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Peter Lorre at his greatest in this classic early talkie. Playing a dreadful character. A child killer. Maybe a child molester too it doesn't make it clear. Yet in a creepy way while condemning him to the deepest depths of Hell you feel for him. He evokes a weird sympathy. You see his evil. But he too maybe a victim of it as he pleads towards the end of the film. Or is he pretending. His pursuit by the police and the dark criminal underworld are brilliantly portrayed. As is the sorrow of the bereft mothers. He is doomed. Who will claim him first? The underworld...or the police. Or his own mind. Fritz Lang's finest hour.
This film will make you run out of the viewing room once it has ended gasping for air; claustrophobic and riveting, a city wide hunt for a child murderer even involves the criminal element whose motives are as much self serving as it is righteous. However it is the performance of Peter Lorre whose take on the real life "Vampire of Dusseldorf" Peter Kurtin that makes Fritz Lang's foray into talkies outstanding. The sound of the film brings true horror to the audience; Elsie's mother calling out to her late and doomed child, Hans Breckhart's(Lorre)whistling the opening notes of "The Hall of The Mountain King" from Peer Gynt as he stalks his innocent victims and the hum and gossip of the German city gripped with fear and suspicion of even neighbors. This film will make one watch their children more carefully.
This masterpiece stars Peter Lorre as child murderer Hans Beckert, who is chased by police and criminals. The kangaroo court scene at the end is one of the best endings ever, where Beckert admits that he is unable to control his actions and should be handed over to police instead of being murdered for something he is unable to control. Hans Beckert is actually a sympathic character even though he murders children.
A masterful blend of crime/psychological thriller, and a shockingly sympathetic serial killer almost unheard of during this period. Lang's M is filled with dream-like atmosphere, fascinating characters, taut suspense, social commentary, and a masterful performance by Peter Lorre rightly confirms this film as one of the greatest ever made.
This film was great.
Unbelievably good. Most movies from the '60s you just appreciate them for their groundbreaking movements, not because they still excite or scare or have you in suspense. M was very very suspenseful, I felt emotionally invested and it had me on the edge of my seat. The directing was first class and the acting was almost perfect. Its very close to being the perfect suspense and mystery film. The fact that this was made in 1931 leaves me flabbergasted.
Absolutely fantastic Fritz Lang classic (his first talkie). Both entertaining and powerful. Lorre pulls off the near-impossible - making a child murderer almost sympathetic during his final plea to the "court".
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M has created the modern thriller and has multiple things still relevant in today’s world
Lang's haunting masterpiece has much in common with another cinematic treasure, 'The Night of The Hunter'