December 2, 2016 — This is one of the truly great classics.
Fritz Lang, who was one of the greatest and most original of the early film directors, considered this to be his masterpiece.
The plot is chilling. Beckert, (who is played by the unique Peter Lorre, star of The Maltese Falcon, Beat the Devil, Secret Agent, My Favorite Brunette), is a serial killer who preys on small children. He is loose on the streets of Berlin. Anxious mothers wait for their children to come home to supper — but some never make it. The city is in an uproar and the police intensify their efforts to find the killer.
The frequent raids and attacks of the determined police disrupt the criminal underground’s business to a point where the crime lords of the city decide that they have to do something if the police cannot find the perpetrator.
The criminal is finally identified, but remains elusive. One of the locals following the killer manages to mark his coat with a chalked “M” for murderer, to make apprehending him easier.
The film closes with an exhortation to parents to keep better watch over their children.
The film is justly celebrated as one of the most important works in the style of German Expressionism. It made a star of Peter Lorre, who would go on to co-star in some of Hollywood’s best-known films, including Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Silk Stockings and Arsenic and Old Lace. Among his co-stars were Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse,Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and The Marx Brothers.
The digitally remastered M is available in both Blu-ray and DVD, and is an important addition to any collection of classic films.