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Sunday, May 8, 2011

M - 1931

M is a brilliant film for so many reasons. Fritz Lang's masterpiece is usually considered Metropolis, and I cannot speak for it as I have yet to watch it, though from what I have seen M is hands down Lang's finest film. I absolutely loved everything about this movie, from beginning to end, and from what I have read it is the first movie ever made about a serial killer. Because it is German I think many people from America will overlook it as one of the greatest films ever made. I mean nowadays people just don't seem to want to sit down and watch a movie in a different language than their own, and that is a real shame, M is far better than most films ever made in America.

M follows the story of a town which is one day under the attack of a man who looks as if he has an eye for children. A child goes missing and is suspected to have been murdered, then after that child after child begins to be kidnapped. But there is one very big, important problem. No one has any clue or starting point as to where the killer lives, or who he is. This soon starts many problems, as a man is now arrested basically anytime he talks to a child, with police strictly roaming every inch of the town all the time. But this is not just a problem for the common folk, the criminals dealing with organized crime can no longer make a living due to the police around all the time, so they decide to team up on their own and hunt down this man.

M is not a performance heavy film, and though I usually do not like that, it does work here. The acting was good by everyone, but I don't think there is really much to talk about or praise, just that the acting was good all around. Except I must admit, during the final act Peter Lorre was fantastic in his role as the murderer. He may not do a whole lot of acting in the film, as his character does not require it, but that moment at the end of the film was incredible.

To me, however, the most impressive part of the film was the direction by Fritz Lang and the writing. The entire vision of the film is brilliant beyond words. Despite being in 1931, M is not for a moment a boring film, and that was a bit surprising considering Lang is a director that has obviously dealt with silent films. There is no real attempt to hide the identity of the killer, but I love everything about how this film is developed. It was an amazing thing to me how M was made, and I would honestly like to learn more about it. The first half of the film it shows us everything about the children being kidnapped, and how our killer works, and if you pay close attention, it gives a bit of the ending away fairly early. But then as the second half comes to a close and we hear the explanation of the killer, that is when I realized just how great of a film M is.

Overall, M if you are a film buff looking for a great movie, M is a true classic in the art of film making. It is both creative and unique, especially for its time. Every moment in this film was fantastic, and if you can appreciate a film from 1931, you will love this movie.

Rating: 10/10


  1. M was so ahead of its time, it blows my mind. I actually do prefer it over Metropolis, and I'm sure there are others out there who will agree as well. When you watch a film like this it's no surprise that someone like Lang became a legendary director.

  2. Good choice Matt.
    I love older films and I think anyone who dismisses them is really missing out.
    I also agree with Laura's opinion in that I prefer M to Metroplolis, although any film directed by Lang is worth watching in my book.

  3. Laura - Really? Well I suppose I will have to see Metropolis and decide for myself. Thanks so much for reading!

    Paul S - Glad we agree. And from what I have seen any Lang film is very good, though this is my favorite so far. Thanks for reading!

  4. Nice review,
    This is easily one of my favourites, probably top ten material. Lang was such a genius director, you really should see Metropolis now!

  5. Thanks Jack, I would at least put it in my top 20. And I will be seeing that one in a hurry!

  6. Yeah this is definitely one of the finest examples of film making I have ever seen.

  7. I've never seen this!! But I have seen Metropolis twice on the big screen. Lang was way ahead of his time and Metropolis is definitely worth your while seeing.
    Absolutely agree with your prescient observation that most people seem to have an aversion to foreign language films. Not me!! I love them as much as English languaged ones. But I'm very broad minded and see as many films as possible no matter what language they are in.

  8. I will be seeing that soon, as I just got it from netflix, so I'll be reviewing it as well. And I pretty much agree with everything you said. Just because a movie is not American does not make it any worse, the Academy needs to see that too.

  9. I've just watched this several nights ago!! Lang's best no question. He was so ahead of what anyone else in the world was doing at the time and it is interesting that he was a big influence on a certain Alfred Hithcock. A truely great film, total masterpiece material.

  10. hey matt, i'm reviewing this for next tuesdays noir-a-thon post. if you want to submit a capsule i'll include it towards the end of my post. if not i'll just add a link