IMDb > M (1931)
M
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Overview

User Rating:
8.5/10   77,463 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:
Fritz Lang's (sound) masterpiece- a taut and quintessentially suspenseful story, and Lorre See more (261 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:
This film, along with Costa-Gavras's Z (1969) and Tobias Lindholm's R (2010), and many others, holds the record for the shortest movie title in existence.See more »
Quotes:
Woman in Crowd:Shoot him like a mad dog!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Quo Vadis, Baby? (2005)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 »
104 out of 126 people found the following review useful.
Fritz Lang's (sound) masterpiece- a taut and quintessentially suspenseful story, and Lorre, 29 July 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

The first time I saw M, by Fritz Lang, I almost didn't know what to make of it. I was overwhelmed by the power of the performances, the staging of the scenes, the locations, and the power that the simple story had with such complex circumstances. Then I saw it again, and a third time, and I know that this is one of the best films ever to come out of Germany- it's a powerful statement about protecting our children (if you're looking at it as a "message" movie), but in reality it is just a piece of cinema heaven. Thrillers today only wish they could draw a viewer into the mystery elements, and have such unconventionality of the times. Boiling down to this, M is about a child Killer - the legendary character actor Peter Lorre in his first major role - who snatches children when their parents don't watch, and continues on until an investigation goes underway. But as the police investigate overly thoroughly into the real criminal underworld, they know something is up, that this is someone far more gone than they could ever be, so they join in the hunt. This all leads to one of the supreme dramatic climaxes in any thriller.

On the first viewing I just went straight for the story, which is able to suck one in enough to make you feel dizzy. But on the multiple viewings it becomes even more interesting as one can study the intricacy, and indeed full-on artistry, of Lang's camera. He puts it in unusual places at times, and adds for good measure shades of dark and gray in many of the night scene (this is, by the way, a precursor to 'film-noir', which Lang later became an important director in the 40's and 50's). On top of this, there is a very modern sense of style in the editing- I remember a couple of scenes that surprised me editing wise. One is where the cops (I think it was the cops) have an argument about the investigation- two of them get into a shouting match, and we get medium close-ups of them going back and forth. This is done quickly, with a kind of intensity that isn't even captured in today's thrillers. There is also the hunt for Lorre in the digging of the house, where Lang cuts around constantly, heightening the tension between the predators (the criminals) and the prey (Lorre), until it's almost too much to take.

The disturbing aspects of the story, of child abduction and murder, have become benchmarks of a number of today's thrillers, where the cop is usually the subject and the killer left more in the shadows, in cat & mouse style. This doesn't happen here, and because of it by the time we get to the final scene, with Lorre being interrogated and giving his "I can't help it" speech, it becomes something poetic, tragic, frightening. Lang doesn't leave his "message" so simplistically, he makes sure we know Lorre's side too, however twisted it has become, and the antagonist is shown as human as opposed to these present-day thriller where the killers are barely given one dimension let alone two. There were reports that during filming Lang put Lorre through torture, ultimately causing the two to never work together again. But nevertheless, out of this comes a towering performance of a small, wild-eyed criminal in the midst of an extremely well-told and unpredictable mystery story. In short, if you don't know what you're in for when you hear that whistle, those several infamous notes, you may not at all.

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Crotch Shot ddlyrisotto
OT: what modern film would you compare to M? Philds15
Empathy? Really? martha-butterflycaught
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If he can't help it.... the_little_fellow
Well, It's no Scarlet Street marhefka
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