The Mask of Dimitrios Reviews
Lorre plays Leyden, a writer of detective novels who becomes intrigued with the life of an apparently-deceased international thief, spy, and smuggler, Dimitrios Makropolous. He is pursued in his fact-finding by Peters (Greenstreet), a mysterious man also interested in Dimitrios.
As the two come in conflict, and eventually team up, the plot thickens.
The story is told in flashbacks that interrupt the primary narrative, in the same style as "Citizen Kane" or the later "The Killers." However, where those movies followed the lives of curious, captivating men and their untidy actions through the recollections of others, "Mask" does not focus on such a commanding individual: no matter how much is said about Dimitrios (Zachary Scott), what is shown of him never elevates him above a petty thief. Much of this can be attributed to Scott's performance; he made a career out of playing oily antagonists, who generate more loathing than fear (he went on to play the leech-like playboy husband in "Mildrid Pierce" the next year).
However, the performances of the central duo salvage the storytelling and plotting deficiencies, with Greenstreet and Lorre injecting humor and intrigue into the proceedings.