M (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) 
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SYNOPSIS: Of all Fritz Lang s creations, none have been more innovative or influential than M, the film that launched German cinema into the sound era with stunning sophistication and mesmerising artistry. A spate of child killings has stricken a terrified Berlin. Peter Lorre gives a legendary performance as the murderer Hans Beckert, who soon finds himself chased by all levels of society.
From cinema s first serial killer hunt, Lang pulls back to encompass social tapestry, police procedural, and underworld conspiracies in an astonishingly multi-faceted and level-headed look at a deeply incendiary topic. One of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time, M remains as fresh and startling 80 years on. SPECIAL DUAL FORMAT EDITION:
- Restored high-definition transfer in the correct 1.19:1 aspect ratio [1080p on Blu-ray]
- Two audio commentaries: one by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler; the other featuring film restoration expert Martin Koerber, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, historian Torsten Kaiser and excerpts from Bogdanovich s 1965 interviews with Lang
- The original 1932 British release version of M, presented in its entirety, recently rediscovered, featuring different actors, alternate takes, and Peter Lorre s first performance in English, courtesy of the BFI National Archive [1080p on Blu-ray, 93 mins]
- Zum Beispiel Fritz Lang, a 1968 documentary by Erwin Leiser with Fritz Lang discussing his career in German cinema [480p, 21 minutes]
- 48-PAGE BOOKLET including writing by Fritz Lang, historian Robert Fischer, details of a missing scene, behind-the-scenes stills, and production drawings
Fritz Lang's first sound movie, the serial-killer film M, has often been voted the best German film of all time, but, until now, most of us have never seen it properly. What we have seen is a heavily cut 1950s re-edit with extra sound and music patched in, where Lang was deliberately economical with the new technology. This new "Ultimate Edition" is dominated by a marvellous restoration which is true to his intentions and oft-voiced complaints about what had been done to his best film.
The young Peter Lorre is terrifyingly ordinary as the child-murderer whom police and criminals hunt down in what is still one of the best forensic police procedurals ever made, while Gustaf Grundgens has effortless charisma as the chief gangster. Lorre's Hollywood exile and decay, and Grundgens' betrayal of old friends and principles under the Nazis, merely add a layer of irony to all this. Lang's ironic cuts--a gangster's gesture is completed by his police equivalent--and dark, studio-bound cinematography make this one of the great precursors of American film noir. Simply, seen without cracks and pops and lines running down the screen, M is revealed as a true classic--a film that shames everything made in its genre since.
On the DVD: M on disc has a great deal of documentary material featuring scholars and technicians telling us just how clever they have been in preparing this splendid restoration. The film also comes with a detailed commentary into which has been spliced interview material with Lang talking in English about specific sequences. There is a German-language film interview with Lang in which he talks through his career and re-enacts the interview with Goebbels that led to his exile; an audio interview with Peter Bogdanovich; and an intelligent video critical essay by film historian R Dixon Smith. The restored film is shown in its correct, unusual visual aspect ratio of 1.90:1 and has vivid cleaned-up digital mono sound: the murderer's whistling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" has never sounded so chilling. --Roz Kaveney -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: DVD.
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Top Customer Reviews
Case Type - Slimmer U.S type case.
Disc - AVC, BD50, Region B locked.
Video - 1.19:1 aspect ratio in a 16:9 frame (black bars appear at the left and right of the screen). 1080p/24fps. Black and White.
Audio - Original German language. 2.0 dual mono DTS-HD Master Audio.
Subtitles - Optional English subtitles.
Commentary with German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler.
Commentary with film restoration expert Martin Koerber, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, historian Torsten Kaiser and excerpts from Bogdanovich's 1965 audio interviews with Fritz Lang.
20 minute interview with Fritz Lang (box says documentary, but its more of an interview).
Shorter 1932 U.K theatrical release version (in English language and upscaled to 1080p) - features alternate takes, and different actors.
48 page booklet.
Censorship? - No censorship or cuts have been made to the film on this disc. The BBFC have given the film a PG Certficate. The film contains disturbing subject matter and infrequent mild bad language. This is the longest version of the film (110 minutes) that has been available since the films premiere.
'M' is a superb thriller, and possibly Fritz Lang's finest film. Considering the time it was made it is quite disturbing, and i can imagine audiences in the early thirties were shocked when they saw this film in the cinema. Peter Lorre is excellent as the child killer and the films final moments are extremely powerful. The picture quality is easily one the best i've seen for a film this old. Plenty of grain and no digital tinkering as far as i know.Read more ›
The story centres around Peter Lorre as the disturbed and disturbing killer. I was more familiar with his later, more comedic roles in America, and was totally blown away by this incredible performance. His performance is perfectly nuanced, playing the frightened man to a tee.
The story is shown in a series of set pieces. The film starts with images of a child playing in a street, and her mother waiting for her to come home. The child never arrives, and the scenes of Mother waiting in her flat with dinner on the table, and eventually receiving the news are emotionally charged. There is hysteria in Berlin, and a police search for the killer. The police procedures are shown in amazing forensic detail, and are totally gripping. The action shifts to the criminal underworld, who are being hurt by the police intrusion into their activities during their hunt for the killer. They decide to take their own action, tracking down the killer in a series of totally gripping scenes, then comes the films masterstroke - the criminals put Lorre on trial and he is forced to defend himself in front of the `court'. His defence is brilliant, his explanation for his crimes utterly disturbing - we are left feeling that we have been given insight into the mind of a real murderer.Read more ›
Surprisingly rarely revived on television or event cinematheques these days, making it the kind of film you have to seek out and buy if you want to see these days, M comes with such a legendary reputation that it just seems to invite disappointment. Yet more than eight decades since it revived Fritz Lang's failing career after the twin failures of Metropolis and Woman in the Moon and making Peter Lorre's name as the pathetic child murderer hunted by an entire city, it's still both a remarkably gripping and powerful movie that leaves a lasting impression and a surprisingly exhilarating and at times breathless thriller that never lets its dark subject matter batter the film down or turn it into a sermon.
With the remarkable visual sense that Lang's American films were never really able to duplicate as his work became gradually smoothed away into polished studio system product, it's a surprisingly energetic film as it crams a whole city into its 110-minute running time (it was originally 117 minutes, but seven - dealing with attention-seekers confessing to the murder - are still missing). There's a fascinating use of both sound and sequences of uncomfortable and prolonged total silence that's even uncannily devoid of the usual `room noise,' creating a unique atmosphere that's surprisingly disorientating (the music and effects that were added for these mute scenes for later reissues have been removed for the Blu-ray).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic Fritz Lang! Contains 2 dvds. One with English sub-titles and one in English.
This is considered the first film with a serial murderer. Lorries great!
No matter what you think of the film itself ( I think it was groundbreaking), this Criterion release is quite amazing considering it was made in 1931. Read morePublished 12 months ago by N. M. Fletcher
Another great movie from Fritz Lang. This blu-ray is absolute stunner regarding its year of release. Good work.Published 15 months ago by Senthilnathan Perumal