This week, things get dark and serious when Zach goes inside the mind of child killer in Fritz Lang’s 1931 classic, M.


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.

[podcast]http://traffic.libsyn.com/majorspoilers/zach-on-film-007.mp3[/podcast]

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9 Comments

  1. Remco van de Kant
    May 3, 2013 at 10:58 am — Reply

    Another great episode of an awesome segment.

    I love the historical context you guys bring into it. The whole brings back good memories of my time as a film major at the University.

    Concerning M being banned from Nazi Germany… Could it have to do anything with Peter Lorre being jewish and fleeing Germany?

    Not so fun fact: The actor playing the Blind Balloon vendor was deported and died in one of the ghettos.

  2. Remco van de Kant
    May 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm — Reply

    Oh, and small correction: Peter Lorre definately is in Casablanca.

    • May 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm — Reply

      i was going to comment that too, glad i wasn’t the only one who noticed… woo woo woo, you know it

  3. Solid Muldoon
    May 3, 2013 at 11:25 pm — Reply

    Given that Hollywood’s love for remakes goes back as far as The Maltese Falcon, I’m amazed nobody has remade this. It’s one of my favorite films.

  4. Solid Muldoon
    May 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm — Reply

    Remade lately, I meant to say.

  5. Ice Q
    May 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm — Reply

    nice episode, never heard of the movie, you guys should do more from the criterion collection maybe some akira kurosawa, or Le Samourai. Going along with foreign movies maybe Infernal Affairs.

  6. JaKe
    May 7, 2013 at 10:46 am — Reply

    How come, whenever Matthew does a German accent he sounds like doctor Doofenschmirtz?

    • May 7, 2013 at 11:39 am — Reply

      How come whenever I do an Italian accent I sound like a falsetto pidgin Mario? PRACTICE!

      • JaKe
        May 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm — Reply

        I can’t tell you how much my 5 and 6 year old laugh when you go, “Hello, my name is’a Rodgrigo and’a this is’a how I’a talk.

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