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M

USA, 1951 (MIFF 1981, British Film Archive Retrospective)

Director: Joseph Losey

Fritz Lang's M (1931 ), is one of his most celebrated films, and its tale of a sadistic murderer who kills little girls, offered a portrait of the profound troubles that gripped Germany in the years immediately before Hitler came to power. Joseph Losey's remake is not an exact copy of the original. Since it is set in Los Angeles, it has an American rather than German atmosphere, and is an original and sometimes powerful work in its own right. It is especially notable for Losey's use of the streetscapes of Los Angeles, which contrasts interestingly with Lang's almost entirely studio production.

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