April 23, 2015

Mr. Moto Author Marquand Honored in Newburyport, Mass.

Known more for its maritime history than a literary past, the Massachusetts town of Newburyport will salute its own home-town author John Phillips Marquand at high tea at the Custom House Maritime Museum on Sunday, April 26, 2015.

The “High Tea in the Marquand Library” will end the weekend’s annual Literary Festival, held in Newburyport over April 24, 25, and 26, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in a variety of venues.

Featured at the tea will be David Adams, associate acquisitions editor at Open Road Integrated Media, who will discuss the upcoming digital revival of 14 books written by Marquand.

The event begins at 4 pm and runs until 5:30 pm.

The tea is free and open to the public, however, seating is limited.

The Custom House Maritime Museum is located at 25 Water Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Parking is available in lots beside and behind the Custom House. Directions to the museum, as well as information on hours and parking, are available on the Custom House website.

The full schedule of the Literary Festival, which began in 2005, is available on the Festival’s website.

Born in 1893, John Philips Marquand graduated from Newburyport High School, as well as Harvard. His family was prominent in trade and later with the abolitionist movement. The room dedicated to him at the Custom House Maritime Museum includes his black Royale portable typewriter, as well as pages of his manuscripts.

But Marquand is best known among Peter Lorre fans as the creator of Mr. I.A. Moto, whose adventures Marquand first published in the Saturday Evening Post and later sold to 20th Century-Fox, where the Japanese detective became Kentaro Moto in a series of eight movies starring Peter from 1937 to 1939.

Marquand also visited the set of the Moto films, where he discussed the character with Peter.

In The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005), Stephen D. Youngkin details the making of the Mr. Moto movies, including interviews with Norman Foster, who directed six of the eight films, co-stars Leon Ames and Chick Chandler, and stuntman Harvey Parry, who doubled Peter in all the judo and fight sequences.

Considering Moto a welcome change from the villain roles he was usually assigned, Peter initially loved playing the diminutive hero – but his interest disappeared as the series wore on, and he found himself appearing as Moto and no one else, including Moto sketches on several radio shows of the period.

All eight of the Mr. Moto movies have been remastered and released in two box-sets, which include several documentaries on the series, the Moto character, and Peter Lorre. More information about ordering the Moto films may be found in the DVD-VHS section of The Lost One website.

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre is available in both hard-bound and soft-bound, as well as the Kindle and Nook.

Eureka Theater Presents Casablanca April 24

Peter Lorre fans in the Eureka area of Northern California will be able to enjoy a special screening of Casablanca (1942), complete with themed cocktails before the screening, at the historic Eureka Theater on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Presented by Wallace and Hintz, makers of fine custom bars, the “Fourth Friday Flix” event begins at 6:30 pm with a Casablanca cocktail hour in the cinema’s Art Deco lobby, as well as the recently restored upper lobby.

At 7:30 pm, the party moves to the auditorium, where the Eureka Theater owners plan to give the audience a true vintage cinema experience with old movie trailers, a newsreel, a short subject, and cartoons, followed by Casablanca.

Patrons are encouraged to dress in 1930s and 1940s period attire.

Advance tickets are available at $7.50 for all ages and may be purchased on-line. A small service charge will be added to all on-line ticket purchases.

Advance tickets may also be purchased at Annex 39, located at 610 F. Street, next door to the Eureka Theater.

Tickets purchased at the door the night of the event will be $10 for all seats.

The Eureka Theater is located at 612 F Street in Eureka, California.

Parking is available in the lot across the street from the Eureka.

For more information, please contact the cinema at (707) 442-2970.

April 12, 2015

It’s Rondo Time Again!

Named after 1940s actor Rondo Hatton, whose facial disfigurement by the disease Acromegaly led to a career in Hollywood horror films, the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards are the annual award where ordinary fans of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy vote for their favorites among the categories Movies, TV, DVDs, Restorations, Books, Magazines, Magazine Cover Artwork, Websites, Blogs, Fan Events, and more.

Now in its 13th year, the Rondo will wrap up at midnight on Saturday, April 18, 2015, Eastern Standard Time – but there’s still plenty of time to vote.

