Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: M (1931)

Film: M (140/250) 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

I've seen this film a number of times, and it never fails to impress me. Peter Lorre, in particular, knocks my socks off. What a treasure of an actor he was!  He's both childlike and a goblin, a wild-eyed imp of a man, and still utterly charming. It's a horrifying contrast in this film, where he plays a child murderer (and sex offender?) who later pleads that he can't help himself. And you almost...ALMOST... feel sorry for him. It's chilling. Nearly as chilling as the shot of the huge silent crowd ready to condemn him. The shadows throughout the film, the songs of the children, even the tune the murderer whistles ("In the Hall of the Mountain King")...together they represent the danger lurking beneath every city, especially for children. As the grieving mother tells the audience, "One has to keep closer watch over the children. All of you."

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