December 31, 2010

New Year – New Peter Lorre TV Schedule

Peter Lorre fans, ring out the old year of 2010 with a viewing of Arsenic and Old Lace on Turner Classic Movies – Friday, Dec. 31, 1:45 pm EST.

And then get set for a new year of Lorre on television – and a number of rare Lorre films, as well as some special treats.

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

January, 2011

Jan. 3 (Mon.), 9:30 am, Fox Movie Channel – I Was an Adventuress (1940): Peter’s contract with 20th Century-Fox had ended, but he went back to the studio for this picture, in which he plays a charming pickpocket and one-third of a trio of con artists operating in the French Riviera.

Jan. 3 (Mon), 11:15 pm, TCM – Crime and Punishment (1935): Peter’s second American film is shown in an evening of films directed by Josef von Sternberg.

Jan. 4 (Tues), 10:30 am, Hallmark Movie Channel – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954).

Jan. 18 (Tues), 10 pm, TCM – Screen Director’s Playhouse, “No. 5 Checked Out” (1956): Turner Classic Movies’ salute to the Hal Roach Studios continues with a number of episodes from this NBC anthology TV series, including “No. 5 Checked Out”, directed by Ida Lupino, starring Peter Lorre, William Talman, Theresa Wright, and Ralph Moody and originally broadcast this date in 1956.

Jan. 21 (Fri), 9 am, TCM – The Beast With Five Fingers (1946).

February, 2011

Turner Classic Movies’ annual 31-day salute to the Academy Awards includes a couple of Peter Lorre staples . . .

Feb. 14 (Mon.), 10 pm, TCM – Casablanca (1942). Tonight's theme is "All in the Family", referring to members of the same family participating in a film and winning (or receiving nominations for) the Academy Award. For Casablanca, it was the Epstein brothers, Julius J. and Philip G., winning the "Best Writing, Screenplay" Oscar, along with their co-writer, Howard Koch.

Feb. 26 (Sat.), 3:30 pm, TCM – The Maltese Falcon (1941). "On Second Thought" is the theme tonight – sometimes the second remake is the one that wins the Oscar. The Maltese Falcon was the third time the Dashiell Hammett novel had been filmed.

March, 2011

TCM ends their salute to Oscar into the first few days of March with another Lorre award-winner and includes a Lorre film new to the channel.

Mar. 2 (Wed.), 10 pm, TCM – Around the World in 80 Days (1956): As a Japanese steward on a ship bound for Yokohama, Peter Lorre joined dozens of Hollywood actors in this all-star extravaganza filmed around the world. He also appeared in the animated closing credits – as a sword-wielding samurai warrior.

Mar. 4 (Fri.), 6 am, Hallmark Movie Channel – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Mar. 8 (Tues.), 7:30 am, Fox Movie Channel – I Was an Adventuress (1940)

Mar. 9 (Wed.), 8:30 am, Hallmark Movie Channel – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Mar. 10 (Thurs.), 4:15 pm, Flix East – The Patsy (1964): Peter's final movie. He died three days after completing work on the film.

Mar. 13 (Sun.), 3:15 am, TCM – The Story of Mankind (1957): As Mr. Scratch (Vincent Price) and the Spirit of Man (Ronald Colman) argue over mankind’s worth, Peter Lorre plays Emperor Nero, who fiddles while Rome burns.

Mar. 14 (Mon.), 9 am, TCM – The Cross of Lorraine (1943).

Mar. 16 (Wed.), 8 am, TCM – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944): The Museum of Modern Art's Film Archive includes more than 22,000 and regularly hosts screenings in New York City. This day-long salute to the Archive includes several classic films from the MoMA collection.

Mar. 16 (Wed.), 10:05 am, Flix East – The Patsy (1964).

Mar. 16 (Wed.), 4 am, TCM – Casablanca (1942).

Mar. 24 (Thurs.), 6 pm, TCM – Strange Cargo (1940).

These films and many other Lorre movies are now available on VHS and DVD – some remastered and packaged 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!

