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M (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1931)

Peter Lorre , Otto Wernicke , Fritz Lang  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)

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Region 28015 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Gründgens, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Writers: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Subtitled
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00393SFU2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,305 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "M (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler
  • The long-lost English-language version of M
  • Documentary on the physical history of M
  • Conversation with Fritz Lang, a fifty-minute film by William Friedkin
  • Claude Chabrol's short film M le maudit and interview with Chabrol
  • Classroom audiotapes of editor Paul Falkenberg
  • Video interview with Harold Nebenzal, son of M producer
  • Stills gallery, with behind-the-scenes photos and production sketches
  • Plus : A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Stanley Kauffmann
  • 1963 interview with director Fritz Lang
  • The script for a missing scene, and contemporaneous newspaper articles

  • Editorial Reviews

    A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled offscreen tells us that a young girl will be killed. "Who is the Murderer?" pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert, played by Peter Lorre (Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon), closes in on little Elsie Beckmann. In his harrowing masterwork M, Fritz Lang (Metropolis, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse) merges trenchant social commentary with chilling suspense, creating a panorama of private madness and public hysteria that to this day remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    228 of 235 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Again? ...but well, I've got to buy this one... January 4, 2005
    Format:DVD
    I'm sorry for those who already own the former 1999 Criterion DVD of M (including myself, of course....) but this one is a must-buy item.

    After more than 7 decades since its making, Fritz Lang's M remains a poignantly modern film; a striking portrait of the contemporary human world as we live in.

    Fritz Lang, who always regarded M as his best film and the one by which he would be remembered, used to call it "a documentary". It is one of the first films about serial killers, and already Lang goes beyond depicting the pathology of such criminal; what M examines is the pathology of our contemporary society of urbanization, mass politics, and mass media: it's also a film about a 20th century metropolis of mass society and mass media culture.

    The former Criterion DVD edition of M was made of the best available material back then-- a print restored from many different sources, re-establishing as close as possible, Lang's original release cut. It was also a good transfer for a standard, NTSC digital medium.

    But what sometime happen in the world of film restoration is, some materials that have been considered to be lost are suddenly be re-discovered. This new edition of M is created (for the most parts, expect for one reel which was missing) from the original camera negative, and transferred to HD video master. The result is-more details, less scratches, finer grains, and more subtleties.

    The earlier DVD was a bare one. This new edition presents Lang's portrayal of social pathology of the 30's also with an audio commentary by Anton Kaes and Eric Renteschler.
    Read more ›
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    55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A classic every film lover should see December 1, 2000
    Format:DVD
    "M" has everything you could hope in a great film. The acting by Peter Lorre, Gustaf Gründgens, Otto Wernicke, and the rest of the cast all perfectly convey the different personalities in this complex story. The use of black & white and shadows is very moody and haunting. The use of sound is very important since it will tell you things the camera isn't showing. The camera work itself is amazing. I especially love the long shot in the beginning of the scene of the beggars are signing up to watch the streets where the camera moves back and forth, up and into a room through a window without a cut.
    "M" offers so much for the viewer -- thrills, suspense, humor, terror! I enjoy it more and more with every repeated viewing. Fritz Lang does more than just give ideas on insane criminals. He compares and contrasts the police and the underworld criminal systems. You learn about the "state-of-the-art " systems of that time. And the last words harken a most important message that unfortunately is still true today. Also, if you look deeper, you can even sense Lang's anti-Nazi sentiments.
    It's a Criterion Collection DVD, so I had high expectations. I was disappointed with a lack of extras, but I happily noticed scenes that weren't on my VHS version. The picture was mostly clear with white lines rarely popping up. There were long passages of no sound at times, but it's possible it's supposed to be like that. (I no longer have my VHS version to compare.) The subtitles were clear and easy to read. There's interesting details on the film in the liner notes. And not like this would influence anyone's buying decisions, but I also loved the design on the case and the disc.
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    43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars In all fairness to Criterion June 7, 2002
    By A Customer
    Format:DVD
    This movie sounds VERY intriguing to me and I will probably purchase it... however, in fairness to the complaints about the Criterion transfer specifically, the lines at the top of the frame, I sent an email to Jon Mulvaney (who responds nearly immediately to ANY questions you have about Criterion releases) and I quote his reply:
    "The line that you are referring to was caused by the optical printer during the creation of the original film elements of M. Most video versions have cropped out the line, therefore deleting almost 25% of the picture. We choose not to, making our decision in consultation with the restoration group who did the work from original film elements in Germany. We've tried to correct the problem as much as possible, but no matter what, it can be distracting. Even Fritz Lang knew about this."
    As you would expect from them, Criterion did the best they could do (as ALWAYS!).
    Was this review helpful to you?
    21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive considering the film's age. January 6, 2000
    Format:DVD
    Another reviewer here has covered the plot of the film and how good a film it is quite well, so I will concern myself with the merits of the DVD itself. The transfer is very good for a film that is nearly 70 years old. It is clear and reasonably free from defects. There is one small place in which the film appears to fold over on itself, but this lasts for only a moment. It is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the standard at the time the film was made. The soundtrack is mono and presented entirely trough the center channel. The dialog is easily heard and understandable (if you speak German) and the subtitles are well done. The whistling of the piece from Grieg's Peer Gynt suite is a bit high and tinny at times, but that merely adds to the jarring effect that it is meant to (and does) have on the viewer. This film is a masterpiece from the earliest era of sound motion pictures, and it holds up well to this day. The presentation is not perfect, but it is pleasing and given the age of this film, I don't know that it could be done any better.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars High Schooler Approved Classic!
    Just to give you an idea of how good this movie is: I showed it to high school students (9th through 12th grade) and they loved it! Read more
    Published 6 days ago by J. Adams
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Brilliant, seminal work from the great Fritz Lang.
    Published 6 days ago by Adam LeGrant
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Good film
    Published 9 days ago by Aleesha
    5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Hall of the Mountain King
    No introductions needed surely for M, Fritz Lang's most celebrated masterpiece. Made in 1931, it seems as modern today as it must have been the day it was released and remains a... Read more
    Published 27 days ago by Film Buff
    2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
    Over rated.
    Published 1 month ago by DY
    5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Kafkaesque
    

Fritz Lang just might be the greatest director ever to have lived. He is also one of the most stylistically contradictory. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Mad Zack
    5.0 out of 5 stars it is not only one of the greatest movies ever made but it is one that...
    I recently became interested in "Noir". After seeing M appear in more than one "best of..." or "top _(insert number here)" list, I couldn't resist. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Bought this as a gift for my husband. It was an intriguing story.
    Published 1 month ago by Candace Scott
    5.0 out of 5 stars A must for cinema buffs. Top performance by Peter ...
    A must for cinema buffs. Top performance by Peter Lorre in his career. The drama has just a touch of humor which blends in without overpowering the powerful story line.
    Published 1 month ago by Warren B. in C. B.
    5.0 out of 5 stars M = Masterpiece.
    "M" is a classic German thriller, easily one of the greatest movies of the '30s and still one of the greatest movies of all time. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Joeywoodburn
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