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M (Criterion Collection) (1931)

Cast: Peter Lorre, Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, more...
Director: Fritz Lang, Fritz Lang
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Foreign, Germany, Cops, Criterion Collection
Running Time: 110 min.
Languages: German
Subtitles: English
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This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
Fritz Lang's classic early talkie crime melodrama is set in 1931 Berlin. The police are anxious to capture an elusive child murderer (Peter Lorre) and begin rounding up every criminal in town. The Underworld leaders decide to take the heat off their activities by catching the child killer themselves. Once the killer is fingered, he is marked with the letter "M" chalked on his back. He is tracked down and captured by the combined forces of the Berlin criminal community, who put him on trial for his life in a kangaroo court. The killer pleads for mercy, whining that he can't control his homicidal instincts. The police close in and rescue the killer from the Underworld, so that he can stand trial again in "respectable" circumstances. Some prints of the film end with a caution to the audience to watch after their children more carefully. Filmed in Germany, M was the film that solidified Fritz Lang's reputation with American audiences, and also made a star out of Peter Lorre (previously a specialist in comedy roles!) M was remade by Hollywood in 1951, with David Wayne giving a serviceable performance as the killer. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Effective March 31, 2004 The Criterion Collection DVD of Fritz Lang's M will be on moratorium. The Criterion Collection is planning to release a NEWLY RE-MASTERED version of the DVD of M in late 2004. In the meantime, we will only have a limited number of copies of this DVD. Thanks for your patience.




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Moveline's 100 Best Foreign Films
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This list was published in Moveline's July 1996 issue.
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Village Voice's 100 Best Films of the 20th Century
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When the Village Voice held its "First Annual Film Critics' Poll" they asked 50 or so film critics (like Molly Haskell, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Andrew Sarris) to rank their top ten best films of the century. This is the result.
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