A killer is preying on small children in Los Angeles. The police, under pressure from civic authorities, are conducting daily raids on the criminal world. This causes all illegal business to come to a standstill. In order to bring things back to normal, the top crime bosses hold a meeting and decide that as the unknown killer is the reason for the increased police vigilance, they will catch the killer themselves using their city-wide network of informants. If they succeed, not only will it bring them relief from the police raids but public, too, will hail them as good Samaritans. The plan is put into motion. Meanwhile, the police are combing the case files of people with a history of mental illness and commitment to psychiatric institutions in the past. And all this time, the killer is getting restless, getting the urge to kill again.
'M' ...has struck again!
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Did You Know?
Before signing Joseph Losey as director, producer Seymour Nebenzal approached fellow German expatriate Douglas Sirk and offered him the job. Sirk said he would do the film only if he could scrap the original story and write a new one about a psychopathic murderer of children. When Nebenzal approached Losey, he too wanted to scrap the original story and do a new one about a child-murderer, and Nebenzal told him that the Production Code Administration (PCA) had agreed to allow him to make the film only if the original story and script were kept. The PCA had approved "M" as a remake of an acknowledged classic, but if the story were changed, their approval would be withdrawn. See more
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
Police Chief Regan
To prevent other crimes, your police department has prepared five don'ts. DON'T let your children accept rides from strangers, sometimes these are one-way rides leading to death. The amiable stranger may be a killer. DON'T let your children accept presents from strangers. A bag of popcorn or a candy bar is not worth your child's life. DON'T send children on after-dark errands, the night works in behalf of the killer who preys on our young. If you must have something from the store after sundown...
Referenced in The Player