IMDb > M (1951)


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Leo Katcher (scenario revisions)
Norman Reilly Raine (scenario revisions)
View company contact information for M on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
March 1951 (USA) See more »
In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Surprisingly good See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

David Wayne ... Martin W. Harrow
Howard Da Silva ... Inspector Carney

Martin Gabel ... Charlie Marshall, crime boss

Luther Adler ... Dan Langley
Steve Brodie ... Lt. Becker

Raymond Burr ... Pottsy
Glenn Anders ... Riggert

Norman Lloyd ... Sutro
Walter Burke ... MacMahan
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
Robin Fletcher ... Elsie Coster
Karen Morley ... Mrs. Coster

Jim Backus ... The Mayor
Jorja Curtright ... Mrs. Stewart
Frances Karath
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Aldrich ... Sam (uncredited)
Madge Blake ... Police Station Witness (uncredited)

Ewing Miles Brown ... (uncredited)
Lonnie Burr ... Child Victim (uncredited)
Virginia Farmer ... Harrow's Landlady (uncredited)

Alvin Hammer ... Father (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... (uncredited)

Sherry Jackson ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Tiny Jones ... Woman in Mob (uncredited)
Tom Kennedy ... Hood (uncredited)

Norman Leavitt ... Harry Greer - Bistro Patron (uncredited)
Muriel Maddox ... Extra (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Man in Mob (uncredited)
William Newell ... Detective Questioning Blonde About License Plate (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Man in Mob (uncredited)
Stanley Prager ... Police Detective (uncredited)
Jack Roper ... Man in Mob (uncredited)

William Schallert ... Rorschach Test Subject (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Cop (uncredited)
Peter Virgo ... Harry Dennis, Jaywalker (uncredited)

Ray Walker ... Detective (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Policeman Ticketing Jaywalker (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Onlooker (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Losey 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Leo Katcher  scenario revisions
Fritz Lang  scenario (uncredited)
Norman Reilly Raine  scenario revisions
Waldo Salt  additional dialogue
Thea von Harbou  scenario (uncredited)

Produced by
Harold Nebenzal .... associate producer
Seymour Nebenzal .... producer
Original Music by
Michel Michelet 
Cinematography by
Ernest Laszlo 
Film Editing by
Edward Mann 
Art Direction by
Martin Obzina 
Set Decoration by
Edward R. Robinson  (as Ray Robinson)
Makeup Department
Ted Larsen .... makeup artist
Production Management
Ben Hersh .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Aldrich .... assistant director
Jack R. Berne .... second second assistant director
Sound Department
Leon Becker .... sound
Mac Dalgleish .... sound re-recordist
Music Department
Bert Shefter .... musical director
Other crew
John Hubley .... production layout
Robert H. Justman .... production assistant
Don Weis .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:86 min (Berlin Film Festival) | USA:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

Remake of the 1931 German film "M" directed by Fritz Lang.See more »
Charlie Marshall, crime boss:You see, Riggert? The thought of these murders turns even Pottsy's stomach, imagine the feelings of the general public. Your average citizen isn't too concerned whether the police catch us or not, less the press stirs them up for political reasons, because in one way or another we service almost the entire community. But when it comes to catching a baby killer, they want action from their police department.
Riggert:That's what I said, they're on the spot.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss:So what do they do? The counselor here's told us what happened at Mick's. How's your floating craps game, Sutro?
Sutro:Just floating, keeping its head above water but that's about all. A few of the boys got tabbed so they're laying low.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss:That's what I thought, MacMahan?
MacMahan:Same, or worse. Yeah you can't even show your face around the high schools these days.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss:Pottsy?
Pottsy:Where's the cops get the idea baby killers play slot machines?
Riggert:Sure boss, it's the same as us, they've been tapping a lot of our bookies, cigar store, barbershop stuff.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss:Riggert, excuse me, counselor.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Player (1992)See more »


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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Surprisingly good, 3 July 2004
Author: Erewhon from Los Angeles, California

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.

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Benefit Screening at the Million Dollar Theatre in Los Angeles Nov 5 kitnwithawhip
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rights issues with Losey's version chrisdfilm
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