Starring Peter Lorre and Otto Wernicke, directed by Fritz Lang, in German with English subtitles. This insanely influential German classic can be considered the birth of the modern thriller. Before M, movies didn’t countenance character exploration beyond “white hat = good, black hat = bad.” Lang, the patron saint of horror, thrillers and sci-fi bent and broke all the rules and turned out this nail biter that seems as fresh today as when it was released nearly 85 years ago.
Hans Beckert, played by the great Peter Lorre, is a psychotic serial killer who preys on children while whistling Hall of the Mountain King. His reign of terror has gotten so bad that the police shut down the city in an effort to trap him. When this squeeze starts to affect the local crime syndicate’s revenue, they also set out to catch the killer. Prepare to experience the birth of the term “edge of your seat” thrills.