M

  • Directed by Fritz Lang
  • Germany, 1931, 111 mins., German

Featuring a new digital restoration by the Munich Film Archive, M is one of the most influential films in the thriller genre. Fritz Lang’s first sound film is a haunting, terrifying dive into an urban underworld where the lines between good and evil are disturbingly murky. Hans Beckert—Peter Lorre in an indelible performance—is a child murderer tracked by both the police and his criminal colleagues. “In the rigor of its construction where theme, style, and mood all express a kind of entrapment that is at once psychological and based in reality, M is a precursor not only to Lang’s American films but to American film noir in general. Sound is used ingeniously, with music limited to the Peer Gynt theme, which both torments the murderer and hauntingly announces his presence in place of the image. Few films have so successfully fused atmosphere with plot, image with sound, and expressed gestures with those unexpressed but felt.”—British Film Institute.

Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery