M (1951) 720p

Movie Poster
M (1951) - Movie Poster
Drama | Film-Noir
Frame Rate:
24 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
86 min
IMDB Rating:
6.8 / 10 
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Directors: Joseph Losey [Director] ,

Movie Description:
There is a baby killer loose and the police can't find him. He is a sick, psychotic and confused individual, though guilty. The increased police activity trying to find the baby killer is interfering with the mob's criminal activities. The gangsters are not pleased the intense police attention so the mob decides to find him themselves. The mob bosses send the mobsters out to find him. He is found and the young girl he grabbed is saved. A mock trial is conducted in the basement of a parking garage in front of mass of gangsters who captured him and citizens demanding blood. The baby criminal is defended by a lawyer provided by the mob boss. As the police show up, the mob boss shoots the lawyer defending the baby killer because he is doing too good of a job defending the baby killer. Both the mob boss and the baby killer are taken into custody by the police for justice. As the movie ends and the guilty are led out of the parking garage, we hear the spooky single tune played on a flute ...


  • M (1951) - Movie Scene 1
  • M (1951) - Movie Scene 2
  • M (1951) - Movie Scene 1

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Blind Panic

If the mastodons over at the House Un-American Activities Committee hadn'tenough reason to blacklist Joseph Losey than his remake of Fritz Lang's classicM gave it to them. This is Losey's best broadside against the witch hunts andthe blind panic the gripped vast sections of the American public ferreting outCommunists and their fellow travelers.

There's a serial killer of little girls operating in a small American city and it's gotthe police baffled. With conditions as they are the police turning up the heat,organized crime types can't operate so the local Don played by Martin Gabelstarts his own manhunt. He can move into places local police chief HowardDaSilva can't.

The killer is mild mannered David Wayne a truly pitiable sort when unmasked.His devolution of defenses is something to see.

Good ensemble cast worked with the leads. A good remake of a classic.

Oy! What an Ending!!!!

This remake was really good. That is, until the last quarter when it took a really stupid and moronic turn. The ending was atrocious and completely ruined the rest of the film.

OMG! I endured like 20 minutes of stupidity that made no sense. In fact, it was so moronic, I had a hard time following it because it didnt make any sense.What a disappointment.

Brilliant and subversive. More than a copycat version of the original.

The best way to appreciate this film, in fact the only way, is to forget that it is a remake. Impossible, you say? Try. Try to accept it on its own, as its own work of art. Have a hypnotist come over, wave a shiny object: "Until I click my fingers you will forget you ever saw Peter Lorre, ever saw a movie of 1931." Open your eyes and regard a masterpiece. Appreciate the cinematography of Ernest Laszlo, the acting of a great ensemble cast. There's Norman Lloyd (the saboteur in "Saboteur"), Walter Burke (the bodyguard in "All the King's Men"), Glenn Anders (immortalized in "The Lady from Shanghai"), Raymond Burr (the sadistic mobster of "Raw Deal"), not to mention Luther Adler as an alcoholic legal mouthpiece (a touch of Van Heflin in "Johnny Eager"). David Wayne (remember, forget Peter Lorre) is brilliant as the killer.

It's no secret. Many of "M's" contributors soon disappeared into the blacklist: Luther Adler, Norman Lloyd, Howard da Silva, Joseph Losey himself. Usually, it is headscratchingly hard to find subversion in the acts of the hundreds of actors, writers and directors proscribed by the Red Scare. What, in heaven's name, did John Garfield do or say in any of his films that rated him an enemy of his country? Try to figure out what in "The Best Years of our Lives" sent Ayn Rand up the wall screaming un-Americanism. Sometimes, however, Ayn had a point - a nasty, vicious point, certainly, but a point, from her point of view. "M" is one case (though she neglected to point to it). It cannot be a coincidence that, of all the actresses available, they chose Karen Morley to play the mother of the killer's first victim. She was the most unapologetic "subversive" of the day. Once the blacklist got her, she waved goodbye to Hollywood and ran for lieutenant-governor of New York as an avowed socialist. This "M" is a remake. So, it needs to follow the original. But its message doesn't follow the original. Sure, the story requires the criminals to act as cops. But it doesn't require that the cops be criminals. Violate every civil right, the detective lieutenant repeatedly recommends. Let's harass the citizenry. Beat the suspects silly. Use a playbook the SS would have approved. If only we policemen could be a law unto ourselves, he laments, we'd soon sanitize society. I don't remember that in the original. They don't do it. But nobody shuts him up. The killer had been hospitalized. He was released because hospitals are underfunded. (I lived in California when Ronald Reagan made a goal of emptying the state's mental health facilities.) The killer is obviously insane. He'll be hospitalized again. No, the chief of police declares. He'll burn. At which Howard da Silva's weary detective captain sighs, ironically: "That's right. That's right. That'll fix everything." The film ends with anarchy. The criminals stand in judgment on the murderer. That's in the original. They become not the mob but a mob, Paris in 1793. Even their cool and efficient boss (Martin Gabel) becomes unhinged. That's not in the original. The police dream of indulging in unchained brutality. The people are rage-filled and conditioned to inhumanity. We are one step from dystopia. The ending, for me, is perfect. The original ends with a tag scene showing the killer's legal trial. It adds a warning: good mothers, guard your good little children. Here that advice comes much earlier in a police broadcast. The good mothers, clearly, ignore it. Here there's no moralizing tag scene. It ends abruptly, in sheer insanity. It's "King of Hearts." The lunatics have left the asylum. How much more subversive can a movie be? Quick! Get the blacklist.
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