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Purchase M (1931) Movie Online and Download - Fritz Lang 🎥
Year:
1931
Country:
Germany
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Film-Noir
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre as Hans Beckert
Ellen Widmann as Frau Beckmann
Inge Landgut as Elsie Beckmann
Otto Wernicke as Inspector Karl Lohmann
Theodor Loos as Inspector Groeber
Gustaf Gründgens as Schränker
Friedrich Gnaß as Franz, the burglar
Fritz Odemar as The cheater
Paul Kemp as Pickpocket with six watches
Theo Lingen as Bauernfänger
Rudolf Blümner as Beckert's defender
Georg John as Blind panhandler
Franz Stein as Minister
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur as Police chief
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.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 864x720 px 4479 Mb h264 1536 Kbps mkv Purchase
HQ DVD-rip 720x576 px 2897 Mb mpeg4 3647 Kbps mp4 Purchase
DVD-rip 528x432 px 1551 Mb mpeg4 1952 Kbps avi Purchase
Reviews
M = Milestone...Mesmerizing...Masterpiece!
Fritz Lang's second absolute landmark (after the equally brilliant but completely different 'Metropolis') and also his first opportunity to work with the wonders of sound. And boy, did he ever deliver a great piece of work! Like the M (for murderer) is marked on Peter Lorre's coat, the film M (for masterpiece) is branded on cinema history annals for all eternity. Lang's film is a triumph in every possible viewpoint and it covers a lot more genres and elements than just simply the manhunt for a child-molester.

*** SPOILERS ****

The horrors 'M' handles about is timeless and of all cultures, but yet it'll always remain a taboo subject and for that reason alone Fritz Lang deserves extra praising. In an utterly astonishing way, Peter Lorre portrays Hans Beckert, a child murderer who single-handedly terrorizes four and half million people simply by his uncontrollable urge to kidnap and molest young schoolgirls. The grim and haunting atmosphere is terrifically built up by images of previous Beckert-victims and the disappearance a new unfortunate girl. Her toy rolling of a remote hills...a balloon drifting away on the wind. Really simple but extremely efficient methods to reflect the ominous actions that just took place. Other than to focus on the further actions of the killer, Lang turns to the effect this terror has on the city and how the manhunt for Beckert develops. Our director is obviously fascinated by how a police procedure is organized and he serves the viewer a detailed overview of all the steps taken by the investigators. Meanwhile, he grabs the opportunity to forcefully criticize the media's influence and the German law system with both hands. I'd really like to stress that Lang's subtle mockery was a really risky thing to do with the upcoming Nazi-reign, so you can't admire him enough. Due to the constant (and fruitless) raids the police are holding in the hope to capture the killer, the criminal underworld begins to lose its profits as well and they start their own manhunt for the killer, assisted by whores, beggars and petty thieves. With the carefully observing eyes all over town, it becomes practically impossible for Becker to satisfy his monstrous needs. The almighty Peter Lorre arrives late in the film every moment he's on screen is a moment worth treasuring. His sad appearance and cruel testimony are sequences that leave no human being unmoved. Lorre is a brilliant actor and this is inarguably one of the most impressive performances of all time.

'M' features constant tension, outstanding dialogue and stunning camera-work. As said before, Fritz Lang had the opportunity to work with sound for this film and he immediately makes the most out of this. This was the first 'big' German production that featured sound and it STILL ranks as the title that made best use of it...and that sure means something after more than 70 years. There's the chilling and legendary tune Lorre constantly whistles but also the absence of sound Lang uses to portray the besieged city. As you can tell from the above review, 'M' is absolute must-see and easily one of the most essential productions ever shot. It's light-years ahead of its time and still disturbing after all these years. This film is a mesmerizing portrait about the darkest, most alarming aspects of humanity and yet still it doesn't live up to real-life facts. As you probably know, the plot of 'M' is based on the whereabouts of the serial killer Peter Kürten who brutally murdered many victims in the city of Düsseldorf. I read a biography on Kürten recently and the true details of his crimes and animal-lusts go beyond every filmmaker's wildest imagination.
2004-10-05
I can't help what I do! I can't help it, I can't...
We see the beginnings of film noir in Germany's first talking picture. It also has some remnants of German Expressionism. But what is most impressive is the story itself.

Anyone that has followed cases of missing children know what the police go through, and watching this crime/psychological thriller and the search for a child serial killer is just like watching the 6 o'clock news today.

