Friday, 20 July 2007


Director: Fritz Lang (Metropolis, You Only Live Once, Human Desire)
Cast: Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Gustaf Grundgens
Germany, 1931

Seen: July 30, 2006 via Rogers Direct

Reason to see: Its on my List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen. Note to self: if I write another list like this at that time put the reason to see as my mind is starting to blank on this. I believe I picked it as it was on imdb's top 250 films.

I've put off doing this review for over three weeks now, and the reason is this.... I really think this film had some kind of bigger picture social/political reference and I have no idea what it is. Not a clue. I think it my be the oldest film on my 101 films to see list and I actually really like watching films that are this old. You know it must had been really hard to get the lighting and angles, or maybe it wasn't - maybe it all just worked out. But I always think about the logistics of the filmmaking when I see something of this vintage. All in all I found it compelling but really wanted to understand what was really going on. Don't get me wrong it wasn't confusing - there is a plot, its a....drama? Crime drama maybe, and it makes sense but I kept feeling like I was missing something.

So there it is, straight from you to me... I just... didn't get it. I did like it, just didn't get it.

Shannon's Overall View:
I found it very interesting
I would mostly likely watch it one more time to see if I could understand more of it
I'd recommend it to film buffs, especially anyone who likes dramatic use of black & white as well as people intersted in films from that period

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© Shannon Ridler, 2006


Anonymous said...

I sympathize with you for not knowing what weas going on -- but yes, "M" does have a plotline and it is a drama. To understand it better, you can (1) get a copy of the Criterion version that came out in Dec. 2004 and watch it with the audio commentary on, or (2) you can read a synopsis of the film. You'll find an excellent overview, plus discussion of how "M" was made, in this book on Peter Lorre, "The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre" by Stephen Youngkin (University Press of Kentucky, 2005). has the "Search Inside" feature. Also, the publisher's website might have the "M" section as an excerpt.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Thanks for your comment and thoughtful ideas Anon! I may try out those suggestions if I decided to delve more into the Fritz Lang films.

In general, I avoid synopsis before watching as I enjoy seeing the story unfold. It's ironic that I write film reviews but avoid anything that could be considered a 'spoiler' like the plague. But, when seeing things that are not of present day release I can see the value in doing some background work.

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