60/60 Review #28: M.

There's a lot I should love about this movie. The story is interesting. It's the first serial killer movie. It's directed by renown director Fritz Lang. It has "In The Hall of the Mountain King," which makes everything better. So what went wrong? M tells the story of a child murderer in a German town. When the police force can't find him and starts doing major raids throughout town, the local criminals begin losing money. To counter this, the criminals band together to find the murderer themselves, ironically taking justice into their own hands...

...and I was so bored through the whole thing. I honestly have almost nothing to say about the movie. I eventually stopped paying much attention after a while--something I've never done before in this project. Perhaps it was the timing of the whole thing (I was tired; I had just come from an amazing 4 days that continued to preoccupy my thoughts; etc.). Or perhaps I just didn't care for the style of the movie. It was Fritz Lang's first "talkie," made in 1931 (I believe putting it as the oldest film on this whole list). It's in German--I don't have a problem with subtitles, but put in the fact that I was tired and mentally preoccupied, and you might understand.

But the one thing that got to me the most was the sound... or lack thereof. There are a ton of moments where there's just... nothing. There's no talking, no music, no sound effects... just nothing. It didn't keep me engaged in moments that really needed to keep me engaged. Don't get me wrong, though--the fact that the killer went around whistling "Mountain King" was a great idea, and I did like that aspect of the whole sound thing.

All together, though, I just didn't care. I understand the commentary and blah blah blah behind the movie. It just didn't grab me. I might eventually give it another chance at some point in the distant future, because I know I didn't give it a fully fair chance. But yeah... Sorry, folks. I know, this was my lamest review for this project. I really don't want to put out those excuses (tired, preoccupied). It was a story I really enjoyed the idea of, but the execution was totally not my cup of tea. Send the hate mail now.

The Zed Word

(P.S. I hate putting this at the same level as Plan 9, because I know it's not the same as an Ed Wood film. This is just a rating on an entertainment level for me.)


  1. If Peter Lorre's final plea/speech did nothing to at least perk you up (or get you to mention it in your review) then I'm betting the family house on you being way too exhausted. While many might disagree, I thought everything up until that point was 'fine.' However, that last sequence was perfect. If the entire movie had been even near the quality of that final scene, it would be a heavy contender for my #1 all time spot.

  2. It grabbed my attention based on the fact he was screaming and like "I'm innocent!" but... that's about it. I wasn't invested in the movie enough to care.

  3. The quiet is supposed to make the whole thing unsettling - which it does. Anytime a film rolls by without much of a soundtrack things feel "off" (think NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN)...but that was intentional from the get-go.

    The film is about a town undergoing a truly heart-wrenching crime spree: the abduction and murder of their children. Lang never wants us to "settle into" this film.

    Come back to it sometime when you're less tired and distracted.

  4. I can tell you that being tired and/or distracted didn't have much to do with me not liking the pure silent moments. I just don't care for that in general, no matter the intention.

    Despite those particular moments, I might like the overall film more in the future, so I might revisit it at some point. But it probably won't be for a while.

  5. Yes, upon rewatches I have noticed that there are odd bits of silence, but I like the fact that Lang doesn't go overboard with the sound like a lot of early sound films. I

    I'd say you should revisit this one when you are in a different state of mind because I find it one of the most gripping thrillers I've seen.


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