(director/writer: Roman Vinoly Barreto; screenwriters: Alberto Etchebehere/from the film M by Fritz Lang; cinematographer: Anibal Gonzalez Paz; editors: Jorge Garate/Higinio Vecchione; music: Juan Ehlert; cast: Olga Zubarry (Amalia/Rita), Roberto Escalada (Dr. Bernard), Nelly Panizza (Cora), Mariano Vidal Molina (Lange), Nathan Pinzon (Teodora Ulbe, The Professor), Alberto Bercal (Lawyer for the killer); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; TCM; 1953-B/W-Argentina-Spanish with English subtitles)

“This film differs from the original because it focuses on the mothers whose young girls are terrorized by the pedophile killer.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Uruguayan-Argentine filmmaker Roman Vinoly Barreto (“Paper Boats”/”El Abuelo”) directs and co-writes with Alberto Etchebehere a feminist reworking from the 1931 classic M, a masterpiece pedophile film noir from the then living in his homeland German director Fritz Lang. The Barreto film was shot in Buenos Aires. It follows Joseph Losey’s reworking of the Lang child killer film, that transfers locales from Dusseldorf to Los Angeles. The Losey film was lost until recently found and restored.

Barreto’s film stars the Argentine beauty Olga Zubarry as a cabaret player concerned about the safety of her young daughter from the child killer still at lodge in Buenos Aires. The sleazy married crime investigator (Roberto Escalada), whose wife is in a wheel-chair, makes unwanted advances at Olga that she wards off.

The mentally ill pedophile, known as the professor, is played by Nathán Pinzón. He hides undetected in the open until he gets the opportunity to take Olga’s little girl for a walk, where Olga’s dancer friend Cory (Nelly Panizza) is babysitting her and she asks him to take her out for a walk, not realizing he’s the subject of a manhunt. When he starts whistling in the street, a merchant marine recognizes the tune as the one the killer sang before and notifies the police.

At his trial, the prosecutor calls for his execution while his lawyer wants him placed in a mental institution.

The cinematography by Anibal González Paz is superb, as it captures the same visual quality German Expressionism used by Lang but with a different expressionist look.

This film differs from the original because it focuses on the mothers whose young girls are terrorized by the pedophile killer, and may come closest to Lang’s visions than other sequels.

REVIEWED ON 10/31/2022  GRADE: A