December 18, 2010

Peter Lorre Films in Burbank on Jan. 15, 2011

Long a favorite of cartoon animators and artists, Peter Lorre will be the subject of the next meeting of the Creative League at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, the Creative League will present a Lorre double-feature of Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) and M (1931).

The program begins at 7 p.m.

Attendance at Creative League meetings is by invitation only, and this event is limited to twelve people. To request a reservation to attend, contact the League at their eMail address:

The ASIFA-Hollywood is located at 2114 W. Burbank Blvd, in Burbank, California.

According to their website, the Creative League considers Peter Lorre “one of the greatest actors of all time”. His acting style and facial expressions are “a great model to study for animators looking to improve their acting chops.” And with Pixar and Walt Disney Studios among the ASFIA-Hollywood members and sponsors, perhaps an animated Lorre character will make an appearance in an upcoming film. . . . . . .

December 4, 2010

Lorre Films at New York’s Museum of Modern Art

Peter Lorre fans in the New York City area are in for a rare treat this week – a showing of Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (The Trunks of Mr. O.F., 1931) at the Museum of Modern Art.

From Nov. 17, 2010, to Mar. 7, 2011, MOMA will host Weimar Cinema, 1919-1933: Daydreams and Nightmares, a festival of 75 full-length and six short German films, along with a gallery exhibition of film posters and stills from the Weimar era.

Lorre films on the schedule will be shown in Theater 1 – the Roy and Niuta Titus Theater – and include:

Dec. 4 (Sat), 2010 – Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (1931), 8 p.m.
Dec. 8 (Wed), 2010 – Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (1931), 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 9 (Thurs), 2010 – M (1931), 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11 (Sat), 2010 – M (1931), 5 p.m.

Tickets for Theater 1 programs are available at the lobby information desk and the film desk. The lobby information desk opens at 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The film desk opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Seniors (65 and over, with I.D.), $6 for full-time students. MOMA members and children 16 and under are free, but a ticket is required.

Advance tickets are also available, but no more than one week in advance of a film. The service charge is $1 for MOMA members and $1.50 for all others. Tickets may also be purchased online through the MOMA website. For more information, please call (212) 708-9400.

The Museum of Modern Art is located at 11 West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th avenues in midtown Manhattan, and is easily reached by both subway and bus. If arriving by car, MOMA visitors and members can receive discounted parking at nearby garages. More information, including rates, can be found under Parking on the MOMA website.

As Stix the newspaper editor in Die Koffer des Hernn O.F., Peter Lorre enjoyed a romantic role as loving husband and father in a light musical comedy. It was a part he seldom got the opportunity to play in a career dominated by films of suspense, mystery and murder.

September 19, 2010

Bogart Film Festival Includes 3 Lorre Films

The Cinéma du Parc in Montreal, Canada, presents a Humphrey Bogart film festival during the month of September.

On the schedule of classic Bogart films are three films co-starring Peter Lorre: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), and Beat the Devil (1954):
  • Sept. 10, Fri. – The Maltese Falcon, 7 pm
  • Sept. 11, Sat. – The Maltese Falcon, 3 pm
  • Sept. 15, Wed. – The Maltese Falcon , 7 pm
  • Sept. 20, Mon. – The Maltese Falcon, 9 pm
  • Sept. 26, Sun. – Casablanca, 7 pm
  • Sept. 27, Mon. – Beat the Devil, 7 pm, and Casablanca, 9 pm
  • Sept. 28, Tues. – Casablanca, 9 pm
  • Sept. 29, Wed. – Beat the Devil, 7 pm, and Casablanca, 9 pm
  • Sept. 30, Thurs. – Casablanca, 7 pm, and Beat the Devil, 9 pm
The full schedule is available on the cinema’s website.

Ticket prices are $11 for General Admission (after 6 pm, weekends and holidays), $8 for seniors and children. On Tuesdays, all seats are $8. Tickets may also be purchased on-line through the cinema’s website.

The Cinéma du Parc is located at 3575 Ave du Parc, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, please call (514) 281-1900.

Parking is available near the cinema. Enter the indoor parking structure through either Park Avenue or Jeanne-Mance Street. To get three hours’ parking for only $2, ask for your parking stub at the box office when you purchase your movie ticket.

Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre appeared in a total of five movies together. They began with The Maltese Falcon, continued with All Through the Night (1942), Casablanca, and Passage to Marseille (1944) all at Warner Bros., and ended with the independent film Beat the Devil, directed by John Huston, their director on Falcon.

In his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, Stephen D. Youngkin details the many stories about the two actors’ antics and practical jokes both on- and off-set.

Peter counted Bogie as one of his two closest friends – the other being German playwright Bertolt Brecht – and they remained friends to Bogie’s passing in 1957.

September 8, 2010

The Carolina Screens The Comedy of Terrors, Sept. 9, 2010

This Thursday, September 9, 2010, the Carolina Asheville Theater will screen The Comedy of Terrors (1964), as part of the series The Thursday Horror Picture Show.

Showtime is at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge. Admission to the Thursday Horror Picture Show is free.

The Carolina is located at 1640 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC. Parking is available at the cinema. For more information, please call (828) 274-9500.

The Comedy of Terrors was Peter Lorre’s final film at American International Pictures before his passing in March of 1964. The role of Felix Gillie, unwilling assistant to undertaker Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) and his scheme to get “customers” by killing elderly citizens in their small New England town, called for a fair amount of physical activity – which the ailing Lorre was not up to. In stepped Harvey Parry, Peter’s long-time stunt double since the Mr. Moto series of the late 1930s. Padded to match Peter’s weight and wearing a “Peter Lorre mask”, Harvey Parry performed the burial in the film’s opening moments and the sword fight at the climax.

Lorre biographer Stephen D. Youngkin details the filming of The Comedy of Terrors in his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005). Images from the film set can be found in the Photo Gallery on the official website for The Lost One.

September 2, 2010

Peter Lorre on TV This Fall

The Turner Classic Movies channel has scheduled a number of Lorre films this September, October, November, and December – many old favorites, as well as some new movies. All times are Eastern Standard.

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

September, 2010

Sept. 3 (Fri.), 12:30 pm, TCM – They Met in Bombay (1941).

Sept. 6 (Mon), 9:30 pm, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

Sept. 6 (Mon), 5:10 am, Cinemax – Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961).

Sept. 9 (Thurs), 7:35 am, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

Sept. 12 (Sun), 6 am, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

Sept. 12 (Sun), 3:25 pm, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

Sept. 17 (Fri), 8:10 am, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

Sept. 25 (Sat), 4:50 pm, FLIX – The Patsy (1964).

October, 2010

October means horror films on TCM, and a couple Lorre movies are part of the Halloween weekend horror fest this month.

Oct. 4 (Mon.), 7:30 am, The Movie Channel – The Patsy (1964).

Oct. 8 (Fri.), 6 pm – Silk Stockings (1957).

Oct. 9 (Sat.), 6:40 am, The Movie Channel – The Patsy (1964).

Oct. 15 (Fri.), 10:30 am, The Movie Channel – The Patsy (1964).

Oct. 20 (Wed.), 11:45 am – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).

Oct 20 (Wed.), 12:30 am – All Through the Night (1942). Lou Lumenick, film critic for the New York Post, has selected this film for TCM’s Critic’s Choice Night.

Oct. 21 (Thurs.), 8 am – Passage to Marseille (1944).

Oct. 26 (Tues.), 9:30 am, The Movie Channel – The Patsy (1964).

Oct. 30 (Sat.), 12:45 am – Mad Love (1935).

Oct. 31 (Sun.), 7 am, The Movie Channel – The Patsy (1964).

Oct. 31 (Sun), 1:30 pm – The Raven (1943).

November, 2010

Nov. 7 (Sun.), 2 am – M (1931). Peter Lorre's first sound film will be shown during an evening of films directed by Fritz Lang.

Nov. 10 (Wed.), 6 pm – Passage to Marseille (1944).

Nov. 13 (Sat.), 4:45 pm – Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

Nov. 23 (Tues.), 10:45 am – You’ll Find Out (1940).

