M Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the M script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Fritz Lang movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of M. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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M Script



Just you wait, it won't be long



The man in black will soon be here



With his cleaver's blade so true



He'll make mincemeat out of you!



You're out.



I told you to stop singing

that awful song!



Didn't you hear me?



That same cursed song over and over!



Dear me, that's heavy.



What's the matter?



I told those kids to stop

singing that awful song,



but they sing it all day long.



As if we haven't heard

enough of that murderer already.



Ah, leave 'em alone.



As long as we can hear 'em singing,



at least we know

they're still there.



Yes, I guess you're right.






      MARKS' REWARD...




"Little Kurt Klawitzky and his sister Klara

have been missing since June   th.



Evidence leads us to believe

the children were victims of a crime



similar to that committed

last fall against the Doering siblings."



What a pretty ball you have there.



What's your name?



Elsie Beckmann.



Didn't Elsie come with you?



No, she didn't.






Thank you.



A thrilling new chapter, Mrs. Beckmann.

Passionate and moving.



Just a moment, Mr. Gehrke.



Tell me, Mr. Gehrke.



Have you seen little Elsie?



No. Didn't she just

come up the stairs?



No, she's not home yet.



She won't be long now.




Good-bye, Mr. Gehrke.



Extra! Extra!



Extra! Extra!



No, I can't give change!




Makes you afraid

to send your kids to school!



Who is the murderer?



"Because the police

did not publish my first letter,



I am writing now

directly to the press!



Proceed with your investigations.



All will soon be confirmed.



But I'm not done yet!"






- Christ, here we go again!

- This is horrible!



The print's too small.

We can't read it.



You in front, read it out loud!



- Let him read!

- Hey! Quiet!



"The terror in our town

has found a new victim."




We can't hear a word!



"Certain evidence leads us to believe



that this is the same murderer



who has already claimed eight victims

from among our city's children.



We must emphasize once again



that it is, now more than ever,

every mother and father's sacred duty



to alert their children

to this ever present danger



and to the friendly guise

it is likely to assume.



A little candy, a toy, or an apple



can suffice to lure a child

to his or her doom."



Very true!



Keep reading.



"Anxiety among the general public

is heightened



by the police's failure

to apprehend a suspect.



But the police are faced

with the almost impossible task



of catching a criminal who left

not the slightest clue behind.



Who is the murderer? '



What does he look like?



Where is he hiding?



No one knows him,

yet he is among us.



Anybody sitting next to you

could be the murderer."



Yes, that's very true.



- Why look at me when you say that?

- You know very well.



What do I know very well?



Think about it.

It'll come to you.



What are you saying?



I saw you follow that little girl

from the fourth floor up the stairs.



You're crazy, you dirty swine!



Who's the swine?

Me, or a man who chases little girls?



You bastard! You swine!









I'll see you in court!



I'll have you locked up!




Trying to ruin my reputation!



Damn slanderer!

Besmirching a man's good name!



And the police fall for it!



A search warrant!



How awful! What a disgrace!



Searching a man's house

based on an anonymous letter!



Mr. Jäger, please calm down.

We're only doing our job.



As if it weren't enough

that we're in constant fear for our kids!



You see? That's why the police

must follow up every lead.



Any man on the street

could be the murderer.



Can you please tell me

what time it is?



Yes, my child.



Now you must hurry home.

Where do you live?



What's it to you

where the kid lives?



Excuse me?



What do you want with that kid?



Absolutely nothing!



What do you want with me?



I'll show you what I want!



Let me go!

This is an outrage!



- What's going on?

- This is an outrage!



- What does Four-Eyes want?

- Don't get so excited.



First chatting up children...

- Punch him in the face!



Then acting like a big shot!



Will you let me go!

I didn't even speak to the child!



- Get her alone, eh?

- And kill her like the others, right?



- He's the murderer!

- Hold him!



Call the police!



- Never around when you need 'em!

- Officer!



Make way, gentlemen.

Let us through.



Sure, you can catch pickpockets!

Why don't you catch the murderer instead!



What? Is he the murderer?



Break it up!

Come on, move along!



- The murderer!

- The monster!



Get him!



Tackle him!






"Because the police

did not publish my first letter,



I am writing now

directly to the press!



Proceed with your investigations.



All will soon be confirmed.



But I'm not done yet!"



This is a terrible scandal!



Lmagine the effect such a note

will have on the public, Commissioner!



This is simply irresponsible!



