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Fritz Lang's classic early talkie crime melodrama, where police try to capture an elusive child killer (Peter Lorre) and round up every criminal in town.

The underworld leaders decide to take the heat off their activities by catching the killer themselves. Once the killer is fingered, he is marked with the letter "M" chalked on his back and is tracked down and captured by the combined forces of the Berlin criminal community, who put him on trial for his life in a kangaroo court.

The killer pleads for mercy, whining that he can't control his homicidal instincts. The police close in and rescue the killer from the underworld so that he can stand trial again in "respectable" circumstances. Filmed in Germany, ‘M’ was the film that solidified Lang's reputation with American audiences, and it also made a star out of Peter Lorre (previously a specialist in comedy roles!).