M (1931 Film - Restored)
M (German: M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder, lit. M – A City Searches for a Murderer). Audio in German with English subtitles.
M is a 1931 German thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre in his breakthrough role as Hans Beckert, a serial killer of children. An early example of a procedural drama, the film centers on the manhunt for Lorre’s character, conducted by both the police and the criminal underworld.
The film's screenplay was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. It features many cinematic innovations, including the use of long, fluid tracking shots, and a musical leitmotif in the form of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" whistled by Lorre's character. Now considered a timeless classic, the film was deemed by Lang to be his magnum opus.
It is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, and an indispensable influence on modern crime and thriller fiction.
Cast & Characters:
- Peter Lorre as Hans Beckert. M was Lorre's first major starring role, and it boosted his career, even though he was typecast as a villain for years afterward in films such as Mad Love and Crime and Punishment. Before M, Lorre had been mostly a comedic actor. After fleeing from the Nazis, he landed a major role in Alfred Hitchcock's first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), picking up English along the way.
- Otto Wernicke as Inspector Karl Lohmann. Wernicke made his breakthrough with M after playing many small roles in silent films for over a decade. After his part in M he was in great demand due to the success of the film, including returning to the role of Karl Lohmann in The Testament of Doctor Mabuse, and he played supporting roles for the rest of his career.
- Gustaf Gründgens as Der Schränker (The Safecracker). Gründgens received acclaim for his role in the film and established a successful career for himself under Nazi rule, ultimately becoming director of the Staatliches Schauspielhaus (National Dramatic Theatre).
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