Mr. Secretary, we cannot stop the murderer

from writing to whomever he wishes!



This severely pathological man

probably takes great pleasure



in seeing his crimes

covered in the press.



We immediately got in touch

with the newspaper



and had them send us

the original letter.



The lab's working on it right now.



Of course, you can't get good

fingerprints from a postcard



that's passed

through so many hands.




we will leave no stone unturned.



We'll painstakingly compare

the results against our archives



in hopes of finding something

that can be used to solve this case.



Then we'll send the letter

to our graphologist.



"The aforementioned diamond-shaped

and swelling sweeps,



clearly seen in the word 'soon,'

third line from the bottom..."



You got that?

- Yes.



"...attest to the strongly pathological

sexuality of this sex offender.






The partially disrupted and uneven style

of his other letters



is, in its interpretation,



a form of acting



which may manifest externally

as indolence or even lethargy.



The writing as a whole displays



elusive yet unmistakable signs



of madness. "



Yes, of course, Commissioner.



I have no doubt you're doing your job,

and your men as well.



But we need results!






Mr. Secretary, my men haven't gotten

   hours' sleep in an entire week!



My riot squads

don't get a moment's peace.



They report for duty almost more fatigued

than when they were dismissed,



because the painstaking nature

of their work wears on the nerves,



and   %... if not   %...

of our leads are false.



The homicide squad doesn't even

get time to change clothes.



They're constantly on call,

always tense and alert,



ever ready to spring into action,



to follow even the slightest lead,



as it just might be

the one that solves the case.



Mr. Secretary, just consider

the search of the crime scene.



To give you an example:



In the bushes

just behind a picket fence,



a small, white, crumpled

paper wrapping was found.



It apparently once contained

inexpensive sweets.



In the outermost corner



were found traces of fruit drops



and particles of powdered sugar.



We've tried to trace the origin

of this wrapper



in every candy shop and grocery store

within a radius of a mile and a half,



but all to no avail.



With each passing day

we expand the area searched.



But, of course,

after such a long time,



no one remembers anything

that could serve as a lead.



Despite all these setbacks,



we're forced to press on

in our investigation,



always in uncertainty,



and with little chance of success



in bringing the case

even one step closer to its conclusion.



Our men are doing everyth...



What good is all this?




I'm aware you're not dawdling,



but that doesn't change the fact

that an unknown killer



is terrorizing   /  million people!



And the police are getting nowhere!



Mr. Secretary, you don't seem

to have a clear picture



of the enormous obstacles

confronting our forces.



Do you realize, for example,



regarding the route

the child took home,



that there are    conflicting

eyewitness accounts alone?



Let me give you a random example:




in the Beckmann murder case..."



- You've got no clue.

- More than you, mister!






You must at least know the color

of the cap the little girl wore



whom you say you saw

with the stranger!



Of course, Inspector.

It was red!



- It was green!

- Red!



Stop! This is pointless!



Thank you, gentlemen.

- You're welcome!



Next witness.



If you rely

on a color-blind man for clues,



don't be surprised

if you get nowhere!



In their hunt

for this unknown killer,



the police have tracked down

more than      detailed leads.



The files in this case

fill    thick volumes.



We've dispatched all our forces



to systematically comb

the area adjoining the city.



Every piece of undergrowth is scoured,

every thicket searched,



every bush examined,



since any bush or hollow

could harbor some object



that could finally set us

on the right track.



We called in police dogs.



We set the best trackers

on the faintest of traces,



but they lost the scent



and failed to pick it up again

despite all efforts.



Since the first murders,



the police have searched

homeless shelters night after night,



subjecting everyone in them

to thorough scrutiny.



This does not, of course,

make the police very popular,



nor does it reduce

the general public's anxiety.



Railway stations are kept

under surveillance around the clock.



Still, the investigation has not yet

yielded the slightest results,



nor have nightly raids

in the criminal districts.



The cops!



Get back!




- This is the police!



Let me go, you dirty bastard!



Let me go, you son of a bitch!



Goddamn bastard!



Put me down!



Let me go!



Let her go, you filthy pig!






Move back!



The top fuzz!






Police orders:



Nobody is to leave this establishment.

Get your papers ready.






Come now, children,

stop this foolishness.



Well, if it isn't Tubby Lohmann!






That'll get you nowhere.



- Go after the murderer instead!

- Right!






Be reasonable now!

Step back!



You hear me? Step back!



Let's go!

Come on, let's see those papers!



- I haven't got any.

- Let's see your papers.



