M (1931)

M (1931)

Directed by: Fritz Lang

Starring: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut

Apparently M is Fritz Lang’s favorite film that he made, but I still don’t think it really compares to Metropolis. I dunno, I think part of it is that so much of this film seems commonplace nowadays that it’s hard to put it in the correct historical context, that this was one of the first films to show a police procedural in depth like this.

A recent string of child murders have led the police to believe that there’s a serial killer out there who specializes in killing little girls. They try their best to catch or even find the guy, but to no avail. Due to the increased police activity, the criminal underground decide to use their resources to catch this monster so they can get back to their usual criminal business. Thanks to the testimony of a blind balloon salesman and the murderer’s characteristic whistling of “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, the criminals catch and “try” the guy (Lorre) in a kangaroo court.

Like I said, most of this movie seems pretty commonplace from a modern perspective. However, the last bit with the criminal “court” and Lorre’s impassioned pleas that he’s sick and he can’t help himself… man, that was amazing. The movie’s more than worth watching just for that, and if you’re a fan of Law & Order or other police dramas, then the rest of the film would be right up your alley as well.

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