Criterion Collection Edition #30
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 (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann . . . In his harrowing masterwork M, Fritz Lang 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.
Directed by Fritz Lang • 1931 • Germany
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 (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann... In his harrowing masterwork M, ...
Recorded in 2004, this commentary features University of California at Berkeley professor Anton Kaes, author of the BFI Film Classics volume on M, and Harvard University professor of German Eric Rentschler, author of “The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its Afterlife.”
Mastering a New Medium: Sound in M
Listen closely: Fritz Lang’s claustrophobic thriller has one of the densest, most skillfully layered soundtracks in all of early sound film.
Claude Chabrol on M
M le maudit
Directed by Claude Chabrol • 1982 • France
For the television program “Ciné parade” in 1982, Claude Chabrol was asked to inaugurate a series of contemporary homages to classic cinema. Chabrol—himself often a director of tense psychosexual dramas—chose the ur-thriller M. In this short, a sort of ...
Harold Nebenzal on Nero Films
Harold Nebenzal, son of Seymour Nebenzal, sat down with Criterion in 2004 to discuss his father’s pioneering independent company, Nero Films, producer of such titles as PANDORA’S BOX, M, THE THREEPENNY OPERA, and THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE. Harold worked on his father’s 1951 remake of M and on C...
Paul Falkenberg’s Classroom Tapes
In 1976 and ’77, M editor Paul Falkenberg was asked to address film studies classes at the New School in New York. Students watched M with Falkenberg and discussed its history. Presented here are audio excerpts from those conversations, set to clips from the film.
A Physical History of M
This documentary traces the “physical history” of Fritz Lang’s M, from its production and original distribution to the digital restoration used as the basis for this edition. It includes a look at the French-language version of M but was produced before the discovery of the English-language version.