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

This year, there are a few Lorre items on the ballot for the Best of 2014:

#4 – Best DVD / Blu-Ray Collection – Among the nominees is The Vincent Price Collection Vol. 2, including The Raven (1963) and Comedy of Terrors (1964)

#5 – Best Restoration or Upgrade – Among the nominees is The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years, which includes the 1955 episode in which Peter Lorre plays hearse-driver Ralph Kramden to Red’s Ed Norton

#18 – Best Website – Among the nominees is the Film Noir Foundation, which includes many Lorre noir movies in its annual Noir City film festival and was instrumental in the restoration of Three Strangers (1946)

The official ballot is available on the Rondo Awards website.

Voting is done by eMail. To vote, simply cut and paste the ballot into an eMail, mark your choices, include your name, and send the eMail to David at:


Ballots will be accepted until midnight on Saturday, April 18, Eastern Standard Time.

More information on the Rondos, including the ballot and instructions, the history of the award, and past winners, may be found on the Rondo website.

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!

April 10, 2015

Hollywood Film Noir Fest Includes Lorre Film

Peter Lorre fans attending the 17th annual Noir City film noir festival in Hollywood will have the opportunity to catch a restored 35mm print of the 1946 thriller The Chase at the Egyptian Theatre on Friday, April 10, 2015. Based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear, The Chase is the first on a Woolrich double-feature, followed by The Leopard Man (1943).

The program will begin at 7:30 pm with an introduction by Alan K. Rode of the Film Noir Foundation.

Admission is $7 for American Cinematheque members, and $11 non-members of all ages. Tickets may be purchased on-line through Fandango or by calling Fandango at (800) FANDANGO and entering the Egyptian’s theater code – 2206 – when prompted. A processing fee will be added to any tickets purchased on-line.

Tickets may also be purchased at the Egyptian’s box office, which opens 90 minutes before the first feature of the day.

The Egyptian is located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and McCadden, in Hollywood, California.

Parking is available at the Hollywood and Highland parking complex. The Egyptian is also a short walk from the Hollywood and Highland metro station. More information about parking is available on the cinema’s website.

The Noir City film festival, which opened on Friday, April 3, will continue through Sunday, April 19. The full schedule is available on the Egyptian Theatre website.

In the pages of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005), Stephen D. Youngkin discusses the filming of The Chase through interviews with lead actor Robert Cummings.

The Lost One is available on the Kindle and Nook, as well as hard-back and soft-bound editions.

April 8, 2015

Fresno County Libraries Screen The Maltese Falcon

As part of several “Big Read” events in Fresno County, CA, The Maltese Falcon (1941) will be shown at the Fowler Branch Library on Thursday, April 9, 2015.

The program will begin at 4 pm with a discussion of the Dashiell Hammett novel. The movie will follow at 5 pm. Both events will be held in the Fowler Meeting Room

The Fowler Branch of the Fresno County Public Library is located at 306 South 7th Street, in Fowler, California. For more information, please call the library at (559) 600-9281.

Parking is available in the lot beside the library, as well as in front of the library.

The screening of Peter Lorre’s The Maltese Falcon is among the many Big Read events scheduled through Fresno Country branch libraries.

On Thursday, April 9, at the Sunnyside Regional Library, Paul Kaser will lead a discussion of film noir, including clips from many classic noir movies. The program will begin at 6:30 pm.

On Sunday, April 12, a walking tour of Dashiell Hammett’s life and characters is the highlight of a full day in San Francisco. Led by Don Herron, the tour includes the famous alley where the murder of Miles Archer takes place. The bus will depart from the Central Library at 8 am and return at 8:30 pm. The cost is $45 per person and reservations must be made in advance by calling the library at (559) 600-6227.

On Wednesday, April 22, Professor David Borofka is lead the discussion “Beyond Hard-Boiled: Politics, Sociology and Myth in The Maltese Falcon”, on how the novel reflected the social and political realities of its time while using classic literary and mythic conventions. The event will be held at 7 pm at the Fresno City College Old Administration Building, in Room 251, located at 1101 E. University Ave in Fresno, California.

The full schedule of these and other events is available through The Big Read website.

On his website, tour guide Don Herron mentions Peter Lorre in several blog entries, including:
In the pages of The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, author Stephen D. Youngkin discusses the making of The Maltese Falcon through interviews with director John Huston. The Lost One is available for the Nook and Kindle, as well as hard-back and soft-bound editions.

April 3, 2015

Peter Lorre on TV in Spring 2015

Spring is here, and with it, many Peter Lorre movies on television and Turner Classic Movies.

All times shown 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.

