Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
On moratorium since the end of March, Fritz Lang's serial killer thriller starring Peter Lorre returns to DVD in a fully restored, special edition double-disc set. A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled off-screen tells us that a young girl will be killed. "Who is the murderer?" pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert (Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann... In his harrowing masterwork, Lang merged 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. The Criterion Collection is proud to present a new restoration of this landmark film in an all-new two-disc set, also including audio commentary by two German film scholars; an interview film Conversation with Fritz Lang, directed by William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection); a short film inspired by M by director Claude Chabrol (La Ceremonie, Les Biches); classroom tapes of M's editor discussing the film and its history; and much more.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The film stars Peter Lorre (1904-1964, he died at age 59). Lorre generally, as in this film, played sinister roles, but did act as a detective in a short-lived series. He made an international sensation in M, which was his first film. He acted previously on the stage. He was Jewish and escaped from Germany in 1933. His first English speaking film was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much" in 1934. He made it when he knew no English and his dialogue was written for him in phonetics.
The film takes place in 1930 when a German town is beset with about a half dozen murders of young girls for some eight months. The film is in German with easy to read English subtitles. Everyone in the town is perplexed and afraid. The police are confused. Suspects are harassed. Innocent people are arrested. People blame the police for inaction and hate them. The police raid clubs and other gatherings without success. They gather beggars who are found on most streets to look out for a man talking to young girls and offer a large award. Men talking to young girls are beaten by onlookers. There is pandemonium. The criminal element in the town is bothered by the search for the murderer because with the police watching everything, their opportunities to commit crimes is reduced. This fact plays a significant role in the film.
Fritz Lang told an interviewer that he likes a film where people can sympathize with the villain. Peter Lorre plays such a man. In the film he explains that he did not want to do what he did and usually does not remember what he did. It is an uncontrollable compulsion forcing him to kill young girls. This raises the question, assuming that he has such a compulsion should he be executed or sent to an institution where with time and treatment, he may be released and may, as some, including mothers of slain girls, scream out in the film, kill again.
I'd love to see a remake of this! Such a good story.
Peter Lorre's arresting, star making performance is really the forerunner of every movie psychotic that followed. The concept of generating sympathy for such a heinous character is just as daring now as it was then, and Lorre brilliantly embodies the psychosis of a child/man doomed with a pre-disposed inclination for murder.
Criterion's Blu-ray edition of this famous classic is a joy to behold. The clarity of the black and white image is beautiful and razor sharp, with consistently fine grain resolution that replicates 35mm film. There's a few instances of minimal wear inherent in the source print, which is understandable for a film of this vintage. The crisp monaural sound reproduction makes us appreciate even better Lang's innovative use of the technology which only arrived four years prior to M.
The array of extras include an intelligent commentary by Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler, a fascinating and revealing interview with Lang from 1975, an historic look at M and its road to restoration, a gallery of rare photos and production sketches, and a handsome, celebratory booklet. A special bonus is the British version which incorporates dubbing and re-shot scenes with different actors. Lorre, however, replays his entire ending monologue in English.
One of my all-time personal favorites, M is an essential addition to every classic film enthusiast's collection, and this sparkling Blu-ray is as good as it can get.