel like I'm tracking myself down. I want to run -- run away from myself! But I can't! I can't escape from myself! I must take the path that it's driving me down, and run, and run down endless streets! I want off! I want off! And with me run the ghosts of mothers and children. They never go away. They're always there! Always! Always! Always!, Except... when I'm doing it... when I... Then I don't remember a thing. Then I'm standing before a poster, reading what I've done. I read, and read... I did that? I don't remember a thing! But who will believe me? Who knows what it's like inside me? How it screams and cries out inside me when I have to do it! Don't want to! Must! Don't want to! MUST!! And then a voice cries out, and I can't listen anymore! Help! I can't! I CAN'T!!"

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