W: Thea Von Harbou, Paul Falkenberg, Adolf Jansen & Karl
DP: Fritz Arno Wagner & Gustav Rathje
Ed: Paul Falkenberg
Mus: Edvard Grieg
Peter Lorre (Franz Becker), Otto Wernicke
(Inspector Karl Lohmann), Gustaf Grundgens (Schraenker), Theo Lingen (Bauemfaenger), Theodor Loos (Commissioner Groeber)
In a small German community, a child molester and murderer
evades capture by the police and a mob of the townsfolk begin to take the law into their own hands to find the person who is killing the town's children.
The decades may have dated M into a dramatic crime thriller,
but when it was originally released in 1931 Germany it was very much a horror story, filled with expressionism by director Fritz Lang, who made the story a parable with the rising fascism in his
native country (the original title translated as "The Murderers Are Among Us")
Peter Lorre is excellent in the central role, sinister with
everything he does, and the use of "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" as music to introduce his character works in a very unsettling way.
This was Fritz Lang's first production in sound, and though it
has some silent scenes they serve the expressionistic style of the film well.
This work was so controversial at its time that the Nazi
regime banned it when they took power in 1933, leading to some degradation in the prints.