Like a brand, the letter M has made it's mark on film history; it's disturbing theme having lost none of its impact or relevance. Sinister, dark and foreboding, M tells the story of Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) - child molester and murderer. Tension builds - a child late home - another child missing. Posters reveal the fate of earlier victims, and the Police seem to have few clues as to the perpetrator of the crimes. Gangsters, beggars and petty criminals, incensed by both the crimes and the Police crackdown, track the killer themselves. Cornered, caught and dragged off to face an equally barbaric form of justice, Beckert endures his own personal torment.
Metropolis may attract all the attention but M is a masterful film that was originally banned for decades. The restoration here is a tremendous job, pulling additional scenes from other prints to assemble the nearest thing we have to a complete version. However it still remains a few minutes short and you can see where some gaps exists. Yet this doesn't spoil your enjoyment with Peter Lorre never better and Lang's inventive use of reflections, compositions and sound, always proving memorable.
Two audio commentaries: One by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler; The other featuring film restoration expert Martin Koerber, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, historian Torsten Kaier and excerpts from Bogdanovich's 1965 interviews with Lang
The original 1932 British release version of M, presented in its entirety, recently rediscovered, featuring different actors, alternate takes, and Peter Lorre's first performance in English, courtesy of the BFI National Archive
Zum beispiel Fritz Lang, a 1968 documentary by Erwin Leiser with Fritz Lang discussing his career in German cinema
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