Please let me go, Inspector!



The two guys who tried to escape

were caught on the Krangasse.



- Leave those chairs alone!

- Shut up!



Have your papers ready!



Haven't we met before?

- Yeah. So?



Off to the precinct again!



Haven't even made a buck tonight!



Anyone without papers

goes down to the precinct!



I tell you, I'm innocent, really!



Stop talking nonsense!



- Let's get moving!

- Kiss my ass!



- Show your papers!

- Where's the paddy wagon?



Don't push.



Everyone will get their turn.



- Silence!

- Cool it, kids!



Have your papers ready!



Your papers.



Inspector, I can't carry my birth certificate

around with me everywhere!



- Quit your bellyaching, child.

- I really can't, Inspector!



The precinct for you!



You make me puke!



Shoddy work, my friend.



You've been had.




- See you, Willy. Ta-ta!



Ah, lay off!






Stuck-up snob.



What's wrong?



- Papa Lohmann...

...nabbed him!






We'd better take you

down to the precinct too.



What do you mean?

My papers are in order.



Move on.



Move on!



Ah, tough luck!







- Don't got none.



To the precinct.



Just my luck.



Next, come on.



You're ruining my business, Sarge.



These raids every night.



No one can get a moment's peace!

They're human beings too.



You think...



we stay up all night

just for the hell of it?






But you're drivin' away my clientele,



and you won't find the guy

you're lookin' for here anyway.



If you knew how steamed they are



at the guy who's causing these raids.



Especially the girls.



Sure, they solicit.

Business is business.



But believe me,



in every one of them

beats a mother's heart!



I know a lot of toughs



who get all teary-eyed

just seein' the little ones at play.



If they ever get their hands

on that monster,



they'll make toothpicks out of him!



Ready to leave, Sergeant.



So long.



They hit the Crocodile Club today.



Two paddy wagons.



What's keeping Safecracker?



Is it  :   yet?



I'll find out.



The exact time, please, miss.



 :  . Thank you.



 :  .



The cops are crawling

the streets like ants again.



Green coats wherever you spit.



They're on your back

even if you're with a broad.



They've gone nuts...

got this murderer on the brain.



My old lady has a little six-year-old girl,

and every night I have to check



under the bed to see

if the murderer's hiding there.



You can't do business anymore

for tripping over cops everywhere.



There's no privacy anymore.

I'm fed up with it.



What else is new?



- Where the heck is Safecracker?

- Think they might have nabbed him?



That guy? Come on.



Scotland Yard laid a trap for him once

on a bank job he pulled in London.



There he was, hands up,

back to the wall,



cops all around him.



Seconds later there were

three men dead on the ground,



but he wasn't one of 'em!



No one better

from Berlin to San Francisco.



They've been after him six years

and they've yet to get him.



Not yet. But put enough dogs

on the fox's tail...



Can it!



Damn it!



I can't take this!



He was always right on time before.



- Thank God!

- Finally.






Are you nuts?

Close those blinds!




I hereby open this meeting.



I declare all division leaders

of this organization present.



I assume you're authorized

to make binding decisions



for your divisions.



Good. We'll dispense

with the preliminaries,



as we all know why we're here.



An outsider is ruining

our business and our reputation.



Measures taken by the police



and the daily raids

to catch this child murderer



are hampering our activities

to an almost unbearable degree.



We can no longer tolerate the fact



that we're not safe now in any hotel,

bar, café or even private home



from the clutches of the police.



Very true.



This state of affairs must end.



Things must return to normal

or we'll go under.



Our coffers will soon be depleted.



If we can't get funds to support

the wives of those members



who currently enjoy

room and board at state expense,



I don't know where we'll find

the money to carry out our plans.



Our reputation is suffering as well.



The police seek

the murderer in our fold.



Gentlemen, when I run head-on

into an officer from the squad,



he knows the potential risks,

and so do I.



If either dies in the line of duty, fine.

Occupational hazard.



But we must draw a firm line

between ourselves



and this man they're looking for!



We conduct our business

in order to survive,



but this monster

has no right to survive!



He must be killed,

eliminated, exterminated!



Without mercy or compassion!






our members must be able

to go about their business again



without frantic cops

in their way at every turn.



I invite...



...your views, gentlemen.



Step up ID checks,

comb the entire city,



and raids...

relentless, ever tougher raids!



We need informers!



We must know the police's plans

almost before they do themselves!



The girls gotta work the cops more!



How often has one of us been nabbed

'cause his gal ratted on him to the cops?



