Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Great Cinematic Speeches: "M"

As I was re-visiting Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Kirk Douglas, James Mason and Peter Lorre last night, I was reminded of yet another soliloquy to add to my ongoing list of great movie speeches: the "defense" that Peter Lorre's child-murdering psychotic gives as he stands trial in Fritz Lang's "M." It is certainly a harrowing bit of cinema made all the more riveting by Lorre's intense performance as the seriosuly disturbed individual who "just can't help himself." As always, if you haven't seen the film yet, SPOILERS may follow.

2 comments:

cineboy said...

I love that you picked this speech. I saw the film a couple of times years ago and I loved it. The whole trial scene is fascinating as well. But the speech is perfect: classic German expressionist style. I found it interesting to see over on Bordwell's blog the little history of Peter Lorre playing Mr. Moto here. Now I've got to see Mr. Moto!

Damian said...

Yeah, it's a great movie, a great scene and a great speech delivered by a great actor.

I read that article over over on David Bordwell's site. I've always wanted to see the Warner Oland Chan movies (we have some of the Sidney Toler films at the video store, so I tried to watch a couple of those but their blatant racism made me uncomfortable). Certainly to watch Oladn but also because they had Keye Luke playing Chan's "number one son." I had no idea Lorre was also involved in some capacity. Now, I have another reason to see them.