IMDb > M (1931)
M
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Overview

User Rating:
8.5/10   76,447 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:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Moments of menace.. See more (260 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)
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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


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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:
Two German serial killers are mentioned in the film - Georg Karl Großman (believed to have killed up to 50 young women) and Fritz Haarmann (known as the Butcher of Hannover; killed at least 24 young men in Hannover).See more »
Quotes:
Man in Pub:Hey, it's fatty Lohmann!
Everyone in Pub:[Chanting] Lohmann, Lohmann, Lohmann!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in CBGB (2013)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 »
127 out of 152 people found the following review useful.
Moments of menace.., 31 January 2002

The economy, austerity and directness of the films of Fritz Lang made him one of the most profound, and precise filmmakers...

Lang, a master of the German expressionist film, shot his first talkie, a crime drama considered a landmark in the story of suspense movies... It was a shocking idea for its time, based on the real-life killer Peter Kurten, headlined as the Vampire of Düsseldorf...

'M' is about a terrorized city, and a plump little man with wide eyes (often chewing candy) who is a pathological child-killer, unable to control his urge for killing...

The film embodies several Lang themes: the duality between justice and revenge, mob hysteria, the menacing anticipation of watching a helplessly trapped individual trying fruitlessly to escape as greater forces move inexorably in, and, for probably the first time in the cinema, it adds a new dimension to suspense: pity... For the killer is clearly mentally sick... He cannot overcome the overwhelming compulsion of his murderous disease, and yet, we see him hunted down and almost lynched as a criminal, rather than treated as a sick man...

Early in the film, the killer is heard whistling the Grieg theme from 'In the Hall of the Mountain King'. This theme inexorably becomes imbued with menace... And when we see no more than a girl looking in a shop window, the melody on the sound-track told us chillingly that the murderer is there, just out of sight...

The Murderer is played by Peter Lorre in a virtuoso performance that has barely been matched in all the thrillers he has made since 'Casablanca,' 'The Maltese Falcon,' and 'The Mask of Dimitrios.' When the photographs of his victims, all little girls, are shown to him, he jumps back and twitches with horror...

With powerful visuals, Lang's motion picture is Lorre's first film... His performance as the corpulent, hunted psychopath is a masterpiece of mime and suggestion... Lorre is the archetypal outsider-outside the law and society because of his compulsive crimes, outside the balancing society of the underworld because he is not a professional criminal... He had only twelve lines of dialog...

In the most famous of all about a pathological killer - Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' - Anthony Perkins lacked not only the threat of the tortured Peter Lorre, but also the dimension of invoking our incredulous sympathy...

'Psycho' reeked with blood and horror, whereas the suspense of 'M' is subtle... A child's balloon without an owner, a rolling ball, are enough to tell us that another murder had been committed... The audience, trapped in its seats, torn by ambivalent feelings towards the killer, watched him trapped as the net is pulled tight...

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