When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Widmann ...
Theodor Loos ...
Friedrich Gnaß ...
Fritz Odemar ...
Rudolf Blümner ...
Franz Stein ...
Ernst Stahl-Nachbaur ...
Gerhard Bienert ...


In Germany, Hans Beckert is an unknown killer of girls. He whistles Edvard Grieg's 'In The Hall of the Mountain King', from the 'Peer Gynt' Suite I Op. 46 while attracting the little girls for death. The police force pressed by the Minister give its best effort trying unsuccessfully to arrest the serial killer. The organized crime has great losses due to the intense search and siege of the police and decides to chase the murderer, with the support of the beggars association. They catch Hans and briefly judge him. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 August 1931 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

M  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,123 (USA) (15 March 2013)


$28,877 (USA) (31 May 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (2004 Criterion DVD edition) | (2000 restored) | (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fritz Lang asserts that he cast real criminals for the court scene in the end. According to biographer Paul Jensen, 24 cast members were arrested during filming. See more »


Inspector Karl Lohmann: Good God! The window sill!
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Crazy Credits

All of the original credits appear only in the beginning with no music. See more »


Referenced in Cyrus (2010) See more »


Le Halle du Roi de la Montagne
in "Peer Gynt Suite No.1, Op.46" (1876)
Written by Edvard Grieg
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Chilling movie
5 January 1999 | by (Finland, Helsinki) – See all my reviews

This movie is definitely one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. It's about this childlike, pity evoking man (brilliantly played by Peter Lorre), who also happens to be a psychotic child killer. The city in which he lives is, of course, panicked by the mysterious child-killings, and both the criminals and the police starts to haunt the man down. I won't reveal more then this, but I will say this: Just because it's an old movie, don't let your guard down. This movie is one of those rare movies, which are so good that you'll never forget them.

73 of 104 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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