IMDb > M (1931)
M
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Overview

User Rating:
8.5/10   79,297 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Thea von Harbou (script) and
Fritz Lang (script)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for M on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 August 1931 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A masterpiece of visual drama; brilliantly acted by Peter Lorre. **** out of ****. See more (263 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Lorre ... Hans Beckert
Ellen Widmann ... Frau Beckmann
Inge Landgut ... Elsie Beckmann

Otto Wernicke ... Inspector Karl Lohmann
Theodor Loos ... Inspector Groeber
Gustaf Gründgens ... Schränker
Friedrich Gnaß ... Franz
Fritz Odemar ... The Cheater
Paul Kemp ... Pickpocket with Six Watches
Theo Lingen ... Bauernfänger
Rudolf Blümner ... Beckert's Defender
Georg John ... Blind Panhandler
Franz Stein ... Minister
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur ... Police Chief
Gerhard Bienert ... Criminal Secretary
Karl Platen ... Damowitz

Rosa Valetti ... Elisabeth Winkler
Hertha von Walther ... Prostitute
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Behal Carrell ... (uncredited)
Josef Dahmen ... (uncredited)
J.A. Eckhoff ... (uncredited)
Else Ehser ... Woman (uncredited)
Karl Elzer ... (uncredited)
Ilse Fürstenberg ... (uncredited)
Anna Goltz ... Woman (uncredited)
Heinrich Gotho ... (uncredited)
Heinrich Gretler ... Man (uncredited)
Günther Hadank ... (uncredited)
Albert Hoermann ... (uncredited)
Ellen Isenta ... Woman (uncredited)
Karl Junge-Swinburne ... Man (uncredited)
Albert Karchow ... (uncredited)
Werner Kepich ... (uncredited)
Hermann Krehan ... (uncredited)
Kurth Leeser ... (uncredited)
Rose Lichtenstein ... (uncredited)
Lotte Loebinger ... Woman (uncredited)
Sigurd Lohde ... (uncredited)
Alfred Loretto ... Man (uncredited)
Hanna Maron ... Girl in Circle at the Beginning (uncredited)
Paul Mederow ... (uncredited)
Margarete Melzer ... (uncredited)
Trude Moos ... (uncredited)
Hadrian Maria Netto ... (uncredited)
Günter Neumann ... Man (uncredited)
Neumann-Schüler ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Katharina Nied ... Woman (uncredited)
Maya Norden ... (uncredited)
Fred Nurney ... Man (uncredited)
Edgar Pauly ... Man (uncredited)
Klaus Pohl ... Witness / One-Eyed Man (uncredited)
Franz Poland ... (uncredited)
Eduard Rebane ... Man (uncredited)
Paul Rehkopf ... (uncredited)
Bertold Reissig ... Man (uncredited)
Ernst Rhaden ... Man (uncredited)
Hans Ritter ... (uncredited)
Max Sablotzki ... Man (uncredited)
Agnes Schulz-Lichterfeld ... (uncredited)
Leonard Steckel ... Man (uncredited)
Wolf Trutz ... (uncredited)
Otto Waldis ... (uncredited)
Borwin Walth ... (uncredited)
Rolf Wanka ... Man (uncredited)
Bruno Ziener ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
 
Writing credits
Thea von Harbou (script) and
Fritz Lang (script)

Egon Jacobson  article (uncredited)

Produced by
Seymour Nebenzal .... producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Fritz Arno Wagner 
 
Film Editing by
Paul Falkenberg 
 
Art Direction by
Emil Hasler 
Karl Vollbrecht 
 
Makeup Department
Wilhelm Weber .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ernst Wolff .... production manager
Gustav Rathje .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Edgar G. Ulmer .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Paul Falkenberg .... sound editor
Adolf Jansen .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Baberske .... second camera operator
Horst von Harbou .... still photographer
Erwin Hillier .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Károly Vass .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
117 min | 110 min (2004 Criterion DVD edition) | France:118 min | Germany:105 min (2000 restored version) | Germany:108 min (re-release) | USA:99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Australia:M (original rating) | Finland:K-12 (1995) | Finland:K-16 (1960) | Finland:(Banned) (1933) | Germany:12 (re-rating) | Germany:16 (video rating) | Germany:12 (re-rating) (2006) | Germany:(Banned) (1933-1945) | Netherlands:12 (2006) | Netherlands:18 (re-rating) (1959) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1931) | Norway:15 (1995) | Norway:16 (original rating) (1931) | Portugal:17 | Portugal:M/12 (re-rating) | South Korea:15 (DVD) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-14 | West Germany:16 (bw) (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Alexanderplatz (the Alex) was the site of the headquarters of the Berlin Police Department.See more »
Quotes:
Hans Beckert:I can't help what I do! I can't help it, I can't...
Criminal:The old story! We never can help it in court!
Hans Beckert:What do you know about it? Who are you anyway? Who are you? Criminals? Are you proud of yourselves? Proud of breaking safes or cheating at cards? Things you could just as well keep your fingers off. You wouldn't need to do all that if you'd learn a proper trade or if you'd work. If you weren't a bunch of lazy bastards. But I... I can't help myself! I have no control over this, this evil thing inside of me, the fire, the voices, the torment!
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
La MarseillaiseSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is this movie based on a real person?
Is it true that there is a comic book based on "M"?
See more »
174 out of 204 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece of visual drama; brilliantly acted by Peter Lorre. **** out of ****., 1 June 2000
Author: Blake French

M / (1931) ****

"M" is a cinematic masterpiece of visual drama. The stunning performances define the careers of exceptional actors such as Peter Lorre and Gustaf Grundgens. Director Fritz Lang gives depth and dimension to his production by distinctly capturing the ecstasy of the film's many characters and focusing accurately on individual situations. This is an intriguing journey into the mind of a psychotic child murderer, blending terror, complexity, and malignity in one amazing motion picture.

Screenwriters Paul Falkenburg and Adlof Jansen construct the characters of "M" with distinctive personalities and three dimensional emotions. Many lesser filmmakers give their characters no creativity outside the confines of the script. In this movie each individual character has a mind of their own; they are free to roam the landscape of a inviting atmosphere.

Fabricating such an impressive atmosphere is some of the best cinematography and lighting effects that I can remember watching. This resplendent component creates the film's terrific moody ambiance. Suspense is one thing "M" contains in full context. The movie's third act is sheer peak-high tension.

Shot in black and white, "M" stars Peter Lorre as Peter-Hans Beckert, an extremely disturbed child murderer in the process of wreaking havoc on a neighborhood. Parents everywhere are living in fear of their children being kidnapped and abruptly annihilated.

This picture contains a brilliantly crafted setup. The visual setting creates a strongly developed opening. Every scene works to either complicate the initial problem or propels the story through a firm narrative through line.

The film captures the chaos of the town in terror perfectly. "M" is more about the results of a serial killer than an actual serial killer. Never do we directly witness a murder; the violent encounters are implied. This method of film making perhaps makes the movie's impact even greater. With an creative perspective through a third person point of view, the filmmakers repeatedly give us examples of a solid structure through characters and occurrences.

"M" offers a unforgettable, challenging performance by Peter Lorre. This extraordinary actor is tormenting and disturbing without embracing in extreme violent conduct. He perspires with momentum and rapture. This productions closing scenes are so deeply penetrating they entirely captivate the viewer. Isn't this what movies are supposed to do?

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