Archive for October 4, 2022

M is for Mickey

Posted in FILM on October 4, 2022 by dcairns

Mickey Mouse turns up in the damnedest places. Here he is in Fritz Lang’s M. Twice! I will stick my neck out and say that Nero Film did not pay royalties to Disney.

Screened this for my students on Monday — the film seems to hit me in fresh ways every time I see it. There’s so much in it you can’t retain everything, though, so it’s entirely possible my response this time was the same as last and I’m just forgetting.

It’s FUNNIER than I remembered. But I think I was the only one laughing.

After the success of STEAMBOAT BILL JR last week — the joyous sound of helpless giggling predominated — it was more suspensful — for me — this time, since M doesn’t provoke constant audible reactions. You can only guess if it’s playing well. Though there are enough deadly silences that it would have been obvious if people were restless.

But when the felon-vigilantes exit the building where they’ve trapped the killer, carrying him in a bundle, there was an audible gasp. Interesting to examine why. The film hasn’t really explained what the crooks will do with their prey when they get him, but I think we’ve assumed they’ll kill the blighter. So to see him hauled off, blinded and bound in coats, causes a sudden upsurge of dread — it’s going to be worse than we thought.

And, of course, it IS — Peter Lorre is on his way to cinema’s scariest room…