Fritz Lang - M 
Any fan of classic cinema, or the era that transitioned from silent films to talkies, will know or seen one of Fritz Lang’s films. His influence is extremely widespread, with one notable example being from his 1927 film Metropolis (the most expensive silent film made at the time). Fritz had made dozens of movies before M, but with making his first one with sound, he was moving into new and exciting territory, being able to do stuff with his films that weren’t possible without sound.
M is centered around a series of child murders, the public’s reaction to no suspect being caught after such a long police investigation, and the eventual manhunt and capture orchestrated by the city’s criminals. The film contains quite a lot of scenic shots, with and without actors, with voice-overs or key plot elements shown that previously wasn’t possible, and done in a very fine manner. One thing that hit me quite hard about this film was some of the raw emotion portrayed by many of the actors, which eventually hits its climax when the murder is brought before a tribunal of underworld leaders (the ones that originally decided to hunt for the murderer themselves).
This scene contains a key speech from the murdered, named Hans Beckert, when he gets extremely emotional and speaks out saying he cannot contain his urges to kill, and that he cannot run from them. It’s extremely hard-hitting, and feels as if it’s not actually acting, but a real tribunal meeting instead. Another important part of the film revolves around the chase and his eventual capture, all because a blind man recognised his whistling. I was honestly surprised at small things like this, imagining one of the earliest sound films being rich with sound, opposed to it being used discreetly and more to drive the film than anything else.
One of the good things about this film, being as old as it is, is that it’s in the public domain, and actually available to watch on YouTube. But despite being so old, it doesn’t really feel dated, using simple storytelling and imagery which are fantastic aspects. Instead of going overboard, everything was used just right, and I can understand why this film will be set in the stone of film history for, well, “history”.