The acting is superb, and the story is compelling. It is not so much about the killer, but about the people's reactions to the fear he has filled them with. Of course, the thieves and prostitutes are too happy either with cops everywhere. It was absolutely hilarious to watch the cops planning how to step up raids while, at the same time across town, the underworld was trying to figure out how to catch the murderer and get back to business.

Both the police and the underworld get a break at the same time. But the underworld has him cornered and things are getting really tense. You cannot image what they do to try and find him. This was the most innovative story I have seen.

The "trial" was magnificent! The print was absolutely perfect and the lighting was superb. The sound was even OK for the first use.

Gustaf Gründgens was superb as the leader of the underworld, Theodor Loos equally so as the head of the police, and Peter Lorre was great as usual.
2009-04-09
The Ultimate Crime Drama, Years Before The Genre Took Off
A serial killer who favors children (Peter Lorre) is on the loose in Berlin. He is wanted by the police. But, even worse for him, he is wanted by the Berlin underworld, who have been targeted falsely by the police for being involved. Watch out, child killer!

There is nothing bad I can say about this film. The acting, the directing, the sound... all perfect. Many have praised Lang for his use of sound at a time when the practice was just coming into play. And rightfully so. Whereas other films have sound matching what is on the screen, Lang realized he could use the effect to signify what he was not showing, including the murderer (who has a distinctive whistle). Brilliant. Not to mention that one key role is a blind beggar... a man who cannot appreciate visuals, but only sounds... he is appropriately the man who can identify the killer!

Basing the story loosely off of child-murderers of the day (Grossman, Haarman and Peter Kürten) this is one of the darkest tales set to film up to this point. There is no blood, and no children are actually seen killed. And the killer is relatively reserved compared to his real-life counterparts, who were also rapists and cannibals. He presents an interesting defense: his crimes are less wrong than the crimes of others because he cannot psychologically control himself. Or, in modern terms, not guilty by reason of mental defect. Is a child killer less evil than a pickpocket? Is he in some way also a victim?

I enjoyed the idea of a unionized underworld. I do not know the reality of this, as it seemed sort of comic and anticipated such villainous team-ups as we might see in comic books. But crime was certainly not unheard of, and even "black market meat" existed... and I am not sure if I really want to know what that means.

Many, including reviewer Stanley Kauffmann, have noticed the similarity between "M" and Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera". Sadly, I have not seen Brecht's work and cannot comment on the comparison. German philosopher Theodor Lessing, best known for his work on Jewish self-hatred, may even have been an inspiration, due to his work on Haarmann. But regardless of inspiration, Lang is the master here... his work stands the test of time and today, almost a century later, is widely recognized as one of the greatest achievements on film. At the least, many consider it the all-time greatest German film. And rightfully so.

There are so many great shots, including the so-called "inventory" shot of the criminal underworld's wares. Lang also excelled with the camera angles, using knives as frames and getting more than one great mirror shot. (I should also give credit to cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner, who previously worked on "Nosferatu" and many others -- his reputation should be second only to Karl Freund.)

There is nothing that beats the Criterion release with commentary, short films and more. I watched the film this way on DVD. Perhaps a Blu-ray release has even more, but I would not even know what could be added. This disc is packed and a must-own for any film historian or Lang fan.
2010-02-02
Who is the murderer?
Peter Lorre is absolutely unforgettable playing that most despicable of criminals, the murderer of children. The police of Berlin are having a very tough time identifying him as the culprit, but ultimately he is found out. Not by the police, but by the city's criminal underworld. They determine to mete out their own brand of vigilante justice. Not so much for altruistic motives, but because the increased police action is hurting their way of life.

This early sound effort for both Germany and the highly regarded filmmaker Fritz Lang is a classic example of that form of cinema known as "Expressionism". It's stunningly shot and directed, counteracting its police procedural aspects with a matter of fact depiction of the machinations of this underworld. There's no music score, but then the script (by Thea von Harbou and director Lang, based on an article by Egon Jacobson) gets by just fine without one. Director Lang is still able to generate sufficient tension without that kind of assistance.

A film of this kind wouldn't quite be to all tastes, as some people might feel that there is more talk (and the script *is* dialogue heavy) than action. But there is also plenty of wonderful black & white imagery on display, and a riveting climax where these gangland bosses give Lorre their own version of a trial.

