51. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
This poster is simply glorious, perfectly worthy of this glorious film. Those Germans know their shit.
I have a fascination with the Weimar Republic. Basically post-WWI Berlin was a wonderfully decadent, cultured, sex-crazed, artistic mecca. Then the Nazis had to come in and fuck it up. Jerks. I find the brazen sexuality of that era to be fascinating, simply because very few cultures in history have ever been so open and tolerant of sexuality(of pretty much every kind). Fucking interests me OK.
Anyway this film isn’t really about that, but it is a product of that place and era, so it seemed relevant, and the poster is very reflective of that time.
This film is wonderful. It’s the earliest film I know of that I would consider film-noir. It’s dark, suspenseful, powerful, and compelling. Within 10 minutes I was crying. Peter Lorre gives an incredible all-world performance as a tormented child-molester/killer, I mean by the end I almost felt sorry for him. It’s absolutely fascinating.
Lorre gives this incredible speech at the end where he pleads directly into the camera for mercy. There’s an absolutely insane Nazi propaganda film from 1940 called “The Eternal Jew“, which among other things calls Albert Einstein a pseudo-scientist, Charlie Chaplin a Jew, and compares the migration pattern of rats to those of Jews. They also show this scene as proof that Jews are child molesters. The fact that Lorre is not Jewish, and that the scene is from a fictional movie, doesn’t seem to matter when there is propaganda to be made.
On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 10/10. It drags a little bit in the middle, but it’s a small complaint.