October 5, 2009

Take a Class on "Peter Lorre"

From Oct. 6 to Nov. 3, 2009, Lorre fans in Vero Beach, Florida, will be able to study the life and career of the classic film actor.

The World of Peter Lorre” will be offered through the Education and Film Department at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Warren Obluck, the museum’s film studies coordinator, will lead the discussions and screen several Lorre movies, including M (1931), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Beat the Devil (1953), and Silk Stockings (1957).

In addition, Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937) – the first of the eight Mr. Moto detective films Lorre made at 20th Century-Fox in the late 1930s – will be shown in serial style at the beginning of each class session.

The 5-week class will be held in the Leonhardt Auditorium every Tuesday, beginning Oct. 6 and ending Nov. 3. Two sessions are available – afternoons at 1:30 p.m. and evenings at 7 p.m. The cost is $55, $45 for Museum members.

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is located in Riverside Park, at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, Florida. Free parking is available on campus.

Registration for the fall term began Sept. 8 and continues during Museum hours in the Education Wing or at the main lobby Visitor Services desk throughout the term. Students may register in-person between 4 and 6 p.m., or by phone between 5 and 6 p.m.

For information about registration or any classes, contact Ellyn Giordano, Museum Art School Manager, (772) 231-0707, extension 116. For more information on “The World of Peter Lorre”, call (772) 231-0707, extension 136.

Why a class on Peter Lorre? As instructor Warren Obluck stated in a recent interview with TCPalm, Lorre was “so amazingly talented and so remarkably underused in the United States that audiences never had the opportunity to discover what he was all about.” Through Peter’s movies and a discussion of his personal life, Obluck intends to help students “understand Lorre’s range as an actor.”

Text for the “World of Peter Lorre” course is not announced on the VBMA’s website – but a good choice would certainly be Stephen D. Youngkin’s The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005), Peter’s authorized biography.

September 23, 2009

My Favorite Brunette On-Screen, Sept. 23, 2009

The comedy-mystery My Favorite Brunette (Paramount, 1947) is the Curator’s Choice for September at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Bob Hope stars as baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, who longs to be a private detective like his next door office neighbor Sam McCloud (Alan Ladd). He gets the chance when he’s mistaken for McCloud by Dorothy Lamour. Hired to find her missing uncle, Ronnie gets more than he bargained for when he runs up against a gang of criminals led by Major Simon Montague (Charles Dingle) and his “hitman” Kismet (Peter Lorre).

The film begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are free.

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum is located in two separate buildings. My Favorite Brunette will be shown in the Akeley Building, at 200 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, Michigan.

For more information, contact the museum at (616) 842-0700.

To help publicize My Favorite Brunette, Peter Lorre made a guest appearance on Bob Hope’s radio program, The Pepsodent Show, on May 13, 1947. With a little “creep” music from Pepsodent Show bandleader Desi Arnaz, Hope and Lorre spoof the radio series Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

September 16, 2009

Lorre Films This Fall

With the combined archives of the Warner Bros., MGM, and RKO studios, the cable TV channel Turner Classic Movies runs more Peter Lorre movies than any other American television channel. From now until New Year’s Eve, Lorre fans have much to look forward to.

Peter Lorre’s page on the TV Now website lists the Lorre films scheduled on various television channels over a 2-week period.

All times are Eastern Standard.



September, 2009

Claude Rains is TCM’s “Star of the Month” for September. The schedule includes both films he made with Peter Lorre.

Sept. 2 (Wed.), 10:15 p.m. – Casablanca (1942). Peter Lorre appears in the pivotal role of Ugarte, who gets the action going by leaving with Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) two valuable letters of transit.

Sept. 16 (Wed.), 8 p.m. – Passage to Marseille (1944). As the convict Marius, Peter Lorre joins four other Devil’s Island prisoners (Bogart, George Tobias, Philip Dorn, and Helmut Dantine) to escape and fight for France in the early days of World War II. The story’s unusual “flashback-within-flashback” structure follows the novel, Men Without Country, by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall.

Sept. 17 (Thurs.), 2 a.m. – Hollywood Canteen (1944). Peter Lorre plays himself in a short scene he and Sydney Greenstreet wrote, spoofing their screen image as nefarious characters. “Hey, Sydney, doesn’t that constitute ‘mayhem’?” “Definitely, Peter!”

Sept. 18 (Fri.), 6 p.m. – Strange Cargo (1940). As Monsieur Pig, Peter Lorre loves Joan Crawford and reports escaped convicts – such as Clark Gable – to the authorities in a penal colony in French Guiana.



October, 2009

October means Halloween and horror films on Turner Classic Movies. This month, the following horror and non-horror Lorre films will be shown.

Oct. 4 (Sun.), 6:15 a.m. – The Beast With Five Fingers (1946). The second of only two serious horror films Peter Lorre made in his career. His librarian Hilary Cummins seeks answers in astrology books and escape from the hand of his deceased employer (Victor Francen).

Oct. 4 (Sun.), 7:45 a.m. – Mad Love (1935). Peter’s first horror film, and his first film in the U.S. He plays the brilliant surgeon Dr. Gogol, who grafts the hands of an executed knife-thrower onto the wrists of a concert pianist – not realizing the hands would remember their previous deadly skill.

Oct. 7 (Wed.), 12 p.m. – All Through the Night (1942). As Pepi, a Nazi spy operating in New York City with a gang of Nazi spies, Peter Lorre played a character similar to his Hans Beckert in M – a murderer pursued by both the police and underworld figures. It was Peter’s second movie with his pal, Humphrey Bogart. And his first and only film with Karen Verne, who in 1945 became the second Mrs. Lorre.

Oct. 10 (Sat.), 6 a.m. – Tales of Terror (1962). As the drunken Montressor Herringbone, Peter Lorre appears in the middle segment of this trio of Edgar Allen Poe tales and brings a comic touch to the horrific proceedings.

Oct. 17 (Sat.), 10 a.m. – Passage to Marseille (1944).

Oct. 27 (Tues.), 9:15 a.m. – Beat the Devil (1954). As Julius O’Hara, Peter Lorre teamed up for the last time with Humphrey Bogart and director John Huston in this satire filmed on location in Italy.

Oct. 31 (Sat.), 5:15 a.m. – Mad Love (1935).

The Hallmark Movie Channelwill air 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) on these dates:

Oct. 9 (Fri.), 8 p.m.
Oct. 10 (Sat), 1 p.m.
Oct. 21 (Wed.), 10:30 p.m.
Oct. 22 (Thurs.), 7 p.m.



November, 2009

November brings two Lorre films that are TCM staples, as well as movies that don’t get as much play.

Nov. 2 (Mon.), 12 p.m. – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). Peter Lorre’s Dr. Einstein is a private plastic surgeon to a murderer in this humorous Halloween tale of two sweet old ladies whose “charity” involves disposing of elderly gentlemen with a glass of elderberry wine – laced with a potent mixture of arsenic, strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide.

Nov. 8 (Sun.), 12 p.m. – The Maltese Falcon (1941). Peter Lorre’s performance as Joel Cairo, in search of a fabulous golden jewel-covered statuette, led to a contract with Warner Brothers – and a lifelong friendship with Humphrey Bogart.

Nov. 18 (Wed.), 6 a.m. – You’ll Find Out (1940). Kay Kyser and his “Kollege of Musical Knowledge” band provided the musical interludes in this “mysterious old house” horror-comedy. Teaming up for the first (and only) time with horror-film stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre also appeared with the two actors on Kyser’s radio show to promote the movie.

Nov. 23 (Mon.), 1:30 a.m. – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). Peter Lorre’s first English-speaking film role and first collaboration with director Alfred Hitchcock led to a contract with Columbia Studios, passage to America with his wife Celia Lovsky, U.S. citizenship, and a long career in American films, radio, television, and stage.

Nov. 27 (Fri.), 12 a.m. – The Shaggy D.A. (1976). Not exactly a “Peter Lorre film”, but it’s one of many films featuring a Lorre-like character – in this case, a Boston Terrier plotting with several other dogs (among them, Humphrey Bogart as a bloodhound and Mae West as a poodle) to escape from the pound.

Nov. 28 (Sat.), 6 p.m. – Casablanca (1942).



December, 2009

Humphrey Bogart is December’s “Star of the Month” on TCM, and among the films scheduled are all five of the movies he made with Peter Lorre.

Dec. 1 (Tues.), 6:30 a.m. – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934).

Dec. 3 (Thurs), 11 a.m. – Three Strangers (1946). Peter Lorre’s Johnny West is an innocent who gets caught up in a sensational murder trial – and becomes partners with Jerome Arbutny (Sydney Greenstreet) and Crystal Shackleford (Geraldine Fitzgerald) on a sweepstakes ticket. On meeting Joan Lorring, who plays his love interest, Icy Crane, Peter kidded her by saying, “All of my dreams of playing with the most glamorous women, and here is my first romantic part, and look what I get to play with!”

Dec. 7 (Mon.), 2:15 a.m. – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).

Dec. 16 (Wed.), 6 a.m. – Becoming Attractions: Humphrey Bogart (1996). This documentary on the promotion of Bogart through his movie trailers at Warner Brothers includes discussions of the four films he made with Peter Lorre at the studio in the early 1940s.

Dec. 16 (Wed.) – A Bogart-Lorre triple feature with:
All Through the Night (1942) at 4:15 p.m.,
The Maltese Falcon (1941) at 8 p.m., and
Casablanca (1942) at 10 p.m.

Dec. 22 (Tues.), 1 a.m. – Silk Stockings (1957). As the Russian comissar Brankov, Peter Lorre enjoyed himself in a part that called for singing and dancing with co-stars Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Jules Munshin, and Joseph Buloff.

Dec. 23 (Wed.), 11 a.m. – Passage to Marseille (1944).

Dec. 30 (Wed.), 11:30 p.m. – Beat the Devil (1954).




Many of these movies have been remastered and packaged in DVDs loaded with extra features. For more information on the films of Peter Lorre released to home video, head to the DVD – VHS section of The Lost One website.

Happy viewing!

September 11, 2009

Students! “Peter Lorre” Class Begins in October!

From Oct. 6 to Nov. 3, 2009, Lorre fans in Vero Beach, Florida, will be able to study the life and career of the classic film actor.

The World of Peter Lorre” will be offered through the Education and Film Department at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Warren Obluck, the museum’s film studies coordinator, will lead the discussions and screen several Lorre movies, including M (1931), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Beat the Devil (1953), and Silk Stockings (1957).

The 5-week class will be held in the Leonhardt Auditorium every Tuesday, beginning Oct. 6 and ending Nov. 3. Two sessions are available – afternoons at 1:30 p.m. and evenings at 7 p.m. The cost is $55, $45 for Museum members.

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is located in Riverside Park, at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, Florida. Free parking is available on campus.

Registration for the fall term begins Sept. 8, at 4 p.m. and continues during Museum hours in the Education Wing or at the main lobby Visitor Services desk throughout the term, beginning Sept. 28. Students may register in-person between 4 and 6 p.m., or by phone between 5 and 6 p.m.

For information about registration or any classes, contact Ellyn Giordano, Museum Art School Manager, (772) 231-0707, extension 116. For more information on “The World of Peter Lorre”, call (772) 231-0707, extension 136.

Text for the “World of Peter Lorre” course is not announced on the VBMA’s website – but a good choice would certainly be The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, the authorized biography of Peter Lorre, written by Stephen D. Youngkin.

September 7, 2009

Scent of Mystery at the ArcLight Hollywood, Sept. 8, 2009

Peter Lorre fans in the Los Angeles area are in for a special treat. The 1960 film Scent of Mystery will be shown at the ArcLight Hollywood on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.

Billed as Holiday in Spain for this showing – the title given to the “scent-less” version of the film – the movie tells the story of a British tourist (Denholm Eliott) who accidentally discovers a plot to murder a young woman (Beverly Bentley). With a genial cabdriver (Peter Lorre) as his chauffeur, the intrepid tourist follows the would-be victim through Spain in an attempt to rescue her.

Holiday in Spain will be shown on a double-bill with The Golden Head, which begins at 8 p.m. Holiday in Spain is scheduled for 10 p.m.

The ArcLight Hollywood is located at 6360 W. Sunset Boulevard, between Vine and Ivar, in Hollywood. A 7-level parking garage is located close to the theater, which offers a maximum of 4 hours validation of $2 with the purchase of a movie ticket. Regular rates apply after the validation period.

Tickets may be purchased over the theater's website, at the theater, over the phone, or at ArcLight kiosks. Seats may be selected in advance.

Scent of Mystery is a rarely-seen film, never released to DVD or VHS. Long-thought lost, it surfaced in the 1980s for a couple showings on television. The ArcLight’s print is reportedly not the best, with faded colors and a magenta haze.

During its original run in January, 1960, Scent of Mystery was accompanied by odors released into the theater at key moments to provide clues to the mystery – or as director Jack Cardiff put it, “whiff gags”. Unfortunately, an efficient method of clearing the auditoriums’ air between showings was not available, and Scent of Mystery and “Smell-O-Vision” were a short-lived novelty.

A discussion of the making of Scent of Mystery can be found in Chapter 9 of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005), by Stephen D. Youngkin.

August 8, 2009

Peter Lorre Films in Two Venues on August 8, 2009

Two of Peter Lorre’s Warner Brothers classics – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) and Casablanca (1942) will be shown in different cities this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009.

Arsenic and Old Lace at the Palace Theater in Cleveland, OH

The Palace Theatre, one of four grand old theaters built in the 1920s, rescued from demolition and lovingly restored in Cleveland’s historic Playhouse Square, will be showing a number of classic and modern films in August as part of their annual “Cinema at the Square” festival, now in its 12th year.

On Saturday, Aug. 8, Arsenic and Old Lace is on the schedule, with a showtime of 8:30 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, and $4 for students, seniors, and children under 12. A series pass, good for 6 movies, is available for $15. The ticket office is located in the lobby of the State Theater and opens from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on show days. Tickets may also be ordered by calling (216) 241-6000 or (866) 546-1353, or online through the Playhouse Square website.

The Palace Theatre is located at 1501 Euclid Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio. Parking is available at E. 15th and Chester Avenue, with an enclosed walkway from the garage to the theater. Prepaid parking passes may be purchased for $7.50 at the ticket office.

Arsenic and Old Lace was Peter Lorre’s second film for Warner Brothers; he began work on the picture shortly after wrapping on The Maltese Falcon in the fall of 1941. However, the movie would not be released until October 1944, when the play ended its run on Broadway. By then, Peter Lorre was under contract at Warners and a valued member of their stock company.

Casablanca at a Secret “Drive-In” in Stamford, CT

The Lehrfield’s Stamford “Drive-In” Theater will be running their summer film series from June until Labor Day weekend. Not actually a “Drive-In Theater”, but a recreation of the drive-in theater experience of yesteryear by a small group of film-lovers, with a huge outdoor screen and film projectors, not DVD players. Attendees bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit on the grass.

Refreshments include free popcorn, popped in a movie theater style popcorn machine, and any chips, dip, and other snacks brought by the other moviegoers. Beverages, such as soda, beer, or wine, are “bring your own”.

On Saturday, August 8, Casablanca (1943) will be shown at 8 p.m., preceded by movie trailers of coming attractions, cartoons, and a short subject.

Attendance is by invitation only. To join the mailing list and receive directions, complete the form located on the “theater’s” Home Page and here.

Casablanca was the third movie Peter Lorre made at Warner Bros. with his pal Humphrey Bogart. Peter later claimed he made more money playing the set’s roulette wheel between takes than he did in the small, but pivotal role of Ugarte, who begins the film’s main action by leaving with Rick Blaine (Bogart) a pair of valuable exit visas.

June 21, 2009

The Man Who Knew Too Much On-Screen in Arcata, CA

The historic Arcata Theatre has been around since 1938, opening with the 20th Century-Fox film Thin Ice, starring Fox players Sonja Henie and Tyrone Power. Peter Lorre films such as entries in the Mr. Moto series were no doubt on the schedule at one time, too. But on Sunday, June 21, the Arcata Theatre Lounge will be showing a film from 1934 – Lorre’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Gaumont British), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Show times are at 4 p.m., 6:05 p.m., and 8 p.m. The box office will open 15 minutes before each show.

Admission is $4 before 6 p.m., and $5 after 6 p.m.

All screenings are 13 and over. Anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Arcata Theatre Lounge is located at 1036 G. Street in Arcata, CA.

Peter Lorre spoke very little English – only “yes” and “no”, picked up from his days in the foreign exchange department at the Anglo-Österreichischen Bank in Vienna – when Hitchcock and his producer Ivor Montague cast him as Abbott, the anarchist leader in The Man Who Knew Too Much. But two to three months later, with the help of an English-language tutor, plus mentally translating his lines into German to understand their meaning, Peter had more than a working knowledge of English by the time filming began.

And during filming – and in full wardrobe and make-up – he also took time out to marry his long-time love, Celia Lovsky, who had come with him from Paris.

Peter’s success in this film led to a contract with Columbia Studios, and a long journey from Southampton, England, to New York City, to Los Angeles and the start of his film and radio career in Hollywood.

June 12, 2009

“Addicted to Bad Ideas” in Toronto, June 12, 2009

The World/Inferno Friendship Society will bring their show Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre’s 20th Century to Toronto, Canada, on Friday, June 12, 2009, at 11 p.m. They will perform as part of the Luminato festival at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Headed by Jack Terricloth, who performs as Peter Lorre, the show examines Lorre’s life through a total of 12 punk rock songs, while scenes from Lorre films appear on three large screens behind the band.

Why Peter Lorre? According to Jay Scheib, the show’s director, “He was always the guy who played guys who killed people. But he was a brilliant artist who worked with Hitchcock, Lang, and the best. He survived two World Wars. We are sympathetic to his life, which was this amazing arc of humanity." (Charleston City Paper, May 27, 2009)

The Phoenix Concert Theatre is located at 410 Sherbourne, Toronto, Canada.

Showtime is at 11 p.m. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and may be purchased through Ticketmaster online or by phone, at (416) 870-8000.

For more information on the World/Inferno Friendship Society, please visit the group’s website. Marc Overton’s interview with Jack Terricloth at Spoleto (Charleston, SC) is available on-line through Classical Public Radio. Scroll down to the entry dated “May 29, 2009” and click on the “Listen” icon at the Terricloth interview.

May 26, 2009

An Interview with Stephen Youngkin

Peter Lorre’s biographer, Stephen Youngkin, will appear May 26, 2009, on the internet radio program Dave White Presents, broadcasting over KSAV through their website Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the West coast, and 10:30 to midnight on the East coast.

Dr. Wesley Britton, author of four books on fictional espionage and co-host of Dave White Presents, will talk with Stephen about his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005).

Other guests on the show include – singer/songwriter Lindsay Rush, author Steve Cox (One Fine Stooge), musical group The FUMP, and The Dave White Singers.

Past installments of Dave White Presents are available through the archive at the Audio Entertainment Group website. Click on the Past Programs link, in the menu on the left side of the screen. All programs are also available to download as MP3 files.

May 4, 2009

Spend an Evening with Peter Lorre

On Monday, May 4, 2009, the Turner Classic Movies channel will be showing back-to-back four of Peter’s best and most interesting films. They’re part of an evening of TCM host Robert Osborne’s Picks.

11:15 p.m. – Crime and Punishment (1935)

1:15 a.m. – Three Strangers (1946)

3:00 a.m. – The Verdict (1946)

Island of Doomed Men (1940) follows at 4:30 a.m.

Robert Osborne’s Picks begins at 8 p.m. with Payment Deferred and The Big Clock.

Other Lorre films in May include:

  • May 26, 8 a.m. – Hollywood Canteen (1944)

  • May 28, 2 p.m. – Silk Stockings (1957)


All times are Eastern Standard.

May 3, 2009

Casbah at the Hammer Museum, May 3, 2009

Casbah (Universal, 1948) will be shown on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at the Billy Wilder Theater, located on the Courtyard level of the Hammer Museum in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.

On a double-bill with The Woman I Stole (Columbia, 1933), Casbah is the musical renake of Algiers (1938) and stars singer Tony Martin as the gentleman jewel thief Pepe le Moko and Martin Toren as Gaby, the French tourist whose love lures Pepe from the safety of the Casbah and into the arms of the police – Peter Lorre as Inspector Slimane.

As Slimane, Peter enjoyed playing the pursuer, instead of the pursued, and received numerous excellent notices for his work.

The Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., on the northeast corner of Westwood and Wilshire boulevards in the Westwood Village area of Los Angeles.

Parking is available under the Museum. After 6 p.m., there is a flat rate of $3. During the Museum’s operating hours, rates are $3 for the first three hours with a Museum stamp, and $1.50 for each additional 20 minutes.

Admission is free. The program begins at 7 p.m., with The Woman I Stole, followed by Casbah.

The program is an installment in the film series “From Casablanca to Sahara: Hollywood’s North Africa”, running from May 1 to June 29. The complete schedule is available here. Peter Lorre’s film Casablanca will be shown on Saturday, June 6.

Note: Several dealers on eBay are offering Algiers on DVD – and listing Peter Lorre as one of the cast. This is incorrect. Algiers stars Charles Boyer, Hedy Lamarr, and Joseph Calleia in the key roles – not Peter Lorre.

April 5, 2009

Cinema Retro Reviews The Lost One

Cinema Retro, the premier website for films and television of the 1960s and ‘70s, has published a review of the Peter Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005).

In his article “Peter Lorre: The Lost One is Found”, Canadian film writer Harvey Chartrand discusses the book and includes an interview with the author, Stephen D. Youngkin.

And with Cinema Retro editor-in-chief Lee Pfeiffer a big fan of Peter Lorre's, an upcoming edition of the magazine may contain Chartrand's article, too.

March 29, 2009

Der Verlorene in London

On Tuesday, April 7, Der Verlorene – the only movie Peter Lorre directed, co-wrote (as an original screenplay, not a novel), and co-produced – will be shown in London at the Goethe-Institut, as part of the film series After the War, Before the Wall: West German Cinema 1945-60.

The Goethe-Institut is located at 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2PH.

Admission is £3.

The show will begin at 7 p.m.

For booking information, call +44 20 75964000.

The troubled making of Der Verlorene is documented in Chapter 8, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre by Stephen Youngkin through interviews he took with many who worked on the film before and behind the cameras.

Peter would no doubt be pleased by the attention Der Verlorene (which he translated as The Lost One) has received since the 1980s.

March 28, 2009

Library Presents Arsenic and Old Lace

On Sunday, Mar. 29, the Elmwood Park Public Library will be showing Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) at 1:30 p.m. in the Ferrentino Meeting Room, first floor.

The library is located at 4 W Conti Pkwy, Elmwood Park, IL 60707.

For more information, call Adult Services at (708) 395-1219.

March 23, 2009

A Sad Anniversary

On this date, 45 years ago, Peter Lorre died – a few months before his birthday in June. He was 59.

He was found in his nightclothes, lying on the floor near the window of the bedroom in his small apartment off Hollywood Blvd. Apparently, he had got up to close or open the window and suffered a massive stroke.

He passed without a will or making his final wishes known. He was in the process of divorcing his third wife, Annemarie, the mother of his 10-year-old daughter Catharine.

Two days later, on Mar. 25, Peter was prepared for burial at Pierce Brothers, directly across the street from the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. Vincent Price, then in rehearsal for a guest spot on Red Skelton's TV variety show, got an extra hour off at lunch to deliver the eulogy. Red Skelton closed his show, and he and his cast and crew were among the many attending the funeral.

Peter was cremated and inurned privately at Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. His niche is in Corridor C of the Alcove of Reverence, in the Abbey of the Psalms, located in the corner of the cemetery closest to Paramount Studios, where he once worked on the 1947 film My Favorite Brunette, with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

Several rumors about Peter's ashes have been floating around the internet for years. That his urn was stolen is one of them. That Annemarie Lorre, who died in 1971 and was cremated, has her ashes comingled with Peter's. I asked his authorized biographer Stephen Youngkin about that. His response: "I'm sure Peter and Annemarie are in separate urns. So many crazy rumors. No one in the family ever mentioned the ashes being stolen. Not even Cathy."

Stephen's book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre contains the full text of Peter's eulogy, as delivered by Vincent Price. It's a beautiful testament not only to Peter, but to all actors.

Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery is now known as Hollywood Forever. Tours of the cemetery and the graves of its many famous residents are regularly given by Karie Bible; her website Cemetery Tour gives information about times and prices.

You can leave "virtual" flowers for Peter at his entry on the Find A Grave website.

Rest in peace, Peter Lorre. "In the hearts of those who love you, you will live on."

March 22, 2009

Cinema Retro Reviews Lorre Bio

Canadian writer Harvey Chartrand will be reviewing the Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005) for Cinema Retro, a website and magazine for films and TV programs of the 1960s and '70s.

Titled "Peter Lorre: The Lost One Is Found", the review will include an interview with the book's author, Stephen Youngkin.

Look for more information on the publication date right here – on The Peter Lorre News Blog!

March 12, 2009

New Lorre Fanlist

A new Lorre fanlist is now available on-line – Sinister: The Peter Lorre Fanlisting. The site includes a biographical sketch, a list of Peter's films, Lorre icons, Lorre desktop wallpaper, and a member roster.

To learn more or join the group, click on the button above.

March 10, 2009

Peter at the Midtown Cinema

If you live in the Harrisburg, PA, area – or within an easy drive to Harrisburg – the Midtown Cinema will be showing The Maltese Falcon beginning Friday, March 13, as part of their recent classic film program.

Admission is $6 for adults.

Yahoo Movies has information on showtimes. Enter the theater's zip code – 17102 – in the "Browse by Location" box.

March 8, 2009

Peter on TCM in March and April, 2009

The Turner Classic Movies channel will be showing the following Lorre movies in March:
  • Mar. 5, Thursday – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), 6:30 p.m. EST
  • Mar. 10, Tuesday – The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), 12:15 p.m. EST
  • Mar. 24, Tuesday – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), 7:30 a.m. EST


And in April:
  • Apr. 17, Friday – The Maltese Falcon (1941), 8:00 p.m. EST
Plus – Apr. 15, Wednesday – The Shaggy D.A. (1976), 6:15 p.m. EST. Not exactly a "Peter Lorre" film, but in the "dog pound" sequence, there's a Boston terrier who sounds very much like Peter.

Enjoy!

March 7, 2009

Introduction

I first became a fan of Peter Lorre's in 1973.

It was easy back then to be a Lorre fan. Independent TV channels ran his movies all the time – although they were frequently cut to fit a particular time slot. And in northern California, there were plenty of "art houses" showing classic films.

These days, it's still possible to catch Lorre films such as The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca in theaters. (In fact, The Maltese Falcon was chosen as the first installment in 2008 of The Big Read.)

The Turner Classic Movies channel now runs many of the Lorre films formerly shown on independent stations. And a number of Peter's movies are now on DVD -- remastered, with extras such as audio commentaries, documentary features, and original theatrical trailers.

In this blog, I hope to alert Lorre fans to showings of his movies, as well as any other "Lorre" news.

Stay tuned!