Now they can rat on the cops!



Every resident, every landlord,



every property owner



must be forced to consent

to meticulous searches of his property



for the slightest of clues.



What if we...

We have our connections.



What if we put

an article in the papers



that our syndicates...

I mean, our organization...



doesn't wish to be lumped in

together with this pig,



and that the cops should look

for this guy somewhere else.



He's not even a real crook!



This man may well be...



when not engaged

in the actual act of killing...



a harmless, upstanding citizen



who wouldn't hurt a fly.



In his right mind, perhaps he plays

marbles with his landlady's kids



or plays cards with friends.



Without what I'll call



the innocuousness

of these murderers' private lives,



it's inconceivable that someone

like Grossmann or Haarmann



could have lived right next door

to their neighbors for years



without arousing

the faintest trace of suspicion!



This is where we must focus

the public's attention.



The public must cooperate.



I'll tell you about public cooperation!



Just thinking of it makes me puke.



I beg your pardon, Commissioner.



But ain't it the truth?



What the devil has public cooperation

gotten us so far?



Piles of letters

full of the most outrageous slander!



Very true.



They alert homicide

whenever a chimney sweep walks by.



That's right.



But when you really want

reliable information from them,



then they suddenly haven't got a clue.



Why, they just can't seem

to remember a thing.



There's your public cooperation

for you!



I believe you're exaggerating a bit,




It can't really be that bad, can it?



But it is, Commissioner!



Most of the public

still takes the position,



"How does this concern me?"



The idea that

each individual is responsible



for what happens to the poorest,

most anonymous child on the street



hasn't even dawned

on the public at large!



I've got another idea.



There was this magician.



Te... Tele...

I can't remember what you call it.



Anyway, he could conjure up

hidden pennies out of handkerchiefs.



The reward is still

far too little money.



The man who leads us

to the murderer should get a fortune.



None of this is anything new.



This is all leading nowhere.



So we just wait for the police

to catch the guy instead?



The difficulties

in solving crimes of this nature



are, in my experience,

often insurmountable,



since perpetrator and victim



are often brought together

by mere chance.



The instincts of the moment

drive the murderer's actions.



The victim is found and identified,



his or her last known whereabouts

are determined,



and then...



then comes the big question mark.



These children vanish

without a trace.



And when they're found...



Well, we all know the state

in which we've found them.



And the perpetrator...



It's a fact well-known to all of us



that murderers like this

rarely leave a clue behind.



That's what makes our work so hard,

our successes so few.



The police have been after

this murderer for eight months now.



They'll only get him by accident now.

- We can't wait for that.



No, we'll go broke by then.



What, then?



We have to catch him...






Yes, that's what we must do.



There is perhaps one other way.



I'm quite certain that information

on the individual in question



must already exist somewhere.



Being the severely pathological case

that he is,



he has no doubt already had some kind

of contact with the authorities.



That's why all health care facilities,



prisons, clinics and insane asylums



must be encouraged

to cooperate with us unequivocally.



We specifically need information



on those released after being deemed

harmless to society



but who, due to their inclinations,



could be the murderer.



We must cover the city

with a net of informers.



Every square mile must be

under constant surveillance.



No child in this city must take

a single step without us knowing it.



- Fine, but how?

- And who?



It must be people who can go

anywhere without causing a stir,



follow anyone

without attracting attention,



follow any child to any house

without arousing suspicion.



In short, people whom the killer

would never suspect.



- But who?

- There are no such people!



- Who could do that?

- Who?



The beggars.



The organization of beggars!







Blood pudding's on the upswing.



God, this cheese stinks so good.



Take that, you sons of bitches!



Hey, stop snoring.

You'll wake up the lice.



Two, four, six...









Bread-and-butter sandwich,

lukewarm response.



Black Friday for roast beef.



All right.

Now come the courtyards.



Yes, from number   to   .






You're responsible for the courtyards

on Hauptstrasse from   to   .



Got it.



What's next?



Hauptstrasse, from number   ...



to    .






number    to    .



Member number?

-     . Emil Dustermann.



Well, Emil, maybe

you'll win the      .



I've got my fingers crossed.



Knock on wood.



My heartfelt thanks,

ladies and gentlemen.



Thank you.



"In searching homes,

be on the lookout for any clue



which could establish the origin

of the murderer's letter to the Courier.



Be on the lookout as well



for an old wooden table..."






"...or red pencil..."



Come in.



"...or writing paper

of the type used by the killer."



