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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Howard Da Silva ...
Inspector Carney
...
Charlie Marshall
...
Dan Langley
...
Police Lt. Becker
...
Pottsy
Glenn Anders ...
Riggert
...
Sutro
Walter Burke ...
MacMahan
John Miljan ...
Blind Baloon Vendor
Roy Engel ...
Police Chief Regan
Janine Perreau ...
The Last Little Girl
Leonard Bremen ...
Lemke (as Lennie Bremen)
Benny Burt ...
Jansen
Bernard Szold ...
Bradbury Bldg. Watchman
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Storyline

There is a baby killer loose and the police can't find him. He is a sick, psychotic and confused individual, though guilty. The increased police activity trying to find the baby killer is interfering with the mob's criminal activities. The gangsters are not pleased the intense police attention so the mob decides to find him themselves. The mob bosses send the mobsters out to find him. He is found and the young girl he grabbed is saved. A mock trial is conducted in the basement of a parking garage in front of mass of gangsters who captured him and citizens demanding blood. The baby criminal is defended by a lawyer provided by the mob boss. As the police show up, the mob boss shoots the lawyer defending the baby killer because he is doing too good of a job defending the baby killer. Both the mob boss and the baby killer are taken into custody by the police for justice. As the movie ends and the guilty are led out of the parking garage, we hear the spooky single tune played on a flute ... Written by Hal Wigoda

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Details

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Release Date:

March 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

M le maudit  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Harrow picks up the bird at the outdoor café, the position of the sugar dispenser on the table changes between when he gets up and then sits down on the opposite side of the table. See more »

Quotes

Mother of murdered child: I can't believe it. I can't believe it, not my baby.
Father of murdered child: We read about those other children in the papers but, our baby...
Inspector Carney: It could be anyone's child, anyone's, NO one is safe.
See more »

Connections

Remake of M (1931) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Crime & Punishment in the Fifties
1 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"M" is a remake of the Fritz Lang film shot twenty years earlier. In this version, the setting is Los Angeles, where the public is up at arms about a child killer on the loose.

The first half of the film feels like a public service announcement for parents, warning them to protect their children from strangers. It's not a dramatic start, and the weaknesses easily shine through--the uneven acting, the contrived script, the repetitive exposition.

Still, the film has interest as a document of its time--with its perhaps unintended swipes at the unprofessionalism of police, and the current views of crime and big city life. It also captures the nascent views of basic criminal psychology, much as some Hitchcock films do.

The latter half of the film is about the actual apprehension of the murderer. There's a chase, which gives the film more interest, then a final denouement that examines common views of morality and opposing views of the nature/nurture dichotomy. If only the two halves were more cohesive.

There is a lot going on in the film, and the cast offers many moments of surprising recognition. I recommend that viewers watch it, but I cannot assign a higher grade.


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