Nov. 25 (Thurs.), 6:30 pm – My Favorite Brunette (1947).

Nov. 29 (Mon.), 9 pm – Casablanca (1942). Casablanca is one of several films tonight representing the 1940s during TCM's The History of Hollywood series in November.

Nov. 29 (Mon.), 4:30 am – Hollywood Canteen (1944).

December, 2010

Dec. 5 (Sun.), 6 pm – Casablanca (1942).

Dec. 9 (Thurs.), 6:30 pm – Quicksand (1950).

Dec. 31 (Fri.), 1:45 pm – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).

These films and many other Lorre movies are now available on VHS and DVD – some remastered and packaged 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!

August 28, 2010

The Maltese Falcon at the Lakewood Public Library

On Sept. 4, 2010, as part of its film series "Fall Guys and Femme Fatales: Film Noir in the Forties", the Lakewood Public Library in Lakewood, OH, will show The Maltese Falcon (Warner Bros., 1941). The program begins at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium in the Main Library. Admission is free.

The Main branch of the Lakewood Public Library is located at 15425 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH. Parking is available in the lot behind the library, off Arthur Avenue, in addition to both metered and unmetered street parking. For more information, please call the library at (216) 226-8275. Directions, including public transportation, can be found here on the library’s website.

Film Appreciation instructor Terry Meehan will host the “Fall Guys and Femme Fatales” series with a discussion about the films, the directors, and the film noir genre, as well as short documentaries on the filmmakers who developed the genre.

“Fall Guys and Femme Fatales” is one of three movie series at the Lakewood Public Library this fall. Also on the schedule are “Five Star Films” and the “Lakewood Public Cinema”.

All film series will be shown for free on the library's digital projection system.

May 16, 2010

The Maltese Falcon On-Screen in New Orleans

The Prytania Theatre will once again host a classic movie series this summer, with The Maltese Falcon (Warner Bros., 1941) showing at noon on May 15, 16, and 19, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. The series will be hosted by the cinema's owner, Rene Brunet, acknowledged as an expert on film, as well as a New Orleans theater historian – and instantly recognizable in his "movie necktie".

The Prytania is located at 5339 Prytania Street, in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information, please call (504) 891-2787.

Ticket prices are $5.50 for all ages before 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., prices are as follows – $8.50 for adults; $7.50 for college students; and $6.50 for children under 12 and seniors over 62.

In late 1944, Peter Lorre went on a “house act” tour of the east coast. For two months, he appeared on the stages of the largest downtown movie theaters and performed a dramatic spot titled “The Man With the Head of Glass”, written specially for him by Frank Wilson. During the week of Oct. 12, the St. Charles in New Orleans was his penultimate stop.

In the lobby of the Prytania are photos of many New Orleans movie theaters. The St. Charles may be among them. And if not, perhaps Mr. Brunet has a story or two to tell about that cinema. . . .

May 8, 2010

"Peter Lorre vs Peter Lorre" on BBC Radio, May 10, 2010

In late 1963, Peter Lorre found himself involved in a strange legal case involving one Eugene Weingand.

In July 1963, the young German immigrant Weingand applied to change his name legally to "Peter Lorie, Jr.", claiming two reasons – (1) everyone called him "Peter Lorie" and (2) his own name was too hard to pronounce.

The real Peter Lorre objected to this attempt to trade on his name. Peter had no problem with people who wanted to imitate him. "I am without a question of a doubt the most imitated man in night clubs." But to take his name was something entirely different. "My name to me is a reward. It means to me everything that encompasses me in relationship to others."

On Oct. 3, 1963, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County considered Weingand's petition.

On Sept. 1, 2008, BBC Radio 4 dramatized the resulting trial in an original play called "Peter Lorre vs Peter Lorre", based on actual trial transcripts. On Monday, May 10, 2010, the play will be rebroadcast over BBC Radio 4, FM only, at 2:15 p.m., British Standard Time.

Lorre fans around the world may listen over the BBC Radio 4 website. And for one week following transmission, the play will be available through the BBC 4 website’s iPlayer.