Inspector, here are reports on mental

patients who've been released as cured



or deemed harmless

over the last five years.



Reports from every

private and public institute,



as well as from

municipal hospitals and asylums.



And here's a list

of their present addresses.



Good day.

Does a Mr. Beckert live here?



Pardon me?



Does a Mr. Beckert live here?



I'm afraid I don't understand.

I'm a bit hard of hearing.



You don't say.



Does a Mr. Beckert live here?



Mr. Beckert... yes, he does.

But he just stepped out.



I had hoped to speak with him.



I'm from the tax office.



The tax office. Oh, my Lord!



Perhaps you'd like to wait for him...



Yes, thank you.



- Please have a seat.

- Thank you.



- Perhaps you'd like something to read.

- Thank you. Most kind.






Tell me, Mrs. Winkler,



does Mr. Beckert

subscribe to any newspapers?



Mr. Beckert?

No, he always borrows mine.



I see. Thank you.




I wanted to meet you halfway!



Child, you mustn't do that.



You know why.



Good day.

What would you like?






No, a vermouth.

No, a cognac.



Here you are.









Two cognacs...

that's  .   please.



Thank you very much.



Number   : Beckert.

Doesn't take the Courier.



Table: Polished mahogany,

with tablecloth.



No traces of red pencil.

In fact, no writing materials of any kind.



Printed matter found in wastebasket:



Cigar ad and a postcard



with flowers

and "Regards, Paul" on it,



but no address of sender.



An empty cigarette pack, Ariston brand,

a bag of candy...



Just a moment.






What was that?



I'd like the file

on the Marga Perl murder case.



Thank you very much.



That's odd.



I've heard that before.



It was...



It was...



Hey, Heinrich!



What is it?



What's wrong?

- Listen. Someone's whistling.



Can't you hear it?






Now he's stopped.



Did you see

the guy who was whistling?



Yes, I can still see him.



Heinrich, he's talking to a little girl

and walking her down the street.



- After him, quick, and don't lose him!

- Why?



The day little Elsie Beckmann

was killed,



a man bought a balloon from me.



He was with a little girl...



and he whistled just like that!



Damn it, man!



Are you crazy,

throwing orange peels on the ground?



A man could slip and break his neck!




I should report you to the police!



Outrageous behavior!



Hey, mister.



Aha! Here it is.



"In a    -foot radius

of the crime scene,



three cigarette butts of the Ariston brand

were found." There you have it.



Yes, it may be

the same brand of cigarettes,



but there was no old wooden table.



Of course, he could have written

that letter somewhere else.



Good God!



The window ledge!



You're right.



Just a minute.



Red pencil.



My God, finally!



We're finally on his trail.






They're on his trail?



- Did they find him?

- The beggars found him.



- His whistling gave him away.

- They put a mark on him.



Shut up!



What did you say?



They're following the mark.

He isn't out of sight for a second.



His every move is being watched.



- Mister.

- What is it?



- You got some white stuff on your coat.

- Where?



On your shoulder.



Here, I'll wipe it off.



- What's the matter?

- Come on. We're leaving.



He didn't come out this way.

We would've seen him.



Out of the question!



- Well, he didn't turn back.

- He has to be somewhere, damn it!



Maybe he's hiding

inside the building.



Closing time!



We can't let him get away in the crowd!

If he slips through now...



They're starting to come out!



Out in the street,

and keep your eyes peeled!



Excuse me, may I ask you a question?



My trip is tomorrow.

I start in Königsberg...



No, in my condition

I can't eat anything like that...



The boss came to my office today...



Turn off the light.



He'll get suspicious

if he comes home and sees it on.



What time is it, anyway?



Almost  :  .



He's gotta still be inside!



He definitely didn't come out

with the office crowd.



No, just a moment.



The beggars have called for backup

and surrounded the whole building.



They figure the guy's hiding

in the building.



What sort of building is it?



What sort of building is it?



Nothing but offices.



I don't know what's in the basement.



There's a branch of the local

savings bank on the ground floor,



and the second to sixth floors

are nothing but offices.



Above that is the attic space.



This is unbelievable.



Anyone still in there?



Anyone still in here?



What the devil!



Anybody still in here?



Damn carelessness!



All that trouble for one door.



Seems the guy's cornered now.



I think we should tip

the cops off right away.



- I agree.

- Let's not waste time!



Stay by the phone

and call back in a few minutes.



What is it?



Are you crazy or something?

The police?



