M (BFI Film Classics)

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This text reconnects M to its significance as an event in 1931 Germany, recapturing the film's extraordinary social and symbolic energy. Interweaving close reading with cultural history, Anton Kaes reconstitutes M as a modernist artwork. He also analyzes Joseph Losey's 1951 film noir remake.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute; Revised ed. edition (February 26, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851703704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851703701
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces

Customer Reviews

The Foreboding . . .

 on February 19, 2009
By Dash Manchette
Many movies are referred to as classics, but how many really deserve the title? By any serious measure, M should make the list. Its director, Fritz Lang, would have a solid enough reputation in the history of cinema even without this flick, but M really is probably his best and most important work, an opinion that Lang himself shared.

Totally engrossing

3 people found this helpful.
 on March 8, 2002
By E. Dennis Bashaw
For most people if you tell them you are going to watch a movie or read a book about a child murderer they will look at you strangely. Don’t kid yourself this IS a disturbing movie, from the opening sequence with the children singing a song about the “man in black” coming to get you to the end with the sobbing mothers warning this film is intense. The book places the movie in the context of Weimar Germany and is essential for understanding the use of imagery and the many subtexts that are present. The book is well written, hard to put down, and it really compliments the movie experience without either watering it down or making it too cerebral. For further reading I would encourage people to do a websearch on Fritz Haarman or Peter Kurten the actual serial killers the plot was loosely based on. If you thought serial killers were a modern invention, these guys make Ted Bundy look like an amateur.

Serial Murder, Serial Culture

 on March 8, 2017
By S. Michael Wilson
Anton Kaes provides an extremely valuable in-depth examination of Fritz Lang’s M, exploring this classic German film not only based on cinematic craft, but the historical, social, and political contexts that informed and are reflected by Lang’s masterful directorial craft. Kaes devotes large sections of the book to the historical climate in Germany at the time that are alluded to in the film and/or inspired it, including the repercussions of World War I and the real-life serial killer that captured the attention and imagination of the German people at the time, and explores how M is not just a crime thriller or police procedural, but an exhaustive portrayal of how society reacts – both positively and negatively – to the almost mythological nature that such crimes invoke in the popular culture. A must read for any serious film enthusiast.

M revisited? No, M revisiting our time

15 people found this helpful.
 on October 8, 2000
By Toshifumi Fujiwara
After almost 7 decades since its making, Fritz Lang’s M remains a poignant, modern film; a striking portrait of the human world as we live in. It is natural for the BFI to have chosen it as one of the 360 key films of all time. No other film deserves this status more than M.

Book arrived promptly in excellent condition. I have seen this movie many times

 on August 13, 2014
By Marie K. Skowronek
Book arrived promptly in excellent condition. I have seen this movie many times. I love Peter Lorre. He did such a marvelous acting job as the murderer.

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