In his Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, Stephen D. Youngkin details what happened following the trial. Months after Peter's death on March 23, 1964, Eugene Weingand reapplied and was permitted to change his name legally to "Peter Lorre, Jr". He also pursued a career in acting, appearing in small roles in Made-for-TV movies such as The Cat Creature (1973) and an episode of Get Smart! (1965) as a suspected KAOS agent.

And he didn’t mind letting other people believe – incorrectly – that he was the son of the real Peter Lorre.

"Peter Lorre vs Peter Lorre" is now available for MP3 download through Amazon. More information, including links, can be found on the Peter Lorre on Radio page on the official website of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre.

April 23, 2010

Stranger on the Third Floor On-Screen, Apr. 23, 2010

As part of their series “The Newspaper Picture”, the Film Forum in New York City will be showing Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) on a double-bill with While the City Sleeps (directed by Fritz Lang, 1956).

Newspaper reporter Michael Ward (John McGuire) finds his career on the rise when he covers the sensational story of a local café owner’s murder and the suspect’s (Elisha Cook Jr) arrest and trial. But when his odious third-floor neighbor is killed in the same way, Michael fears he could be arrested on circumstantial evidence – unless his loyal fiancée Jane (Margaret Tallichet) can track down a mysterious stranger (Peter Lorre) lurking around Michael’s boarding house . . . .

Show-times for Stranger on the Third Floor are 1 p.m., 4:40 p.m. and 8:25 p.m. The 8:25 p.m. screening will be introduced by a special guest – Catherine Wyler, daughter of actress Margaret Tallichet and director William Wyler.

The Film Forum is located at 209 West Houston Street, between 6th and 7th avenues, in New York City. For more information, please call the Box Office at (212) 727-8110. Directions, including parking and public transportation, can be found here at the Film Forum website.

Tickets may be purchased at the theater on the day of the showing only. The Film Forum’s pricing policy for a double feature – two films for the price of one – is in effect for this screening.

April 18, 2010

Lorre Films on TV This Spring

Lorre movies from several different studios are on the Turner Classic Movies schedule over the next three months.

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.

April, 2010

Apr. 19 (Mon.), 6 p.m. – All Through the Night (1942). As Pepi, Peter appeared in his second film with pal Humphrey Bogart, and his first with Karen Verne, who in 1945 became the second Mrs. Lorre.

Apr. 30 (Fri.), 8 p.m. – Background to Danger (1943). Peter Lorre plays Russian spy Nikolai Zaleshoff, working with and against American agent Joe Barton (George Raft). Watch for the scene in the Zaleshoffs' apartment – during filming of this sequence, Raft took exception to Peter's smoking and scene-stealing and decked him. Peter's stuntman Harvey Parry, who also doubled him on the Mr. Moto films of the late 1930s, tells the story in Stephen Youngkin's book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre.

May, 2010

A rarely-televised Lorre film is the lone entry on the schedule this month.

May 24 (Mon.), 8:15 a.m. – The Face Behind the Mask (1941). One of the few films in which Peter took the leading role. He plays Janos Szabo, a Hungarian watchmaker who immigrates to the U.S., but finds his new life utterly changed when he becomes horribly scarred in a fire.

June, 2010

This month is Peter Lorre's 106th birthday, and a couple Lorre films that don't usually get much play will be shown.

June 4 (Fri.) – Peter Lorre at sea in:

They Met in Bombay (1941) at 6 a.m. – "Oh, but this is no passenger ship, sir," Capt. Chang (Lorre) tells Clark Gable and Rosalind Russell, jewel thieves attempting to escape Bombay (now Mumbai) aboard the Chinese skipper's tramp steamer. "Of course, almost anything may be done for money." And for Capt. Chang, that includes double-crossing his passengers for the £50,000 reward on their heads.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) at 10 p.m. – A ship of another kind – a "submerging boat" – is the setting for Peter Lorre's only film at the Walt Disney studio. To publicize the film, Peter appeared with his 20,000 Leagues co-stars on two episodes of Disneyland, the Disney television program: "The Disneyland Story", Oct. 27, 1954, the series' premiere episode; and "Monsters of the Deep", Jan. 19, 1955, which highlighted the film's set-piece: a fight with a giant squid.

