An excellent remake of one of the best films of all time. Losey riskily goes for realism in Lang's openly symbolic story, but thanks to his astute handling of some startling LA locations, naturalistic performances and the undertow of (blacklist inspired paranoia), he succeeds beyond expectations: the commercial and social conditions of the manhunt go towards explaining Wayne's monster and the monsters that made him.
One of Losey's finest films, a true paragon of homage/remake of Lang's homonymous masterpiece. The rereading of entire sequences is done with the utmost respect to the original but also with innovative confidence. Thus, some fantastic angles (the mall sequence), a superb command over screenspace plus the wise avoidance of expressionist shades lead to a chilling climax. Key figure here is Wayne's astounding murderer.
Losey's last Hollywood film before being blacklisted, and given the mob rule mentality of the storyline, makes it rather ironic. Laszlo's cinematography is beautiful, and De Silva, Burr and others provide great work. The German film has Lorre as its star, here, LA is front and center. A nice noir photograph of the city at the time. Not just a mere remake. Great film. 4 stars
Losey's last Hollywood film before being blacklisted is a gem. More than a mere "remake", Ernest Laszlo's photography captures the horror and dread of a child murderer with perfectly framed shots. 1931 "M" stars Peter Lorre; here the star is old Los Angeles, and lovers of the City of Angels will relish in scenes of the iconic Bradbury Building, Bunker Hill neighborhood & funicular, and other lost/historic locales.
Bien sûr cette version yankee du chef-d'oeuvre de Fritz Lang ne fera pas ombre à sa prestigieuse mouture originale, mais il faut reconnaître que cette réalisation rare présente indéniablement des qualités remarquables surtout par l'étonnante interprétation de David Wayne dans le rôle de Martin W Harrow, le psychopathe recherché et dans une moindre mesure, celle de Luther Adler en avocat alcoolique. www.cinefiches.com
4,5. While the original was a metaphor about Nazism, this remake is an acutely portrait of the intolerant period then lived to the fullest, the McCarthyism communism hunt, that led Losey to exile. A portrait cinematically exciting and energetic, with astonishing findings, such as the use of child eroticism and the final court at an underground car park, in one of the most impressive noire films of the decade.
Having not seen the original in a LONG time, I could get past comparisons (though a lot of it felt fresh even with the identical plots). I liked that the killer was more ordinary looking than Lorre. The grim view of the "mob rule" herd mentality of a community in 50s USA is interesting coming from a filmmaker who was a victim of McCarthyism. Sometimes simulating a story to another culture can be interesting.