Although one shouldn't feel pity for such a beast - and Lang doesn't try to make the viewer feel that way - the killer is turned into a vivid, compelling character by Lorre. He desperately tries to make the case that he's not in control of his own actions, and is simply compelled to murder. He may not be pitiable, but he *is* pathetic.

86 years later, the theme is still extremely relevant, and the fact that the story was at the time contemporary and not a traditional Gothic or anything like that gives it real immediacy. The setting may have been Depression era Germany, but much of the dialogue could easily be heard today.

Nine out of 10.
2017-05-17
M for Masterpiece
Someone is murdering children in a German town. The police are doing all they can to solve the case but, after several months, several murders and exhausting work, still have no clues. Their methods of trying to find the murderer start to adversely affect the local criminal community. Due to this, the local organised crime syndicate takes it upon themselves to find the murderer and mete out punishment...

Powerful, provocative, thought-provoking masterpiece from famed director Fritz Lang. For the most part this is a clever, gritty, tense, film noir-like (as it predates film noir, strictly speaking) crime/mystery drama. Shows how the police go about their work and how often nothing positive happens for months, and then the smallest thing breaks the case wide open. The criminals' methods in finding the murderer are also very interesting, and realistic.

Lang maintains the suspense and mystery well, only revealing the murderer in the last few scenes and even then you're not sure they have the right guy.

The last few scenes add a level of profundity and debate to the proceedings. We are forced to think about justice, especially vigilante justice, and the concept of of an eye for an eye. This can be quite jarring, as you may feel that Lang is steering you down one way of thinking and even wants you to feel sympathy for the murderer. However, ultimately, while justice was served, he does leave the verdict open to a degree, leaving you to fill in your own outcome. Moreover, the ultimate feeling was a balanced, objective discussion was had.

Superb performance by Peter Lorre as the murderer. He only has a few scenes but is fantastic in them. Good work too by Otto Wernicke as the police inspector.
2017-02-10
"This won't bring back our children"
While many of the problems of early sound pictures lampooned in Singin' in the Rain were more or less myths, the early talkies did present a big challenge for filmmakers everywhere. Europe however was at an advantage over Hollywood because even though it took them a few years to gain the same access to sound technology, films from the US would be screened abroad only six months or so after their first domestic release. Thus directors like Fritz Lang were able to witness Hollywood's first faltering steps with sound before giving it a go themselves.

It's funny how sceptics dismissed sound as a gimmick, because the best early uses of sound were those that treated it as exactly that – a gimmick. Lang demonstrates in M that a talkie need not be an entirely new kind of motion picture; sound is merely another layer of technique. Rather than getting bogged down in lengthy dialogue scenes, Lang keeps his storytelling primarily visual, and when he needs lots of expository dialogue he intercuts multiple scenes to keep the pace going. This is not to say Lang is trying to ignore sound – in fact he uses it to enhance the picture, sometimes having dialogue or other noises take place off-screen to focus us on reactions or cause-and-effect. Other times he ironically uses completely silence (something of course you never get with "silent" pictures due to the continuous musical score) giving a dreadful sense of eeriness.

And thankfully, the best elements of Lang's method have survived the talkie revolution. His visual style is particularly effective here in provoking a chilling, disturbing atmosphere. Shot compositions with large blank areas give a sense of surreal starkness. Characters often stare intensely straight at the camera, aggressively drawing the audience into the film's world. Several times we are even dumped straight into the point-of-view of the killer himself. The fragmented narrative with its lack of lead characters and impersonal, point-by-point plotting could easily be boring, but Lang holds our interest by keeping a dynamic sense of rhythm and telling the bulk of the tale through pure wordless imagery.

Lang's German pictures, in common with typical German cinema of the time, feature highly melodramatic acting and exaggerated, almost comical characters. These figures generally suited the fantasies and comic-book stories of Lang's silent days, but I'm not sure they sit so well with the close-to-home setting of M. Still, these characters are somewhat more effective now that they have voices, probably because most German screen actors of the day were from a stage background. Peter Lorre was a shameless ham, but that's what you need to play a psychopath, and in any case he's a lot better here than in many of his Hollywood roles. Otto Wernicke is also incredibly entertaining in the role of Inspector Karl "Fatty" Lohmann; again a stagy exaggeration but with some absolutely wonderful gestures and comic timing.

