M | M – Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder – dir. Fritz Lang, 1931

date: 01/08/2012 time: 10:00 place: PGE Cinema film program: German Expressionism artistic program: films

DE | 1931 | 117 min
reż|dir Fritz Lang prod|pro Seymour Nebenzal scen|wr Thea von Harbou, Fritz Lang zdj|ph Fritz Arno Wagner mon|ed Paul Falkenberg ob|cast Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Gustaf Gründgens dys|dis Präsens Film


In his first sound drama Fritz Lang renounces staging pomp in favour of greater realism. Afternoon in a city. Mrs Bechmann awaits her daughter’s return from school. The girl however becomes the victim of a serial killer. City dwellers are driven to psychosis, no one feels secure and everyone becomes a potential slayer. The police are flooded with hundreds of reports on suspects. Desperate, they make numerous arrests which becomes a nuisance to criminal underworld. The latter are bound eventually to take matters in their own hands.

The film was inspired by a press coverage on Vampire of Düsseldorf. “M” exploits the structure of newspaper report and uses sound in an innovative manner. Siegfried Kracauer points out: “Aimed at amplifying the atmosphere of dread and terror, Lang’s employment of sound is so explorative that nothing might match it in the whole history of sound movie.” Peter Lore gave an unforgettable performance in his starring role.