Peter Lorre - Rotten Tomatoes

Peter Lorre

Highest Rated:   100% Silk Stockings (1957)
Lowest Rated:   67% Torn Curtain (1966)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Rózsahegy, Austria-Hungary [now Ruzomberok, Slovakia]
With the possible exception of Edward G. Robinson, no actor has so often been the target of impressionists as the inimitable, Hungarian-born Peter Lorre. Leaving his family home at the age of 17, Lorre sought out work as an actor, toiling as a bank clerk during down periods. He went the starving-artist route in Switzerland and Austria before settling in Germany, where he became a favorite of playwright Bertolt Brecht. For most of his first seven years as a professional actor, Lorre employed his familiar repertoire of wide eyes, toothy grin, and nasal voice to invoke laughs rather than shudders. In fact, he was appearing in a stage comedy at the same time that he was filming his breakthrough picture M (1931), in which he was cast as a sniveling child murderer. When Hitler ascended to power in 1933, Lorre fled to Paris, and then to London, where he appeared in his first English-language film, Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). Although the monolingual Lorre had to learn his lines phonetically for Hitchcock, he picked up English fairly rapidly, and, by 1935, was well equipped both vocally and psychologically to take on Hollywood. On the strength of M, Lorre was initially cast in roles calling for varying degrees of madness, such as the love-obsessed surgeon in Mad Love (1935) and the existentialist killer in Crime and Punishment (1935). Signed to a 20th Century Fox contract in 1936, Lorre asked for and received a chance to play a good guy for a change. He starred in eight installments of the Mr. Moto series, playing an ever-polite (albeit well versed in karate) Japanese detective. When the series folded in 1939, Lorre freelanced in villainous roles at several studios. While under contract to Warner Bros., Lorre played effeminate thief Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon (1941), launching an unofficial series of Warner films in which Lorre was teamed with his Falcon co-star Sidney Greenstreet. During this period, Lorre's co-workers either adored or reviled him for his wicked sense of humor and bizarre on-set behavior. As far as director Jean Negulesco was concerned, Lorre was the finest actor in Hollywood; Negulesco fought bitterly with the studio brass for permission to cast Lorre as the sympathetic leading man in The Mask of Dimitrios (1946), in which the diminutive actor gave one of his finest and subtlest performances. In 1951, Lorre briefly returned to Germany, where he directed and starred in the intriguing (if not wholly successful) postwar psychological drama The Lost One. The '50s were a particularly busy time for Lorre; he performed frequently on such live television anthologies as Climax; guested on comedy and variety shows; and continued to appear in character parts in films. He remained a popular commodity into the '60s, especially after co-starring with the likes of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Basil Rathbone in a series of tongue-in-cheek Edgar Allan Poe adaptations for filmmaker Roger Corman. Lorre's last film, completed just a few months before his fatal heart attack in 1964, was Jerry Lewis' The Patsy, in which, ironically, the dourly demonic Lorre played a director of comedy films.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Die Koffer des Herrn O.F. (The Trunks of Mr. O.F.)
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet M (Restored)
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet The Face Behind the Mask
  • Janos 'Johnny' Szabo
2003
No Score Yet Heroes of Horror
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Mickey Rooney on Acting
  • Actor
1991
67% Torn Curtain
  • Actor
1966
80% The Patsy
  • Morgan Heywood
1964
No Score Yet Muscle Beach Party
  • Mr. Strangdour
1964
88% The Comedy of Terrors
  • Felix Gillie
1964
92% The Raven
  • Dr. Adolphus Bedlo
1963
No Score Yet Five Weeks in a Balloon
  • Ahmed
1962
71% Tales of Terror
  • Montresor
1962
75% Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
  • Comm. Lucius Emery
1961
No Score Yet Scent of Mystery
  • Smiley
1960
No Score Yet The Left Fist of David
  • Actor
1960
No Score Yet The Big Circus
  • Skeeter
1959
No Score Yet Hell Ship Mutiny
  • Commissioner Lamoret
1957
No Score Yet The Story of Mankind
  • Nero
1957
100% Silk Stockings
  • Brankov, Commisar
1957
74% Around the World in 80 Days
  • Steward
1956
No Score Yet Meet Me in Las Vegas
  • Himself - Cameo Appearance (uncredited)
1956
89% 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • Conseil
1954
71% Beat the Devil
  • O'Hara
1953
No Score Yet Der Verlorene (The Lost One)
  • Screenwriter
  • Dr. Karl Rothe
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Quicksand (1950)
  • Nick Dramoshag
1950
No Score Yet Rope of Sand
  • Toady
1949
71% My Favorite Brunette
  • Kismet
1947
No Score Yet The Verdict
  • Victor Emmric
1946
No Score Yet The Chase
  • Gino
1946
No Score Yet Black Angel
  • Marko
1946
No Score Yet Three Strangers
  • Johnny West
1946
89% The Beast With Five Fingers
  • Hilary Cummins
1946
No Score Yet Confidential Agent
  • Actor
1945
No Score Yet Hotel Berlin
  • Johannes Koenig
1945
88% Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Dr. Einstein
1944
No Score Yet The Mask of Dimitrios
  • Cornelius Leyden
1944
No Score Yet Passage to Marseille
  • Marius
1944
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen
  • Himself
1944
No Score Yet The Conspirators
  • Jan Bernazsky
1944
No Score Yet The Cross of Lorraine
  • Sgt. Berger
1943
No Score Yet Background to Danger
  • Nikolai Zaleshoff
1943
No Score Yet The Constant Nymph
  • Fritz Bercovy
1943
97% Casablanca
  • Ugarte
1942
No Score Yet The Boogie Man Will Get You
  • Dr. Lorentz
1942
No Score Yet Invisible Agent
  • Baron Ikito
1942
100% All Through the Night
  • Pepi
1941
100% The Maltese Falcon
  • Joel Cairo
1941
No Score Yet They Met in Bombay
  • Capt. Chang
1941
No Score Yet You'll Find Out (Here Come the Boogie Men)
  • Professor Karl Fenninger
1940
83% Stranger on the Third Floor
  • The Stranger
1940
No Score Yet Island of Doomed Men
  • Stephen Danel
1940
75% Strange Cargo
  • M'sieu Pig
1940
No Score Yet Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation
  • Mr. Moto
1939
No Score Yet Mr. Moto in Danger Island
  • Mr. Moto
1939
No Score Yet Mr. Moto's Last Warning
  • Mr. Moto
1939
No Score Yet Mysterious Mr. Moto
  • Mr. Moto
1938
No Score Yet Mr. Moto Takes a Chance
  • Mr. Moto
1938
No Score Yet Mr. Moto's Gamble
  • Mr. Moto
1938
No Score Yet Thank You, Mr. Moto
  • Mr. Moto
1937
No Score Yet Think Fast, Mr. Moto
  • Kentaro Moto
1937
No Score Yet Lancer Spy
  • Maj. Sigfried Gruning
1937
90% Secret Agent
  • The General
1936
No Score Yet Crime and Punishment
  • Roderick Raskolnikov
1935
100% Mad Love
  • Doctor Gogol
1935
87% The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • Abbott
1935
No Score Yet F.P.1
  • Johnny a reporter
1933
No Score Yet Bomben auf Monte Carlo (Bombs Over Monte Carlo)(Monte Carlo Madnes)
  • Actor
1931
100% M
  • Hans Bechert
$18.1k 1931

Quotes from Peter Lorre's Characters