Many Lorre 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!

April 17, 2010

Daemen College Screens M on Apr. 19, 2010

On Monday, Apr. 19, 2010, the classic German film M will be shown in the Wick Center – Charles J. Wick Campus Center – at Daemen College in Amherst, NY. Chris Wilson, Director of Computer Services on campus, will be the commentator.

The program begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Daemen College is located at 4380 Main Street in Amherst, NY. Parking is available behind the Wick Center, as well as other locations on campus.

Peter Lorre was 26 when famed German director Fritz Lang cast him in the role of a serial child murderer who terrorizes Berlin and is finally brought to justice by the Underworld. It was a role that catapulted Lorre to fame, contracts with American movie studios, and a place in motion picture history.

But it wasn’t his first time before the movie cameras. It was his second.

Lorre’s first movie was a silent film called Die verschwundene Frau (The Missing Wife), released in 1929 through Österreichisches Filmindustrie and directed by Karl Leiter. Peter appeared in the small role of a patient visiting a dentist, and his participation in the film was a secret he took with him to the grave. He told no one – not his brothers, not Celia Lovsky, with whom he was living at the time, and not the many reporters who interviewed him over the years. It wasn’t until 1996, during the restoration of a nitrate print found in a Belgian archive that his first screen appearance was revealed.

Photos of Peter as the dental patient are included in Stephen D. Youngkin’s Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre. The Missing Wife is discussed in Chapter 1, “Facemaker”, while the production of M is chronicled in Chapter 2, “M is for Morphine”.

April 15, 2010

Arsenic and Old Lace On-Screen Apr. 17-18, 2010

In Arsenic and Old Lace, Peter Lorre’s character Dr. Einstein nips continuously from a bottle of Scotch he keeps in his jacket pocket. This weekend, Lorre fans in New Haven, CT, can enjoy mimosas before viewing Arsenic and Old Lace at the Criterion Cinema, one of the Bow Tie Cinema chain.

This Saturday and Sunday, Apr. 17 and 18, 2010, Arsenic and Old Lace will be shown at the Criterion Cinema as part of their classic film series “Movies and Mimosas”. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. The program begins at 11 a.m.

General admission is $5. For Criterion Club members, admission is $4 with the Club Loyalty card. Tickets may also be purchased on-line through the theater’s website.

The Criterion Cinema is located at 86 Temple Street, at the corner of Temple and George streets, New Haven, CT. Discount parking is available directly across the street in the Temple Street garage. On weekends, valet parking is also available across the street. For showtimes and information, please call the Criterion Cinema at (203) 498-2500.

Filmed in the fall of 1941, Arsenic and Old Lace was Peter’s second movie at Warner Brothers, following The Maltese Falcon. It would not be released until October 1944, after the Broadway play ended its run. By then, Peter was a year into his contract with Warners and at the height of his career, with frequent radio appearances and a tour of dramatic readings on the stages of the largest movie theaters on the East Coast – in addition to such classic Warners films as Casablanca and The Mask of Dimitrios.

April 11, 2010

All Through the Night at the Brooklyn Public Library

As an entry in the film series "War and the City", All Through the Night (Warner Bros., 1942) will be shown at the Central Library branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Dweck Center – Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture. Admission is free.

The Central Library branch is located at 10 Grand Army Plaza, in Brooklyn, NY. For more information, please call (718) 230-2100.

In All Through the Night , Peter Lorre plays Pepi, the piano-playing hitman of a gang of Nazi saboteurs (or “Fifth Colyuminsts”, as Humphrey Bogart calls them) planning to destroy an American military vessel in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It was the second film Peter made with his pal Bogie – and his first with Karen Verne (billed as Kaaren Verne).

For his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005), Stephen Youngkin interviewed director Vincent Sherman on the making of the film – and the off-screen romance between Peter and Karen, who married on May 25, 1945. Sherman also joined Bogart biographer Eric Lax on the audio commentary track for All Through the Night, included in the Humphrey Bogart: Signature Collection, Vol. II (2006).

