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M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (1931)

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Thea von Harbou (script), Fritz Lang (script)
Reviews
Popularity
3,329 ( 56)
Top Rated Movies #80 | 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Lorre ... Hans Beckert
Ellen Widmann Ellen Widmann ... Frau Beckmann
Inge Landgut ... Elsie Beckmann
Otto Wernicke ... Inspector Karl Lohmann
Theodor Loos ... Inspector Groeber
Gustaf Gründgens ... Schränker
Friedrich Gnaß Friedrich Gnaß ... Franz
Fritz Odemar ... The Cheater
Paul Kemp ... Pickpocket with Six Watches
Theo Lingen ... Bauernfänger
Rudolf Blümner Rudolf Blümner ... Beckert's Defender
Georg John ... Blind Panhandler
Franz Stein Franz Stein ... Minister
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur ... Police Chief
Gerhard Bienert Gerhard Bienert ... Criminal Secretary
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Storyline

In Germany, Hans Beckert is an unknown killer of girls. He whistles Edvard Grieg's 'In The Hall of the Mountain King', from the 'Peer Gynt' Suite I Op. 46 while attracting the little girls for death. The police force pressed by the Minister give its best effort trying unsuccessfully to arrest the serial killer. The organized crime has great losses due to the intense search and siege of the police and decides to chase the murderer, with the support of the beggars association. They catch Hans and briefly judge him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

IT STAGGERS THE SENSES!...SHOCKS the Imagination - It will leave you Gasping - It is the Sensation of 3 Continents!


Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

16 October 1931 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

M See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,123, 14 March 1931, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$35,566, 31 December 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nero-Film AG See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2004 Criterion DVD edition) | (2000 restored) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, along with Costa-Gavras' Z (1969) and Tobias Lindholm's R (2010), and many others, holds the record for the shortest movie title in existence. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Hans Beckert: I can't help what I do! I can't help it, I can't...
Criminal: The old story! We never can help it in court!
Hans Beckert: What do you know about it? Who are you anyway? Who are you? Criminals? Are you proud of yourselves? Proud of breaking safes or cheating at cards? Things you could just as well keep your fingers off. You wouldn't need to do all that if you'd learn a proper trade or if you'd work. If you weren't a bunch of lazy bastards. But I... I can't help myself! I have no control over this, this evil thing ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

All of the original credits appear only in the beginning with no music. See more »

Alternate Versions

During the time the US remake M was released, producer Seymour Nebenzal re-released the original film. For this re-release some things were changed, i.e. a new title sequence with music (Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King") was added, as well as sound effects during some silent passages. In addition, the film was cut down to 99 minutes, removing i.e. any material that made the government look foolish. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dark City: Memories of Shell Beach (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Performed by Peter Lorre
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
You'll Remember This One Forever
16 December 1998 | by Scott-4See all my reviews

This is one of those movies that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The characters are ugly and disturbing, there is nothing "cute" in this movie.

There are constant parallelisms drawn between the police and the underworld and the common way in which they operate.

We also get to journey into the mind of the madman. If you enjoyed "Silence of the Lambs", you should see this also.

Of course you must be patient enough to deal with subtitles, and the fact that this is a very old movie - one of the first "talkies". But most viewers will get something out of the dialogue even without knowing the German language.


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