M (1931)

Germany,
117m, 3208 metres
35mm film, black and white
mono, German

A German horror film directed by Fritz Lang.

Plot Summary

Based on the true-life manhunt for Dusseldorf serial killer of children Peter Kürten.

Credits

Crew
A film by: Fritz Lang
Nero-Film presents
Producer: Seymour Nebenzahl
Unit Production Manager: Gustav Rathje
Screenplay: Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang
Supervising Photographer: Fritz Arno Wagner
Camera: Fritz Arno Wagner, Karl Vaß
Stills Photography: Horst von Harbou
Editor: Paul Falkenberg
Theme from ‘Peer Gynt': Edvard Grieg
Theme from ‘Peer Gynt' Whistled by: Fritz Lang
Sound: Adolf Jansen
Art Director: Emil Hasler
Set Decorators: Emil Hasler, Karl Vollbrecht

Cast
Peter Lorre (Hans Beckert)
Ellen Widmann (Frau Beckmann, the mother)
Inge Landgut (Elsie Beckmann, the child)
Gustaf Gründgens (Schränker)
Friedrich Gnaß (burglar)
Fritz Odemar (cardsharp)
Paul Kemp (pickpocket)
Theo Lingen (confidence man)
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur (chief of police)
Franz Stein (minister)
Otto Wernicke (Police Inspector Karl Lohmann)
Theodor Loos (Police Inspector Groeber)
Georg John (blind streethawker)
Rudolf Blümner (defence counsel)
Karl Platen (nightwatchman)
Gerhard Bienert (police inspector's secretary)
Rosa Valetti (barmaid of the Crocodile Club)
Hertha von Walther (prostitute)

Alternative Titles

Bir Sehir Katilini Ariyor – Turkish title
O Drakos tou Dusseldorf – Greek title
M – Dein Mörder sieht dich an – Austrian title
M – Egy város keresi a gyilkost – Hungarian title
M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder – alternative German title
M – Il mostro di Düsseldorf – Italian title
M – Kaupunki etsii murhaajaa – Finnish title
M – mesto isce morilca – Slovenian title
M – morderca – Polish title
M le maudit – French title
M, een stad zoekt zijn moordenaar – Dutch title
M, el vampiro de Düsseldorf – Spanish title
M, o dolofonos – Greek re-release title
M, O Vampiro de Dusseldorf – Brazilian title
M, un assassí entre nosaltres – Catalan Spanish title
Matou – Portuguese title
Murderers Among Us – US pre-release title
El vampiro negro – Argentine title

Remakes
M (1951)
M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (2018)
M. le maudit (1982)
El vampiro negro (1953)

Extracts included in
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)
Begegnung mit Fritz Lang (1964)
Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009)
Der Ewige Jude (1940)
Fritz Lang (2016)
Fritz Lang, le cercle du destin – Les films allemands (2004)
From Caligari to Libeskind (2009)
German Grusel – Die Edgar Wallace-Serie (2011)
Hanging Perverts (2010)
Juden ohne Maske (1937)
Murder by Numbers (2004)
Die Nacht der Regisseure (1995)
Die UFA (1992)
Von Caligari zu Hitler: Das deutsche Kino im Zeitalter der Massen (2014)

References

Periodicals

  • Cineforum no.461 (January/February 2007) pp.46-59 (Italy) – illustrated article (M: Il “mostro” è tra di noi by Cesare Secchi)
  • Empire no.233 (November 2008) pp.88-172 – illustrated article (The 500 greatest movies of all time)
  • Empire no.249 (March 2010) p.155 – illustrated DVD review (Re.View: M by Ian Nathan)
  • Sight & Sound vol.20 no.4 (April 2010) pp.40-44 – illustrated article (M: murder in the city by Iain Sinclair)

Books