M

1951

Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

176
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 1,555

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 11, 2020

Director

Cast

David Wayne as Martin W. Harrow
Jim Backus as Mitch Davis
Norman Lloyd as Patout
William Schallert as Jim Shaney
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
811.07 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.47 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7 / 10 / 10

M (Joseph Losey, 1951) ***

I commemorated the 25th anniversary from the death of director Joseph Losey (which occurred on 22nd June 1984) by watching his two best (and, ironically, rarest) Hollywood movies, both noirs made in 1951 – THE PROWLER and M. Fritz Lang's original 1931 version of the latter is not only generally considered to be its director's masterpiece but, on a personal note, is also included in my all-time Top 20 movies. Therefore, I had always been particularly interested in seeing how Losey (another director I admire a great deal) had tackled the daunting task of remaking – and relocating to L.A. – such an iconic German movie. Boasting the original's own producer, Seymour Nebenzal, the 1951 remake has been almost impossible to see and, actually, I only managed to track down a mediocre-looking print a few months ago; even so, I am certainly grateful to have been given the opportunity to catch up with it…especially in view of the fact that Sony's long-rumored Joseph Losey box set on R1 did not materialize after all! Perhaps inevitably, the film's initial stages (the murder of little Elsie) closely resemble those of Lang's film – even down to the choice of camera set-ups: the high angle shot down an eerily desolate flight of stairs, the close-up of the vacant breakfast table, the tell-tale shots of a solitary flying balloon and a rolling ball – but Losey nevertheless manages to gradually make the film his own, culminating in a trademark hysterical finale that highlights a new character not featured in the original: Luther Adler's alcoholic attorney who is, ill-advisedly, moved to turn against his boss Martin Gabel after the baby-killer's confession. David Wayne – best-known until then for playing lightly comic roles – is quite good in his own right (especially during the aforementioned trial sequence) if, understandably, falling short of Peter Lorre's unforgettable original characterization; similarly (and effectively) cast against type, Howard Da Silva makes for a fine Chief of Police, while the sterling supporting cast includes Raymond Burr (also atypically amusing as a raspy-voiced, leading underworld thug), Steve Brodie (as a sadistic cop), Glenn Anders and Jim Backus (as the mayor)! Interestingly enough, two directors-to-be were employed in minor capacities on this film: assistant director Robert Aldrich and script supervisor Don Weis. Allegedly, Fritz Lang balked at Nebenzal's offer to direct the remake himself and never forgave Losey for daring to touch his magnum opus…he must have conveniently forgotten the fact that he had himself remade in Hollywood two Jean Renoir classics – LA CHIENNE (1931) and LA BETE HUMAINE (1938) – as SCARLET STREET (1945) and HUMAN DESIRE (1954) respectively!

Reviewed by Erewhon 8 / 10 / 10

Surprisingly good

Seymour Nebenzal didn't have an especially illustrious career as a producer, either in Europe or the United States. Two of his American movies, in fact, SIREN OF ATLANTIS and this one, were remakes of movies he had produced in Europe. But in this case, he hired the right director. Was it the growing Blacklist that resulted in this movie having no writing credits on screen? Perhaps, but also perhaps not, as the soon-to-be-blacklisted Howard da Silva and Joseph Losey both use their own names. Losey and his team make excellent use of numerous Los Angeles locations, including Angel's Flight, Bunker Hill, the Bradbury Building (which is identified by name and location) and what seems to be that old amusement park in Long Beach, although what's seen here could be Venice. David Wayne is fine as the disturbed child killer, and delivers the required final act speech very well. But he doesn't have the power and poetry of Lorre's performance--but then who in Hollywood in 1951 would have? The movie still has some of the comedy of Lang's original, but it's not as dry and sardonic, and there isn't as much of it. The score isn't good, and shoves the movie even more firmly in the direction of the melodrama it keeps threatening to become. The very last shot is oddly theatrical in a literal sense: it looks like it is being performed on a stage. And I'm not sure what the point of the drunken lawyer trying to grasp a bit of his former glory really was. However, this element merely weakens the film, it doesn't destroy it. No, this isn't as good as Lang's original, but Lang's original is perhaps the best film of a great director. It's a classic in almost every regard. This version of "M" is an interesting and largely successful attempt at adapting the themes and ideas of the original to Los Angeles, and to 1950s Hollywood. Naturally there are some weaknesses, but the movie is brisk and engrossing, and certainly doesn't deserve the obscurity into which it has fallen. Some condemn the film merely for being a remake, but remakes have always been a large part of movie history. There's little reason to object to them, especially now that the original films tend to be available on video. (In the 1930s-50s, originals were generally withdrawn.) If the remake is good, then hooray, there are now two good movies on the subject. If it's bad, then the remake will soon be forgotten.

Reviewed by szbow32 8 / 10 / 10

Blacklisted

I saw "M" in 1952. The theater in LA was picketed because Joseph Losey was Blacklisted by the McCarthy Committee, and the film wasn't shown again after that week. I don't think it's been shown since then, and it's probably difficult finding a copy. I hadn't seen the original, but I was very impressed by this film, especially David Wayne. The attitude of the mob, especially the women, was expected. But I was surprised by the speech of the "defense attorney". Even today, people would be vexed by his sympathy toward this mentally disturbed criminal. When the original "M' was shown, the Nazis were coming to power, but Lang was able to escape to the USA. Joseph Losey, however, wasn't able to escape the Blacklist. Was this version of "M" meant to foreshadow the "new order" of McCarthyism?

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