No! We're gonna get

this guy ourselves!



Listen, the time now is...



 :  .



All right.  :  ...   :  ...



At   :  !



Evening. Did you know

your gate isn't closed?



What? That's impossible!



Why I just... Wait, it is!



Open up, quick!

And not a sound!



Come on! Move it!



Let's go!



Come on, move it!



How many other watchmen

are in the building?



Don't want to answer, eh?



Very well.



There are still two watchmen

on their rounds.



Goddamn it!



Damn piece of crap!



Goddamned lock!



Damn it to hell!






Careful where you shine those lights!



And don't stomp around

like elephants!



He's not in the basement.



We went through it all

and found nothing.



Two men are still going

through the boiler room.



Hold it!



This is the last one.



Go up and join Emil.

He needs help.



Safecracker sent me.



All right.



Listen carefully.



This is a new type of time clock.



Here's a general diagram.



If they're not set

at exactly the right minute,



an alarm automatically goes off

at the nearest police station. Get it?



You got it?



- I'm not an idiot!

- Well...



He's not in the boiler room

or the coal room.



We turned over every piece of coal.






Are you nuts?



What if the doors are wired?

You want the police here in five minutes?



We gotta get in if we're gonna

search the whole place!



But not through the door, you idiot!



Go through the ceiling

of the office above!






All right. Down we go.



Hey, what's up?



Hey! What is it?



Wait a minute!

Answer me, damn it!



What's going on?

- I heard some banging!



- Where are you off to?

- Why are you running?



Wait, damn it!



I've gotta see Safecracker!



He's in the attic, I tell you!

I heard him knocking!






Go on! He has to be in there!



Here's the light switch.



Force the locks.



Come on. Hurry up!



Got him! I found the guy!

He's in the attic!



I heard someone banging,

and I told Safecracker.



He's up there with eight men.

They'll get him any moment now.



Just came down to fill you in.



If I hadn't been alert,

we could've looked for him for hours!



The watchman!



Three... one... four.






- Everybody out!

- What?



- The cops'll be here in five minutes.

- Damn it! Who called 'em?



- The watchman rang the alarm.

- Let's scram!



Hold it!



Quiet down!



Five more minutes,

six more storage sheds.



Move it! Get going!



Not like that!

Out of the way!



- He's not in here.

- Next door!



Come on! Faster!



- He's not here either.

- Move on! Next door!



Quickly! We've only got

three minutes left!



No padlock on this one...

he must be here!



Open it!



- Something's jammed inside.

- Let me do it!



Hurry! Only one minute left!



There he is, the dog!



Come on! Move it!



Everybody out!



Get out while you can, damn it!



Move it!



For Christ's sake, get going!



What's keeping the others?

- They're coming!



If not, they might as well stay here,

with or without the guy!



What in the hell is keeping them?



Finally! Thank God!



Quick now! Go!

Make it snappy!



He's not down here.



Hey! Who pulled up the rope?



Hey, who pulled up the rope?



Bunch of morons!



Hello there.



Hands up!



How can I put my hands up

when I'm holding on to the rope?



Come out of there!



I'm really innocent this time...



...like a newborn babe.



This may surprise you, Franz...



but I believe you.



Then everything's in order,



and I can go now, right?



Just a moment.









I'll take your word for it, Franz...






you can tell me...



who the man was

that you were looking for



and that you found in that building.



I don't understand, Inspector.



A man, you say?



I know nothing about that.

There must be some mistake.



I know nothing.



Nothing at all.



Of course.



There's just one thing I don't get:



Why you're covering up



for the gang

who left you in the lurch.



Fine friends, running off

when things heat up,



leaving you right in the fire.






That ploy won't work with me,







What can happen to me anyway?



Maybe a little property damage...

so what?



Nothing was pinched!



But something was pinched,

my friend!



In fact, a good deal.



What? Something got pinched?



How much?



Tell me what you know

and I'll do the same.



I already told you.

I know nothing.



Very well.



Give it some thought, Franz.



Leave a man alone

for a couple hours...



and a lot comes back to him

that he couldn't remember before.



Take him away.



Send the night watchman in.



Mr. Damowatz.



Please sit down.



Now then, you said

in your statement...



Listen carefully, in case

you have to testify under oath later.



You clearly heard one of the burglars

say to the guy guarding you,



"We got him. I found the guy.

He's in the attic."



Is that correct?

- Yes, Inspector.



Yes, I'll swear to that anytime.






Go home now

and recover from your ordeal.



