M is a 1931 German mystery suspense thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre in his breakthrough role as Hans Beckert, a serial killer of children. An early example of a procedural drama, the film centers on the manhunt for Lorre's character, conducted by both the police and the criminal underworld.[2]

Quick facts: M, Directed by, Written by, Produced by, Star...
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFritz Lang
Written byFritz Lang
Thea von Harbou
Produced bySeymour Nebenzal
StarringPeter Lorre
Otto Wernicke
Gustaf Gründgens
CinematographyFritz Arno Wagner
Edited byPaul Falkenberg
Distributed byVereinigte Star-Film GmbH
Release date
  • 11 May 1931 (1931-05-11)
Running time
111 minutes[1]

The film's screenplay was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film.[3] It features many cinematic innovations, including the use of long, fluid tracking shots, and a musical leitmotif in the form of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" whistled by Lorre's character. Now considered a timeless classic, the film was deemed by Lang to be his magnum opus.[4] It is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, and an indispensable influence on modern crime and thriller fiction.[5][6][7]

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