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11 May 1931
316 Views

M (1931)

M (1931)
Director : Fritz Lang
Genre : Drama,crime,thriller
Producer : Seymour Nebenzal
Writer : Fritz Lang
Music Director : Edvard Grieg
Releasing On : 11 May 1931
Rating: 0 (0 Ratings)
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M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was Lang's first sound film. He had directed more than a dozen films previously

Plot

A group of children are playing an elimination game in the courtyard of an apartment building in Berlin using a chant about a child murderer. A woman sets the table for dinner, waiting for her daughter to come home from school. A wanted poster warns of a serial killer preying on children, as anxious parents wait outside a school.

Release and reception

M premiered in Berlin on 11 May 1931 at the UFA-Palast am Zoo in a version lasting 117 minutes. The original negative is preserved at the Federal Film Archive in a 96-minute version. In 1960, an edited 98-minute version was released. The film was restored in 2000 by the Netherlands Film Museum in collaboration with the Federal Film Archive, the Cinemateque Suisse, Kirsch Media and ZDF/ARTE., with Janus Films releasing the 109-minute version as part of its Criterion Collection using prints from the same period from the Cinemateque Suisse and the Netherlands Film Museum. A complete print of the English version and selected scenes from the French version were included in the 2010 Criterion Collection releases of the film.

Legacy

Lang considered M to be his favorite of his own films because of the social criticism in the film. In 1937, he told a reporter that he made the film "to warn mothers about neglecting children."

M has had a profound influence on a diverse array of modern filmmakers including David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Park Chan-wook, and Christopher Nolan.

A Hollywood remake of the same name was released in 1951, shifting the action from Berlin to Los Angeles. Nero Films head Seymour Nebenzal and his son Harold produced the film for Columbia Pictures. Lang had once told a reporter "People ask me why I do not remake M in English. I have no reason to do that. I said all I had to say about that subject in the picture. Now I have other things to say." The remake was directed by Joseph Losey and starred David Wayne in Lorre's role. Losey stated that he had seen M in the early 1930s and watched it again shortly before shooting the remake, but that he "never referred to it. I only consciously repeated one shot. There may have been unconscious repetitions in terms of the atmosphere, of certain sequences." Lang later said that when the remake was released he "had the best reviews of my life."

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11 May 1931
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