M (Revised Edition)
- 1931 ----- b & w ----- 110 min ----- dvd
(Directed by Fritz Lang, screenplay by Thea von Harbou; with Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke and Gustaf Grundgens) Searching the city for a degenerate serial child-killer (Peter Lorre), the police paralyze the activities of the criminal underworld of Berlin. The normal criminal activities of the city disturbed, the thieves organize to trail the slayer. But this is not a mystery story. We know virtually from the beginning who the criminal is. We see him writing to the press begging to be caught. The suspense is in the effect of this murderer and his murders on the structure of a large city--how two kinds of order are galvanized by the murderer's disorder. What develops is a strangely sympathic portrayal of a compulsive murderer. And one is never able to hear that theme from Edvard Grieg in quite the same way again.
(In German with English subtitles)
- Topics: (Community Life, Germanics, Law, Motion Pictures: Features, Psychology: Social, Sociology)