Noir City: M-stravaganza!

Had to miss last night, but lucky for all you kids playing along at home, I’ve already written up two of these M adaptations and seen all three.

First up, the original.

M (1931)

Directed by Fritz Lang and starring a very young Peter Lorre, this is the definitive version. The plot is simple. A child killer is on the loose, being hunted by both cops and criminals. When he is eventually caught by the latter, these denizens of the underworld hold a mock trial, at which Lorre makes an impassioned speech claiming he is a helpless slave to his dark urges. The cops bust it up and take him away to face a real trial, but, as a mother of one of the dead girls points out, no sentence will bring their daughters back.

This film is visually stunning, and worth seeing in a theater if you can. If not, you should still find a way to see it. I don’t know if it’s technically the very first serial killer film, but it’s DNA is present in every one that followed. Mistress Christa says check it out.

Next up, Joseph Losey’s mid-century remake.

M (1951)

I’ve already written this one up, so I’ll just direct you to read my rave. However, I do have one important update. I found a photo of that creepy ass clown balloon.

You’re welcome.

Last but far from least, this beautiful and surprisingly feminist version from Argentina.

El Vampiro Negro (1953)

I’ve already written this one up too, and I fucking loved it. Here’s hoping there’ll be a DVD coming soon so it can reach a wider audience.

Today, it’s a hardcore marathon featuring two consecutive double features. First THE DEVIL STRIKES AT NIGHT and FLY BY NIGHT, followed by THE HOUSEMAID and MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS.

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