But please remain available

for further questioning.



Of course, Inspector.



Good morning, Inspector.






Tell me, is Inspector Lohmann

in the building?



He's talking to someone?

No, it doesn't matter.



I'll come over myself.



What? I see.



Hasn't come home yet, eh?



Did you keep an eye

on the old Winkler woman too?



Come in.



Come in!



- Am I disturbing you?

- No, come in.



Listen, the whole block

is surrounded.



If he decides to go home,

he has to run into us.



So just keep on waiting.



If anything happens,

I'll be here at the precinct.



Damn it!



What do you want?



I wanted...



to ask a favor of you.



Dishwater again!



I wanted to ask you...



Read this first.



- A statement?

- Yeah.



An office building was broken into.






That's a respectable part of town.



Perhaps not that respectable after all.



Hell, this is getting serious!



What the... Did they mean to empty

the whole joint?



What could they have been

looking for in the coal?



Incredible! Unbelievable!



I'll be damned!



This is madness!



Ah, so they were after

the savings bank!



Good God!

What could this mean?



I don't understand at all.



They didn't even touch it?



Must've been a bunch of real idiots!



I'll be damned!



Isn't that something?



Nothing stolen,

but a man was carried off.



God knows where they took him.



That's just great.



And Franz isn't talking.



He's afraid, of course.



I know him well. Guy like him would

rather jump out the fifth-floor window



than be mixed up in a murder rap.



What if we could

get at him from that angle?



Lohmann, if you'd be willing

to help me out...



Very clever.



I see the wheels turning.



Let's send for this Franz.



You're wanted for questioning.



What? They sent four guys for me?



What's this about?

- Move it!



"Homicide squad.



Inspector Karl Lohmann."



What do you want with me?



What have I got to do

with the homicide squad?



Yes, young man...



your case has been turned over to me.



But why?






You boys did your work

a little too well.



One of the watchmen...






Accessory to murder.



Nasty business.



Inspector, I've had enough!



I want no part of this!



I'll tell you everything I know!



Very sensible,

but, unfortunately, too late.



It can't be too late!



It can't be!



I'll tell you everything!



Even what we were looking for

in that damn building.






The child murderer!









The child murderer, Inspector.



Just a moment.



This had to happen to me!



Me, of all people.



Come sit down, my boy.



We're gonna level

with each other, got it?



Certainly, Inspector.



And God help you

if you pull something.



Now then...



what have you boys got to do

with the murderer,



and where was the guy taken?



Well, Inspector...



you know the old

Kuntz & Levy distillery?



The one that went belly-up

in the Depression?



That's the one.



Since then, the building's stood empty,

and no one gives a damn about it.



Get out here! Move it!



Let me go!



What have I done to you?



You swine!



Let go of me!







What do you want from me?



What do you want...






Help! Let me out of here!



I want out!



Let me out of here!



You'll never get out of here.



Gentlemen, I beg of you!



I don't even know

what you want with me.



I beg you, let me go.



This whole thing must be a mistake!



A mis...






No mistake.

Out of the question.



This is no mistake.






No mistake.



You recognize this?



You bought a balloon just like this

for little Elsie Beckmann.



Just like this one.






Where did you bury

little Marga Perl, you bastard?



But I never...



I never even met her!



You never even met her!



I suppose you never

met her either, huh?



Or her?



You never met her either, huh?



- Stop him!

- Grab him!



- Stop him!

- Don't let him escape!



Watch out! The door!



- Let me out!

- Punch him in the face!



Let go of me!



- You have no right to treat me this way!

- We'll show you we do!



You have no right to hold me here!



Right? There's only one thing

right for a man like you... death!



- Right! Kill him!

- Kill the rabid dog!



- Ice him!

- Let him have it!






Kill him!



You spoke of "right" just now.



We will be your right.



Everyone sitting here

is an expert in the rule of law!



From six weeks in Tegel prison...



to    years in Brandenburg.



They'll make sure

you get your rights.



You'll even have defense counsel.



Everything according

to the letter of the law.



Defense counsel?



I need no defense counsel!

Who's gonna prosecute me?



You, perhaps?



Hey, you.



If I were you,

I wouldn't make big speeches.



Your head's at stake here,

in case you hadn't noticed.



And just who are you?



I have the dubious pleasure

of serving as your defense.



Though I'm afraid

it won't do you much good.



Do you all want to kill me?

You want to just wipe me out?



We simply want to put you

out of commission.



And we'll only be sure

of that when you're dead.