There isn't a lot else I can say about M – it is one of those pictures that has been analysed to death – although I doubt any comment other than mine mentions Singin' in the Rain in the opening line :). While not quite Lang's best picture, I can think of few directors who made such a smooth transition from silents to talkies, and sadly this was his penultimate German picture before the Nazis took over. There's no denying that Lang was wasted in Hollywood. He did his best to understand it, but by and large it never understood him. I say by and large; the renowned Irving Thalberg was reportedly bowled over by M, and screened it to many of his writers and directors as inspirational material. Had that prestigious and influential producer not died in 1936, the same year Lang began working in Hollywood, would things have turned out differently, I wonder?
2009-05-27
The Kind Of Movie You Want To See Everyday
This movie has it all! This is one of my all-time favorite movies. Many people have criticized it because it's from 1931 and I say: Who cares when you have such a great movie? Peter Lorre gives a 4 star performance as the child murderer, and may I say he is very very haunting. Fritz Lang's direction is superb; the cinematography is superb! The kangaroo court scene at the end is my favorite part, and it's brilliantly done. The plot is very well crafted. Even more amazing is the plot focuses around catching the murderer, but it is not boring for one second. Each scene flows beautifully into the next with some amazing chases, raids, and facial expressions. This is also a movie ahead of its time. This is definitely one of the all-time best movies!
2006-04-08
Fritz Lang's Finest Film
An expertly written & masterfully executed example of genre-filmmaking that was far ahead of its time back when it was released and which even today is counted amongst the greatest & most influential works of world cinema, Fritz Lang's M is an intriguing character study that paints an interesting portrait of a serial killer & is a biting criticism of a negligent society as well.

The story of M concerns a serial killer who preys on children & presents an underworld society whose usual business is disrupted due to the everyday raids carried out by the police to apprehend the killer-on-loose. Driven by police's continued failure & increasing losses in their business, the criminal bosses ultimately decide to take matters in their own hands & try to capture the killer all by themselves.

Directed by Fritz Lang, this is the film that the esteemed director called his finest & it's not really difficult to see why. The screenplay & direction brims with creativity, the suspense is wonderfully created & utilized, black-n-white photography is crisp & inventive, editing never lets the story settle down, score & sound effects work in seamless harmony, and Peter Lorre steals the show with a highly compelling performance.

On an overall scale, M is a cinematic treasure that has innovation written all over it. Whether it's the narrative style, leitmotifs, camera angles, sound mixing, symbolism or expressions, the contribution this German classic has made in the world of filmmaking is groundbreaking. A thought-provoking & well-researched study into the mind of a disturbed character, M is a strong meditation on the morals of right & wrong, that has a lot to say about our very own society.

Thoroughly recommended.
2013-08-09
outstanding film from Fritz Lang
Don't let the fact that this is a German language film get in the way of letting you watch it M is one of the best expressionist thrillers i have ever seen fritz Lang dose an incredible job of creating suspense and keeps you griped from the very start. Peter Lorre is a kind of actor you don't see much anymore and his performance is outstanding witch goes for most actors in this film. the film follows the story of Berlin suffering from horror of a child murderer although this might sound like a grim story the film is really very beautiful this is a must see for any fan of film or German expressionism. the use of sound is really what makes this film amazing, peter Lorre's whistle will be in your head for day. the only other fritz Lang movie i have seen is metropolis and i have to say although metropolis begin a great science fiction masterpiece i enjoyed M a lot more its not only a brilliant exciting film it is also a piece of history from a time when Germany played a massive part the world of cinema and if my word is not enough to persuade you into checking out this film maybe the fact it is part of the criterion collection can.
2009-09-26
This one should definitely be in your private collection
'M' is excellent in every single way. A movie with a magnificent plot. A movie with a superb acting. A movie with an even better filming. It's a masterpiece beyond time, a film so real and absorbing that you wont even stand to go to the bathroom. Lang's movie suggests a lot but says a lot, too. And it can be proved when the Nazis got it forbidden. The way it recreates a chaotic situation in which millions of people are affected because of a single man deeds is simply amazing. It's a movie about misery, and humans at their worst....and maybe a bit at their best. 'M' created a genre (film-noir) and, although being made in 1931, it's a guideline and a FAQ for making this kind of movies. A film that should be seen by many directors nowadays and by all you movies' fans. A classic, simply and totally. It deserves to be in your personal collection.
2008-01-08
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