A simple, haunting musical phrase whistled offscreen tells us that a young girl will be killed. Who Is the Murderer? pleads a nearby placard as serial killer Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) closes in on little Elsie Beckmann . . . In his harrowing masterworkM,Fritz Lang merges trenchant social commentary with chilling suspense, creating a panorama of private madness and public hysteria that to this day remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller.
Harrowing images, shadows and symbolism permeate Fritz Lang's first sound film, an internationally heralded classic of German cinema. Peter Lorre is unforgettably chilling as a psychotic child killer stalking the streets of Berlin, while being hunted himself by the police and a criminal underworld intent on taking the heat off themselves. With Otto Wernicke, Ellen Widmann. 110 min. Standard; Soundtrack: German Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; audio commentary; featurettes; photo gallery; interview. In German with English subtitles. Two-disc set.