I was aware of the reputation of Fritz Lang's M, when I saw Jean-Luc Goddard's Contempt, in which Lang had a role. This inspired me to finally see the film and I found it to be a powerful, classic film. Anton Kaes, a Chancellor's Professor of German and Film Studies at the University of California Berkeley, looks at the film in the context of its cultural history and analyzes the books social and symbolic energy. The book is divided into six sections. The first is "Berlin, 1931" gives the cultural and societal context of the film made in the Wiemar Republic. a short time before the Nazis take over the government and a time of social upheaval and economic depression. Chapter Two "Serial Murder, Serial Culture" discusses the importance and/or popularity of serial murders in society. In Chapter Three "Total Mobilization" the author discuses the different society organizations that are searching out for the child murderer: police, criminals, beggars, etc. In Chapter Four "Before the Law" the finals acts and conclusion of the film are discussed in context of things that were going on at the time. The last chapter, ""Los Angles, 1951" discuses the 1951 Joseph Losey film noir based on this film. There is also an appendix that publishes for the first time M's missing scene. It is another well written and researched BFI film analysis of a classic.