Fritz Lang’s M resurrected by BFI

1 Mins read

M-01-540One of the earliest and best psychological crime films – Fritz Lang’s M – is to be screened around the UK and Ireland starting early September. The British Film Institute is releasing a newly restored version of the German movie, promising pin-sharp picture quality and chilling audio.

m-posterM stars Peter Lorre as the child murderer Hans Beckert. On the face of it, he’s as normal as the man next door, but his inner torment causes him to abduct and kill children from a Berlin neighbourhood, and confess his crimes in an anonymous letter to the newspaper.

While the police try to hunt this violent and compulsive killer, beggars on the city’s streets work out what Beckert is up to and start to tail him. The city’s criminals begin their own manhunt. All the while, Beckert’s sanity deteriorates further and further. The film depicts the underbelly of Berlin in 1931, during the Weimar Republic and two years before Adolf Hitler’s ascent to power.

One of the first true psychological thrillers, M was shot in Fritz Lang’s German Expressionist style, with light and shadow used to heighten the drama. It influenced later American classics like The Night of the Hunter and countless other crime and horror pictures. M is regarded as a precursor to the film noir movement. Peter Lorre and Fritz Lang both left Germany during the rise of fascism in Germany, finding new work in America’s growing film industry.

Screenings begin in London, Glasgow and Dublin on 5 September. You’ll find a full listing here, along with a trailer.

Watch for our upcoming feature on the best classic crime fiction films during Classics in September 2014, here on Crime Fiction Lover.


Related posts

Sleepless by Romy Hausmann

Translated by Jamie Bulloch — Dear Child, Romy Hausmann’s debut which was published in English last year, proved to be a breath of fresh air for the stale psychological noir sub-genre of mainstream crime fiction. It subverted the tired clichés and tropes while at the…

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Many of us are dreaming of the day when we can step back on a plane and fly off into the wide blue yonder. After reading Clare Mackintosh’s latest standalone, you may find yourself having second thoughts. This award-winning author has made a name for…

The Perfect Lie by Jo Spain

Interviews with Irish author Jo Spain always meander into the same territory – she would just LOVE to be a big name in the US. And that bid for world domination makes a massive step forward with The Perfect Lie, which leaves the rolling green…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Crime Fiction Lover