Saturday, September 10, 2016

M (1951)

Director: Joseph Losey

Writers: Norman Reilly Raine, Leo Katcher, Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou

Composer: Michel Michelet

Starring: David Wayne, Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel,Luther Adler, Steve Brodie, Raymond Burr, Glenn Anders, Norman Lloyd, Jim Backus, William Schallert

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  The most gripping motion picture you've ever seen! "M" has struck again!

Plot: In this Americanization of the 1931 German thriller, both the police and the criminal underworld stalk a mysterious killer who preys on small children.

My rating:  7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

Maybe it's me but I find it unusual for subjects as dark as this to be covered so seriously when this was made.  I've seen gobs of movies from this era so I think I might be right but who knows.  Anyway, it's been at least twenty-five years since I saw the Fritz Lang's 1931 classic, so long that I remember only a few key beats.  This remake is pretty damn good.  It's got the period tough talk you find in crime pictures and it's got an often stark look to it but not as stylish as Lang's.  I like the harshness of it all.  There are long stretch of no music which work really well.  You don't get to see the child murders on screen.  Less than halfway into the picture the chase is on and things pick up a little but it's already a briskly-paced flick. The finale with the mob is chilling and passionate.  The killer's compelling plea is strong.  There are some valid arguments made between he and the alcoholic attorney.  I think the original ended differently but it makes no difference, really.  This remake is a strong picture on its own.  Losey & co. did a masterful job.

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