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M

Germany, German, 117 mins

  • Director: Fritz Lang
  • Writer: Egon Jacobson; Thea von Harbou
  • Producer: Seymour Nebenzal

CGiii Comment

This is the first serial killer movie - made before the term had even been coined.

It was also Lang's and Germany's first talking picture...it is the complete antithesis of The Jazz Singer (1927).

There is no music...just dark, menacing atmospheres.

The 110 minute version is a moody marathon of tedium.

The final 15 minutes are remarkable...for Lorre's ham acting alone.

Rated as a masterpiece by pseudo-academics - it is NOT. Far from it...important because it was a first for the genre (and for noir).

One for discussion in the student bar - time to reduce this once mountain into what it really is NOW - a molehill.

Old films do not deserve reverential treatment - see them as they are NOW.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

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.

Cast & Characters

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 Grundgens as Schranker;
Friedrich Gnass as Franz, the burglar;
Fritz Odemar as The cheater;
Paul Kemp as Pickpocket with six watches;
Theo Lingen as Bauernfanger;
Rudolf Blumner as Beckert's defender;
Georg John as Blind panhandler;
Franz Stein as Minister;
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur as Police chief;
Gerhard Bienert as Criminal secretary

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