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.


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  1. Remco van de Kant on

    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. Solid Muldoon on

    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.

  3. 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.

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