Obscure, Ultra-Rare 1951 Version of Joseph Losey's "M"
5 Original Authentic Lobby Cards from Mexico
Appx 16.5" X 12.5", Printed on sturdy (Linen?) Poster Stock
Director: Joseph Losey
Writers: Norman Reilly Raine (screen play by), Leo Katcher (screen play by)
Stars: David Wayne, Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel
Wisconsinite neophyte Joe Losey embarked on the unenviable task of remaking Fritz Lang’s 1931 Weimar masterpiece M in postwar Los Angeles. With two defiantly liberal feature films and a handful of “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts to his name, Losey received the commission after Lang turned down the remake offer from fellow Hollywood émigré Seymour Nebenzal, who had also produced the original. (If anything, M reminds us that it’s the producer, not the director, who holds the lion’s share of power in Hollywood.) This version follows the plot of the original fairly closely, with David Wayne taking over Peter Lorre’s child-killer role and investing the character with a seething air of pathetic repression. When LA’s top cop (Howard Da Silva) initiates a dragnet to catch the killer, the underworld takes matters into its own hands. With noir-tinged paranoia and beautiful location photography in now-vanished working class neighborhoods, Losey’s M easily holds it own. Ironically oblivious to the movie’s anti-mob mentality message, morality crusaders managed to ban M in eight states on account of its salacious content and the Communist sympathies of several key contributors. Long out of circulation after the producer’s short-term distribution deal with Columbia Pictures lapsed, M has been meticulously restored by the Library of Congress