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 (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann . . . In his harrowing masterwork M, Fritz Lang 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.

Film Info

  • Fritz Lang
  • Germany
  • 1931
  • 110 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.19:1
  • German
  • Spine #30

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by German film scholars Anton Kaes, author of the BFI Film Classics volume on M, and Eric Rentschler, author of The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its Afterlife
  • The long-lost English-language version of M, from a nitrate print preserved by the British Film Institute (Blu-ray only)
  • Conversation with Fritz Lang, a 50-minute film by William Friedkin
  • Claude Chabrol’s M le maudit, a short film inspired by M, plus a video interview with Chabrol about Lang's filmmaking techniques
  • Video interview with Harold Nebenzal, son of M producer Seymour Nebenzal
  • Classroom audiotapes of editor Paul Falkenberg discussing the film and its history, set to clips from the film
  • Documentary on the physical history of M, from production to distribution to digital restoration
  • Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and production sketches
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: An essay by film critic Stanley Kauffmann, the script for a missing scene (Blu-ray only), three contemporaneous newspaper articles (Blu-ray only), and a 1963 interview with Lang

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

Ships Jan 3, 2020

$650.00

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by German film scholars Anton Kaes, author of the BFI Film Classics volume on M, and Eric Rentschler, author of The Ministry of Illusion: Nazi Cinema and Its Afterlife
  • The long-lost English-language version of M, from a nitrate print preserved by the British Film Institute (Blu-ray only)
  • Conversation with Fritz Lang, a 50-minute film by William Friedkin
  • Claude Chabrol’s M le maudit, a short film inspired by M, plus a video interview with Chabrol about Lang's filmmaking techniques
  • Video interview with Harold Nebenzal, son of M producer Seymour Nebenzal
  • Classroom audiotapes of editor Paul Falkenberg discussing the film and its history, set to clips from the film
  • Documentary on the physical history of M, from production to distribution to digital restoration
  • Galleries of behind-the-scenes photographs and production sketches
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: An essay by film critic Stanley Kauffmann, the script for a missing scene (Blu-ray only), three contemporaneous newspaper articles (Blu-ray only), and a 1963 interview with Lang

New cover by Sarah Habibi

M
Cast
Peter Lorre
Hans Beckert
Ellen Widmann
Frau Beckmann
Inge Landgut
Elsie Beckmann
Otto Wernicke
Superintendent Lohmann
Theodor Loos
Superintendent Groeber
Gustaf Gründgens
Safebreaker
Friedrich Gnaß
Burglar
Fritz Odemar
Cardsharp
Paul Kemp
Pickpocket
Theo Lingen
Confidence trickster
Rudolf Blümner
Counsel for the defense
Georg John
Blind street vendor
Credits
Director
Fritz Lang
Screenplay
Thea von Harbou
Screenplay
Fritz Lang
Cinematography
Fritz Arno Wagner
Sound
Adolf Jansen
Editing
Paul Falkenberg
Producer
Seymour Nebenzal
Production design
Emil Hasler
Production design
Karl Vollbrecht

From The Current

My Film M: A Factual Report
My Film M: A Factual Report

The following article by the filmmaker himself originally appeared in the German newspaper Die Filmwoche on May 20, 1931.

By Fritz Lang

The Mark of M
The Mark of M
It’s hard to believe that M was made in 1931. If we allow for the fact that it’s in black and white, it is more engaging to the eye, more incisive in its irony, more firm in its grasp of social complications than most of the films that come along…

By Stanley Kauffmann

Mastering a New Medium—Sound in M
Mastering a New Medium—Sound in M

In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, Professor Kirstin Thompson explores the sonic innovations that Fritz Lang pioneered in a masterpiece of early sound cinema.

Murderers Among Us
Murderers Among Us

Our first Friday Night Double Feature on the Criterion Channel pairs two chilling serial-killer films: Fritz Lang’s M and Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs.

By Michael Sragow

The Inspiring Work of the Ghetto Film School
The Inspiring Work of the Ghetto Film School

For the past ten years, we’ve been proudly welcoming the Bronx-based school’s students into our Criterion family. As the 2016 school year ends, we’re thrilled to watch another class of young filmmakers express their vision and employ what they

Gaspar Noé's Movie Mania

Kitchen Conversations

Gaspar Noé's Movie Mania

On the night of the New York premiere of Gaspar Noé’s controversial new film Love, his 3D cinematic sex odyssey, the French-Argentine provocateur stopped by Criterion with the film’s star, Aomi Muyock.

By Hillary Weston