“M” is a German thriller film released in 1931, directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, and Inge Landgut. The film tells the story of a child murderer who terrorizes the city of Berlin, and the efforts of both the police and the criminal underworld to capture him.
The film opens with the murder of a young girl, and we see the impact that the crime has on the city as panic and fear spread throughout the community. The police launch an intensive investigation, but their efforts are hampered by the murderer’s cunning and elusive nature.
Meanwhile, the criminal underworld also takes notice of the killings, and a group of gangsters form their own search party to find the murderer and bring him to justice. When the murderer is eventually caught, he is put on trial, and we see the conflict between the desire for justice and the need for compassion and mercy.
Peter Lorre delivers a chilling and unforgettable performance as the child murderer, portraying him as a disturbed and tortured individual who is unable to control his own impulses. Fritz Lang’s masterful direction creates a dark and suspenseful atmosphere that captures the anxiety and paranoia of a city in crisis.
The film explores themes of crime and punishment, justice and mercy, and the uneasy relationship between the law and the criminal underworld. “M” is widely regarded as a classic of German cinema and a landmark in the history of thriller films.
Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang, Egon Jacobsohn
Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut