October 31, 2017

Lorre Biographer Discusses Mad Love at The Projection Booth

Kicking off “Shocktober 2017” – a month-long look at horror films – with a discussion of Mad Love (1935), long-time filmfan and writer Mike White invited Stephen D. Youngkin, author of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005), to The Projection Booth on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, for a discussion of Peter Lorre and his first American movie.

During the hour-long interview, Stephen Youngkin described Peter’s journey to Hollywood as a contract player with Columbia Pictures in 1934, his love of America and all things American, his dislike of the term “horror film”, and being labeled a horror movie actor after Mad Love. Having his head shaved for the role of the bald Dr. Gogol was not Peter’s idea, said Youngkin. He was sensitive about his appearance and went to visit Frances Drake, who played Yvonne Orlac, Dr. Gogol’s object of desire, to show her what he really looked like before work began on Mad Love.

Mike White also talked with film historian Greg Mank, whose book Hollywood Cauldron: Thirteen Horror Films from the Genre’s Golden Age (1994) includes a chapter on Mad Love and an interview with Frances Drake. Mank discusses scenes deleted from the finished print; the sad end of Colin Clive, who hated Mad Love and the other horror movies he made in the early 1930s; and Karl Freund’s approach to directing – which involved paying more attention to the movie’s cinematography than the performances of the actors. This suited Peter Lorre, said Mank, who could then do what he wanted to do with a part.

Using clips from the Mad Love dialogue track, Mike White and his guest co-host Samm Deighan explore the story, the characters, the cinematography, the direction, and the performances of the lead actors Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, and Frances Drake.

Episode 343, Oct. 3, 2017, marks Stephen Youngkin’s third visit to The Projection Booth. On May 24, 2017, Youngkin appeared in Episode 324 for a program about Der Verlorene (The Lost One, 1951), Peter Lorre’s only directorial effort. And on Nov. 22, 2016, Youngkin came on-board in Episode 298 for a discussion of Stranger on the Third Floor (1940).

On Nov. 29, 2016, Episode 299, Mike White and his special co-hosts and guests discussed The Chase (1946).

All current and past podcasts of The Projection Booth are available on the program’s website.

And on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Mad Love will be shown on Turner Classic Movies at 10 am EST and 7 am PST, as part of a day-long salute to horror movies.

Happy Halloween from Turner Classic Movies!

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