A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled offscreen tells us that a young girl will be killed. “Who is the murderer?” pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann … In his harrowing masterwork M, Fritz Lang merges trenchant social commentary with chilling suspense, creating a panorama of private madness and public hysteria that to this day remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller.
Why You Should See This Film
One of the most important films of the especially rich Weimar era of German cinema, including masterworks like Nosferatu, Metropolis and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Fritz Lang’s M stood out among its contemporaries for its especially harrowing portrayal of humanity’s darkest instincts. The first serial killer movie, and still among the best, it will forever be remembered for Peter Lorre’s chilling performance, stark visuals and historical resonance.
- Year: 1931
- Rating: M
- Director: Fritz Lang
- Cast: Peter Lorre
- Duration: 110 minutes
- Language: German with English subtitles