M and Touchez Pas au Grisbi set the tones and the standards for the crime film genre in very different but equally influential ways.
“Every filmmaker from Francois Truffaut to Quentin Tarantino owes something of a debt to Becker's black-and-white boldness.”—Boston Globe (on Touchez pas au grisbi)
Fritz Lang’s haunting and expressionistic thriller M stars the unforgettable Peter Lorre as a psychotic child murderer on the run from the police and the criminal underworld of Berlin. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times notes in a 2013 review, “Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or revisiting an old favorite, Fritz Lang’s M in its new digital restoration should not be missed. Few films are gripping and effective 82 years after their original release, but this one surely is.” (117 mins., DCP, in German with English subtitles)
Loosely translated as “don’t touch the loot,” Touchez Pas au Grisbi is Jacques Becker’s poetic evocation of the criminal underworld of Paris’s Montmartre district. The stylish crime caper stars Jean Gabin and a young, pony-tailed Jeanne Moreau. Becker was an assistant director on an earlier film in which a younger Gabin delivered a memorable performance: Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion (1937), also featured in this series. (96 mins., 35mm, in French with English subtitles)