Sunday evening, Cinema Inc. is proudly presenting one of the most influential movies of all time: Fritz Lang’s 1931 German crime thriller “M” at the Rialto Theater. Peter Lorre stars as the villainous child murderer Hans Beckert in the classic film that was one of the first “talkies,” that is, films with sound, for our younger readers. Those tired of the slick formulas of today’s suspense films should really give “M” a look. Its mixture of chilling tension and social commentary make it the forerunner of thousands of psychological thrillers that don’t come close to Lang’s searing vision, including Joseph Losey’s ill-received 1951 American remake. “M” starts at 7, and season passes are $12. Details: 919-787-7611; www.cinema-inc.org.
Other Highlights: • The N.C. Museum of Art’s Winter series “Universal @ 100,” continues Friday night with Paul Leni’s “The Cat and the Canary,” starring Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, and Martha Maddox. NCMA film curator Laura Boyes will introduce the silent film, which will feature live piano accompaniment by jazz musician David Drazin. It starts at 8 p.m. at the Museum Auditorium in the East Building. Tickets are $7 ($5 for students and NCMA members). Details: 919-715-5923; ncartmuseum.org/calendar. • Also Friday night in Durham, the Carolina Theatre’s monthly Retro Classics series (an offshoot of Retrofantasm) has a double feature dubbed “Hammer’s House of Horrors” featuring two films from the legendary British company Hammer Film Productions: Terence Fisher’s “The Brides of Dracula” (1960), followed by Val Guest’s “The Quatermass Xperiment” (1955). The double bill begins at 7, and admission is $8 ($6.25 for Star members). Details: 919-560-3030; festivals.carolinatheatre.org/retrofantasma. • Wednesday night at the Colony, the Cinema Overdrive series is screening one of the many movies that owes a debt to “M”: John McNaughton’s 1986 cult classic “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” starring Michael Rooker, currently in the cast of the popular AMC program “The Walking Dead.” There will be vintage trailers before and after the film. The movie starts at 8, and admission is $5.00. Details: 919-847-5677; www.ambassadorcinemas.com. • Thursday evening, the North Carolina Black Film Festival kicks off at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington with a Cinemixer/Awards Ceremony at 6, followed by a screening of Fred Thomas Jr.’s “24-Hour Love” at 7. Admission is $10. Details: 910-620-3313; www.BlackArtsAlliance.org.