Monday, November 14, 2011

M - The Criterion Collection

M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (1931)

Currently #52 of the Top 250 Films on IMDb
(As of this posting)

Directed by Fritz Lang

Written by: Thea von Harbou and Fritz Lang
Based on the article by Egon Jacobson

Stars: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke,  Theodor Loos and Inge Landgut

I always wanted to see M,  even though I knew very little about the movie. It is one of top film voted on by users that have seen it. The movie does not disappoint for the most part.

The story follows a suspected child killer, Hans Beckert (Lorre) as he is pursued by all sides. The police want to arrest him and put him on trail, the public wants to crucify him and a bunch of hoods have to deliver street justice on him.

Not being familiar with German films, I was caught off guard with the way that the people were interacting with each other. The beginning of the movie was a slow deliberate burn to add to the tension of the latest victim of Beckart, Elsie Beckmann (Landgut) rocks a small neighborhood. Then, it became chaotic with the different people shouting at each other. It was hard to keep up with what was going.

When the witch hunt focuses in on Beckert, the movie began to take an interesting turn. It dealt more with this disturbed man that is constantly in a "deer in headlights" mode that we feel what it happening to him.

The movie takes an interesting look at the psyche of the human condition. You almost feel sorry for this monster that killed nine little girls as the angry mob want to give him his comeuppance. I also felt the anger from the crowd towards the man as he could get away with murder unless someone stops him.

It is a relevant piece about what is right and wrong. Is there a gray area? Is justice blind?

The movie certainly got better as it went along and I was glad that I stayed on the ride.

My Rating:

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