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Thank you for the "M" remake


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I thought that I'd never see this again. I saw it back in the 60s and not since. I won't count that awful bootleg in my collection as you can barely see it and I could not get past 30 minutes of what looked like an 8th generation dupe of a VHS recorded at the SLP speed.

 

The print was exceptional, the Nebenzal estate must have had nearly pristine elements hiding in the family attic. ;)

 

 

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I never even knew there was an M remake, so I don't know anything about the backstory of its shelving or what the Nebenzal estate is, but I thought this was an exceptional version of the story, unusually tough for a Hollywood film of its era. It's probably more of a reflection of my twisted humor than the times that I did see some of the early scenes as darkly comical when viewed from a modern perspective, especially that TV promo warning from the police (don't send your children out on errands by themselves at night?). Oh, the times they were a-different in 1951. After reading that angry post from the guy who felt Tiffany Vazquez was ignorant of the attitudes and mores of 1980, I would have loved to have seen her do the intro/outro to this movie ("Why were all these children running around without adult supervision?").

 

And hey, what about David Wayne? Here's an actor I didn't know I knew from my childhood, as he was both the Mad Hatter on BATMAN and Digger Barnes on DALLAS. Looking over his imdb resume, I see his film appearances became few and far between the final 30 years of his career, as he worked almost exclusively on television. But he certainly has enough interesting film appearances to merit a SUTS day: this film, ADAM'S RIB, THE TENDER TRAP, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, THE THREE FACES OF EVE, THE REFORMER & THE REDHEAD, PORTRAIT OF JENNIE. Heck, he even ended up with Marilyn Monroe (!) in HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE. He appears to have been unafraid to tackle some unpleasant roles on occasion, especially this one.

 

One of those films with no real star and multiple perspectives. I guess three major storylines going on simultaneously: the actual life of the killer, a police procedural reminiscent in my mind of THE NAKED CITY and the efforts of the Mob to find the killer, all three storylines finally dramatically converging. Wayne got top billing, although there are long stretches of the movie he isn't in. I think Howard DeSilva probably got the most camera time in this ensemble piece, and he's his usual reliable self.

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sewhite2000--David Wayne had acting talent that went unused in films.  He won two Tonys, one for "Finian's Rainbow" (1947) & one for "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1954).  As you said, Wayne was unafraid to tackle unpleasant roles.  Here's a second vote for A David Wayne SUTS day.  And thank you, TCM, for showing the remake of "M".

 

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Thanks both of you for your responses.

 

This morning I was on the phone with a long time friend and I asked if he watched "M" last night. He then reminded me that he doesn't have cable and then he said "I wouldn't watch it even if I did get TCM. You can't remake Lang, I can't see why they bothered."

 

So, I said to him "I'll bet you that some Renoir fans must have said that about two of his films when Lang remade them as Scarlet Street and Human Desire."

 

He said they were great remakes, every bit as good as the originals and I chuckled that he wasn't even giving Losey's film a chance. "You have to watch both versions before you do any comparisons. At least let me present the evidence."

 

It worked and he's coming over tomorrow to watch the recording that I made. Now if only I knew which wine to serve.

 

 

 

 

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This was an interesting film. It was nice to see 1930s star Karen Morley, even in a small role at the beginning. What I found weird was Raymond Burr almost doing a Don Corleone impersonation. His voice was very hoarse. Then, when I listened carefully to Martin Gabel, he sounded more like Raymond Burr!  I wonder if Burr was asked to tone down his voice so viewers would not get the two voices confused.

 

The finale felt like a Shakespearean tragedy, with Adler doing a soliloquy.

 

Anyone notice British actor Henry ("Please ... my noives ...") Wilson as one of the spectators at the end?

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  • 3 months later...

I was fortunate enough to see the restoration of Losey's M on the big screen at the Palm Springs film noir festival last year. It was simply incredible, with stunning cinematography. If you get a chance to see this on the big screen, do not pass up the opportunity. The scenes shot on location in downtown LA at the Bradbury Building will knock you out.

 

Losey has a top cast, with strong performances throughout. About David Wayne: for my money, he steals THE THREE FACES OF EVE from Joanne Woodward. If you like his work, don't miss O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE. In the segment called "The Cop and the Anthem" he plays a homeless man who's a friend of Charles Laughton. He is absolutely believable every moment he is on screen.

 

Clore, let us know how your friend likes the Losey version after he actually sees it. Great comeback about Lang's Renoir remakes!

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Oh, geez I simply love David Wayne!

 

One of the really unappreciated actors in the pantheon of greats. This guy graced so many films and it's true, he was as usual superlative in "M", which is really a rather thankless part which will always be compared to the Lang original. But with Losey at the helm I do think they made a very fine film and Wayne wisely does not copy Lorre but creates his own character. The ending scene is quite effective and shows his acting chops.

 

If Wayne is listed in the beginning credits of a film [which I always watch just to make sure who are playing lesser parts] then I ALWAYS watch. He could run the gamut from playing a guy who wants to off his wife and put her body in the car trunk for disposal, to a witty and charming little guy singing "Farewell, Amanda" as he does to Katharine Hepburn in "Adam's Rib". I also have always thought he was so important a fixture in the Sinatra film "The Tender Trap" since the main actors can play off him.

 

I was pleased recently while watching a Sunday morning repeat of the "Golden Girls" to see him playing a part as I think Blanche's daddy. No matter what he was in, he was fabulous.

 

So yes, I too thank TCM for showing this really well done remake of the Lang classic which held its own!

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