April 3, 2010

It’s Rondo Time Again!

It doesn’t look like much – a small gray bust of a 1940s horror-film actor – but to those lucky enough to win one, it’s as precious as any prize.

It’s the Rondo – a yearly award where the voters are ordinary fans of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy, and the categories include Movies, TV, DVDs, Restorations, Books, Magazines, Magazine Covers, Websites, Blogs, Fan Events, and more.

In the spring of 2006, Stephen D. Youngkin’s book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky) won the Rondo for Best Book of 2005.

This year, there are two other Lorre items on the ballot:

#4 – Best Classic DVD Collection: Among the nominees is the 4-film, 2-disc box-set Karloff & Lugosi Horror Classics, released Oct. 6, 2008, and including You’ll Find Out (1940), co-starring Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi in their one and only on-screen teaming in this comic take on the “old dark house” horror staple.

#12 – Best Magazine Article of 2009: Among the nominees is “Peter Lorre: The Lost One Is Found”, written by Herbert Shadrak for the Cinema Retro website, Apr. 4, 2009. The article is both an interview with author Stephen Youngkin and a discussion of Lorre’s career.

Voting is by eMail only and ends Saturday, April 3, at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. The official ballot and instructions, as well as the history of the awards and a list of past winners, can be found here on the Rondo website.

The winners will be announced on the Rondo website as well as the Classic Horror Film Board, in the folder “Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards”.

Happy voting!

March 6, 2010

Peter Lorre on Radio – Mar. 6, 2010

Old-time radio fans – as well as fans of Peter’s work in radio – may want to tune in on Saturday, March 6, 2010, to Chicago radio station WDCB, where Those Were the Days, hosted by Steve Darnall, airs series’ episodes from the Golden Age of radio – including original commercials.

The program airs from 1 to 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Today’s line-up, titled “Radio Goes to the Cats”, includes “The Black Cat”, the penultimate installment in Peter Lorre’s 13-week NBC series Mystery in the Air. Based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, this episode tells the story of Charles (Lorre), who strangles his pet cat and is then haunted by his deed when a cat with similar markings shows up.

Today’s complete schedule of 30-minute programs:
  • Mysterious Traveler (July 2, 1944), “Queen of the Cats”

  • Father Knows Best (Apr. 2, 1953) – Bud starts a business selling Panama cats

  • The Shadow (Jan. 12, 1947), “The Cat and the Killer”

  • Claudia (Nov. 24, 1947), Claudia gives her cat Shakespeare a bath

  • Frontier Gentleman (Aug. 10, 1958), “The Cat Man”

  • Fibber McGee and Molly (Oct. 14, 1947), Teeny’s cat hides under the McGees’ front porch

  • Mystery in the Air (Sept. 18, 1947), “The Black Cat”

Those Were the Days may be heard over WDBC 90.9 or through streaming audio on the station’s website.

Each installment of Those Were the Days is also available on demand for one week, beginning the following Tuesday, through the Nostalgia Digest website. To listen to the most recent broadcast, click on the dial on the image of the antique radio.

Mystery in the Air was a summer replacement series for The Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Show. On June 26, 1947 – his 43rd birthday – Peter appeared at the close of Bud and Lou’s final show of the season to announce his upcoming series. Beginning July 3, and for 12 weeks following, Lorre starred in mystery and suspense stories “culled from the four corners of world literature”, as well as some original radio scripts, such as “The Marvelous Barastro”. The series ended on Sept. 25, 1947, with an adaptation of Peter’s own film version of Crime and Punishment (Columbia, 1935).

For his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (University Press of Kentucky, 2005), Stephen Youngkin interviewed Harry Morgan, “The Voice of Mystery” and host of Mystery in the Air, about his experiences working with Lorre on the show. His recollections are amusing and enlightening – as Peter Lorre was an actor who played to the microphone and ended each program bathed in perspiration because he had just given a fantastic vocal performance.

In the Appendix, The Lost One also includes a list of Peter Lorre’s radio credits, many of which are available for purchase through internet dealers such as Radio Showcase.