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M (1951)

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In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Da Silva ...
Inspector Carney
Charlie Marshall, crime boss
Dan Langley
Steve Brodie ...
Lt. Becker
Glenn Anders ...
Walter Burke ...
John Miljan ...
Blind Baloon Vendor
Roy Engel ...
Police Chief Regan
Janine Perreau ...
The Last Little Girl
Leonard Bremen ...
Lemke, thug left behind in Bradbury Bldg. (as Lennie Bremen)
Benny Burt ...
Jansen, drunk thug outside Bradbury Bldg.
Bernard Szold ...
Bradbury Bldg. Watchman


Remake of the 1931 original. Someone is murdering children in a German city. The Police search is so intense, it is disturbing the 'normal' criminals, and the local hoods decide to help find the murderer as quickly as possible. Written by Colin Tinto <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M le maudit  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remake of the 1931 German film "M" directed by Fritz Lang. See more »


Riggert: Who do we frame?
Charlie Marshall, crime boss: No frame, Riggert. This killer isn't going to stop just because they make an arrest. We've got to find him and stop him ourselves.
Sutro: Oh, we ain't gonna help the cops, we're gonna BE the cops.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss: We've got the organization to keep an eye on every child in this city. Our runners and pickup men are in the city all the time. We've got drops in candy stores, barber shops, newsstands, shoe shine parlors, even got our own radio system, our cabs the Ajax outfit. With their two-way system ...
See more »


Referenced in Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly good
3 July 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

Seymour Nebenzal didn't have an especially illustrious career as a producer, either in Europe or the United States. Two of his American movies, in fact, SIREN OF ATLANTIS and this one, were remakes of movies he had produced in Europe. But in this case, he hired the right director.

Was it the growing Blacklist that resulted in this movie having no writing credits on screen? Perhaps, but also perhaps not, as the soon-to-be-blacklisted Howard da Silva and Joseph Losey both use their own names.

Losey and his team make excellent use of numerous Los Angeles locations, including Angel's Flight, Bunker Hill, the Bradbury Building (which is identified by name and location) and what seems to be that old amusement park in Long Beach, although what's seen here could be Venice.

David Wayne is fine as the disturbed child killer, and delivers the required final act speech very well. But he doesn't have the power and poetry of Lorre's performance--but then who in Hollywood in 1951 would have? The movie still has some of the comedy of Lang's original, but it's not as dry and sardonic, and there isn't as much of it. The score isn't good, and shoves the movie even more firmly in the direction of the melodrama it keeps threatening to become.

The very last shot is oddly theatrical in a literal sense: it looks like it is being performed on a stage. And I'm not sure what the point of the drunken lawyer trying to grasp a bit of his former glory really was. However, this element merely weakens the film, it doesn't destroy it.

No, this isn't as good as Lang's original, but Lang's original is perhaps the best film of a great director. It's a classic in almost every regard. This version of "M" is an interesting and largely successful attempt at adapting the themes and ideas of the original to Los Angeles, and to 1950s Hollywood. Naturally there are some weaknesses, but the movie is brisk and engrossing, and certainly doesn't deserve the obscurity into which it has fallen.

Some condemn the film merely for being a remake, but remakes have always been a large part of movie history. There's little reason to object to them, especially now that the original films tend to be available on video. (In the 1930s-50s, originals were generally withdrawn.) If the remake is good, then hooray, there are now two good movies on the subject. If it's bad, then the remake will soon be forgotten.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Does anyone know where I can get this? zombking
rights issues with Losey's version chrisdfilm
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