But you can't murder me

just like that!



I demand to be handed over

to the police!



I demand to be brought

before a real court of law!



That's a good one!



- You'd like that, wouldn't you?

- Look who's talking!



So you can plead insanity



and spend the rest of your life

being cared for by the state.



And then you break out of the asylum

or receive a pardon,



and you're happy as can be,

free to kill with impunity,



protected by law

on grounds of insanity...



and you're back to chasing little children!

No, no more of that!



You must be taken out of action!

You must go!



But I can't help it!



I can't...



I really can't... help it!



We know that one!



Before the judge,

we all "can't help it."



What would you know?



What are you talking about?



Who are you anyway?



Who are you?



All of you.






Probably proud of it, too...



proud you can crack a safe



or sneak into houses

or cheat at cards.



All of which it seems to me

you could just as easily give up



if you had learned something useful,



or if you had jobs



or if you weren't such lazy pigs.



But me?



Can I do anything about it?



Don't I have

this cursed thing inside me?



This fire, this voice, this agony?



So you mean to say...



you have to kill?



I have to roam the streets endlessly,



always sensing



that someone's following me.



It's me!



I'm shadowing myself!






but I still hear it!



Yes, sometimes I feel



like I'm tracking myself down.



I want to run...

run away from myself!



But I can't!

I can't escape from myself!



I must take the path

that it's driving me down



and run and run

down endless streets!



I want off!



And with me run the ghosts



of the mothers and children.



They never go away.

They're always there!












when I'm doing it...



when I...



Then I don't remember a thing.



Then I'm standing before a poster,



reading what I've done.



I read and read...



I did that?



I don't remember a thing!



But who will believe me?



Who knows what it's like inside me?



How it screams and cries out

inside me when I have to do it!



Don't want to! Must!



Don't want to! Must!



And then a voice cries out,



and I can't listen anymore!



Help! I can't!



I can't!



The accused has stated



that he can't help himself.



In other words,

he must commit murder.



With that he has pronounced

his own death sentence.






A man who claims



that he's compelled

to destroy the lives of others...



such a man must be

extinguished like a bonfire!



Such a man must be obliterated!



Wiped out!



May I address the court?



Counsel for the defense

has the floor.



My learned colleague

who just spoke...



who is, if I'm not mistaken,



wanted by the police

on three counts of manslaughter...



That's irrelevant here.



Has claimed



that the fact that my client

was acting compulsively



warrants the death sentence.



That's right!



He is mistaken,



because the very nature of compulsion

warrants an acquittal!



Get outta here, will ya?



Are you nuts, or plastered?



It is precisely

the nature of compulsion



that relieves him

of responsibility for his actions!



And a man cannot be punished for that



for which he is not responsible!



- Ridiculous!

- You mean this monster should go free?



That he should live?



I'm saying that this man is sick,



and you turn a sick man

over to a doctor, not an executioner.



- Will you guarantee his cure?

- What does the state build asylums for?



- What if he breaks out?

- Or he's declared cured and released?



And one fine day

the killing starts all over?



Another month-long manhunt!



Once again the insanity clause,

once again the asylum!



Another breakout or possible release!

And again..."must kill"!



Is this supposed

to go on indefinitely?



No one has the right to kill a man



who cannot be held

responsible for his crimes!



Not even the state,



and all of you least of all!



The state must ensure

that this man is rendered harmless



so that he ceases to be

a danger to society!



You never had kids, did ya?



Then you never lost any either.



But if you wanna know what it's like



when a little child is taken from you,



just ask the parents

whose kids he took away!



Ask 'em about the days and nights

not knowing what had happened,



and later,

when they finally found out...



Why don't you ask the mothers?



You should ask the mothers!



Think you'd get mercy

from any of them



for murdering their kids?



- The woman's right!

- Absolutely!



No mercy for the killer!



- Let him have it!

- Slaughter the bastard!



- Kill the monster!

- Kill him!



- Put the animal to death!

- Rub him out!



- Kill him!

- Waste him!



- Get rid of him!

- Annihilate the monster!



I will not let you shout me down!



I will not allow a murder

to be committed in my presence.



I demand that this human being...



That's not a human being!



That this human being be afforded

the same protection under the law



rendered the common criminal!



Not a chance!



I demand that he be

handed over to the police!



The police!

Of all the dumb...



In the name of the law...



In the name of the people...



This will not bring

our children back.



One has to...



keep closer watch...



over the children!



All of you!



Special help by SergeiK