The Police in a German city are unable to catch a child murderer whom
is “based on the real-life case of child-killer Peter Kurten, The “Monster of
Dusseldorf”. (http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/29/m.html) The underground
crime syndicate decides to take matters into their own hands in an attempt to catch the killer themselves.
This is the first serial killer film in cinema history is also the first ‘Talkie’ movie done by German writer/director Fritz Lang. Shot in 1931 five years after synchronized sound was introduced to film. Although Lang utilizes the sound in this film he also remains true to the silent era by using long pauses of silence to create suspense and fear to certain scenes.
“Characters are serialized and do not contain the unique qualities that directors typically use to inform audiences of character archetypes. This strategy emphasizes the that no one is this film is above suspicion.” (Http://www.associated content.com)
I believe this would have worked better if Lang wouldn’t of revealed the killer so early on in the film. Instead of making everyone look like a suspect it made it confusing to watch the film because I never got to know the characters specifically and at first it was difficult to tell particular characters apart from one another.
The opening scene begins with a high angled wide shot of a group of kids playing in a courtyard. By using a wide shot they were able to fit many kids into the scene. Setting the camera up high gives the audience a sense of security as if they were standing their looking over the children at play. As the girl leads ‘A childish game much like our American equivalent Ring Around the Rosie.” (associatedcontent.com) but add a new twist to the words “Just you wait, it wont be long, the man in black will soon be here, with his cleaver’s blade so true, he’ll make mince meat out of you.” By doing this Lang sets an ominous tone that the rest of the movie follows in.
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