Peter Lorre

Highest Rated: 100% Silk Stockings (1957)
Lowest Rated: 71% Tales of Terror (1962)
Birthday: Jun 26, 1904
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

CREDIT
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
73% 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
71% 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
75% Beat the Devil O'Hara 1953
No Score Yet Der Verlorene (The Lost One) Director Dr. Karl Rothe Screenwriter 1951
No Score Yet Quicksand (1950) Nick Dramoshag 1950
No Score Yet Rope of Sand Toady 1949
No Score Yet Casbah Slimane 1948
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
98% 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
86% Secret Agent The General 1936
No Score Yet Crime and Punishment Roderick Raskolnikov 1935
100% Mad Love Doctor Gogol 1935
88% 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
99% Metropolis Actor $0.6M 1927

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Confederate Officer
  • 1960
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Gambler Tomas
  • 1960
  • 1957

QUOTES FROM Peter Lorre CHARACTERS