April, 2015

April brings several Lorre movies, some shown frequently on the Turner Classic Movies channel and some Mr. Moto films on the new cable channel "Movies! Network".

Apr. 2 (Thurs), 8 am, Fox Movie Channel – I Was an Adventuress (1940). Peter returned to 20th Century-Fox at the end of his contract to play Polo, a charming pickpocket con-man working the French Riviera with two other con artists, who make money selling and stealing the same diamond pendant.

Apr. 7 (Tues), Turner Classic Movies channel – The daytime theme “Directed by Michael Curtiz” includes two Lorre films: Casablanca (1942) at 11:45 am and Passage to Marseille (1944) at 4 pm.

Apr. 10 (Fri), 7:30 am, Fox Movie Channel – I Was an Adventuress (1940).

Apr. 11 (Sat), 8 am, TCM – The Story of Mankind (1957). While the Spirit of Man (Ronald Colman) and the Devil (Vincent Price) debate the value of humans, Peter appears on the debit side of history as Emperor Nero, who laughs maniacally while Rome burns.

Apr. 12 (Sun), 5:15 am, Movies! Network – Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938).

Apr. 12 (Sun), 12:50 pm, Movies! Network – Danger Island (1939). The final Moto movie filmed, but the next-to-final Moto film released finds Mr. Moto in Puerto Rico in search of diamond smugglers.

Apr. 17 (Fri), 8 pm and 11:55 pm, Movies! Network – Beat the Devil (1954). Peter's final movie with old friend Humphrey Bogart, as well as director John Huston.

Apr. 19 (Sun), Movies! Network – A "Mr. Moto" double feature, with Danger Island (1939) at 5 am, followed by Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) at 6:35 am.

Apr. 27 (Mon), 9:55 am, Movies! Network – Danger Island (1939).

May, 2015

A handful of Lorre films are scheduled for May.

May 16 (Sat), 6 am, Fox Movie Channel – I Was an Adventuress (1940).

May 17 (Sun), 2 pm, TCM – Casablanca (1942).

May 18 (Mon), 5:45 pm, TCM – Arsenic and Old Lace (1944). TCM salutes director Frank Capra's birthday with seven movies, including this dark comedy about two sweet little old ladies who consider one of their charities as helping lonely old men to find happiness by serving them a glass of poison-laced elderberry wine, Peter Lorre plays Dr. Einstein, personal plastic surgeon to Jonathan Brewster (Raymond Massey), one of the aunts' nephews – and an international serial killer.

June, 2015

Every Friday in June, Eddie Muller will host TCM's "Summer of Darkness" festival of film noir films, including several Peter Lorre movies. Called the "Czar of Noir", Eddie Muller also co-hosts, with Alan K. Rode, the annual "Noir City" film noir festival, held in several American cities. And on June 26, Peter's 111th birthday, TCM marks the occasion with one of Peter's best.

June 5 (Fri), TCM – The "Summer of Darkness" festival with three Peter Lorre suspense films – M (1931) at 6 am, Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) at 11;30 am, and The Maltese Falcon (1941) at 2:30 pm.

June 8 (Mon), 12:45 pm, TCM – The Constant Nymph (1943). A day marking Alexis Smith's birthday includes a purely romantic role for Peter, who romances and marries Brenda Marshall.

June 20 (Sat), 1 am, TCM – The Face Behind the Mask (1941). An evening of movies starring Evelyn Keyes includes another romantic role for Peter, but no happily-ever-after ending here.

June 26 (Fri), 8 pm, TCM – The Mask of Dimitrios (1944). TCM continues their "Summer of Darkness" festival. Though he’s billed fourth, behind Sydney Greenstreet, Faye Emerson, and Zachary Scott, Peter Lorre plays the lead in this movie from a novel by Eric Ambler, one of Peter’s favorite authors – a Dutch professor of mathematics turned mystery novelist who gets more than he bargained for when he begins investigating the sordid life and career of an international criminal (Scott).

Many of these and other Lorre movies are now available on DVD and VHS – some remastered and packaged with extra features. For more information on the films of Peter Lorre released to home video, head on over to the DVD — VHS section of The Lost One website.

In The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, Stephen D. Youngkin discusses the making of Peter’s movies, including interviews with many of the directors, writers, actors, and crew who worked with Peter. A complete list of Peter’s movies is available in the book’s Appendix. The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre is available in hard-back and soft-bound editions, as well as the Kindle and Nook.

Happy viewing!