Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Peter Lorre Mini Fest!

I went out on a date at The Egyptian to see a double feature of Peter Lorre movies this weekend. It's really fun to see that crazy character up on a giant silver screen in the way that Hollywood intended. The first film I saw was "Stranger on the Third Floor" (1940) and it starred an actress that bore an uncanny resemblance to NBC wunderkind alumni, Tina Fey. The actress who played the Lorre pseudo victim was Margaret Tallichet. She was a starlet from Dallas who later married famed director William Wyler and then chucked a really promising career. I thought she was amazing in this. I sure hope that Peter Lorre's crazy teeth were a part of his character and not his own teeth. The second film was titled "The Face Behind The Mask" (1941). This one was part tearjerking melodrama, and part film noir mobster fun! Here are a couple of clips from both movies. I was actually very moved by Lorre's performance in this one. It's basically a tragedy, but in the noir genre, it's the only way it can make sense. When Lorre approaches the mirror and says "What have you done with face"!, it reminds me of my morning ritual when I first get up to look at my puss in the medicine cabinet.

1 comment:

jim bradshaw said...

I LOVE old movies. I don't watch enough of them because my wife and friends don't dig them. That sounds like a cool date. I want to get these movies now. I hope the date went well for you.

Have you seen "A Touch of Evil" with Orson Welles? He puts in a seething performance and the black & white filming/art direction in the Mexican border town is superb. Definitely one to own.