6.9/10
1,402
32 user 20 critic

(1951)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | March 1951 (USA)
In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Norman Reilly Raine (screen play by), Leo Katcher (screen play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Wayne ... Martin W. Harrow
Howard Da Silva ... Inspector Carney
Martin Gabel ... Charlie Marshall
Luther Adler ... Dan Langley
Steve Brodie ... Police 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 (as Lennie Bremen)
Benny Burt Benny Burt ... Jansen
Bernard Szold 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

'M' ...has struck again! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

M le maudit See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Superior Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 00:33 minutes, when the mobster is recruiting homeless men as lookouts, there are two signs on the alley wall behind him. The smaller, at upper left, reads: "Beware of Sneak Thieves". The large calligraphy reads: "When did you write to your mother last?". The latter was a popular choice for homeless missions of the day. See more »

Goofs

When the killer and the little girl are locked in the room, the large shadow of the microphone boom is clearly visible on the wall on the left side of the screen after she sits down on the floor. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Marshall, crime boss: I'm glad you're here to defend me, Dan, Riggert just said that I'm the baby killer.
Riggert: Oh I didn't mean you personally, boss.
Charlie Marshall, crime boss: Make me a case, counselor, I'll need that glass. Make me a case.
Dan Langley: Gentlemen of the jury, I'll be brief. I know we're all anxious to get away, I myself have a very important case waiting, a case of scotch. But believe me, gentlemen, this is the most important case since I went to the bar. Mr. Marshall here is not only my client, he's my friend, I've known him for years since ...
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Impressive Remake of the Lang Classic
5 May 2016 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

M (1951)

*** (out of 4)

A child killer is stalking the streets and soon the police are everywhere trying to catch him. This means that the police are stalking the low-life criminals and the crime bosses grow tired of it because it's costing them business. In order to get their business back, the crime bosses set out to catch the killer.

Fritz Lang's 1931 film M is without question one of the greatest and most disturbing movies ever made. This 1951 remake from Joseph Losey went decades without being seen but a recent restoration has it available for fans to finally catch. Is it a worthy remake? It absolutely is a winning gem. Some people have called it a film noir but I really don't agree with that. The film is very much like the original in that it has you who the real monsters are out in the world.

This film really shocked me on a couple levels. For starters, this was made in 1951 and I was shocked at how suggestive the material was. The early scenes show the killer stalking various little girls of all ages and race. The film certainly puts it in your face that this is a pervert and it doesn't shy away from this guy being attracted to them. Unlike the first film this one tries to explain why the killer is this way and of course it's the hatred of his mother.

The cinematography is a major plus and there's no question that Losey has great control of everything going on. There's a very long sequence inside a shopping center where the criminals are searching for the killer and the way this sequence is edited was just flawlessly done. Another major plus were the performances with everyone from a large role to a small one doing a great job. David Wayne plays the killer and brings a certain coldness to the role as well as a creepy undertone.

M has been forgotten over the years due to it being unavailable but now that it's making the rounds I can't help but think that it's reputation is going to improve. It's certainly not on the same level as the Lang film but it's still quite impressive.


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