6.3/10
166
12 user 7 critic

Behind the Mask (1932)

Approved | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | 25 February 1932 (USA)
An undercover Federal officer serving time in prison fakes his escape in order to infiltrate a heroin smuggling ring.

Writers:

(story "In the Secret Service"), (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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...
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Claude King ...
Bertha Mann ...
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Capt. E.J. Hawkes
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Agent Burke (as Tommy Jackson)
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Storyline

A federal agent goes undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation headed by a mysterious Mr. X, a criminal mastermind whose identity is unknown even to his henchmen. Mr. X is also running a bogus hospital where victims are killed on the operating table, and their coffins stuffed with narcotics. The drug-filled coffins are then buried in a cemetery. Written by Cameron Majidi <cmaj@prolifics.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Slinking Fiend - Skulking Terror - Mad Murder!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Service  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The version presently in circulation bears a 1936 re-release production code seal of approval #2316-R, modernized title credits, and the newer post-1935 Columbia logo. See more »

Goofs

A dummy, thrown from the airplane by the pilot, instead of the pilot himself, to fool the people in the boat, would not be able to pull the ripcord on the parachute at the right time, to open it up. See more »

Quotes

Mr. X: [as Hart is restrained on the operating table] I am just going to cut away your shirt. You don't mind? The pain when I am going through the layers of skin will not be unendurable. It is only when I am able to cut on the inside that you will realize you are having... an experience.
[He cackles under his surgical mask]
Mr. X: Wasn't it Nietzsche, who said that unendurable pain merges into ecstasy?
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Connections

Edited from The Criminal Code (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Fun Action with Karloff and Holt
21 November 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Behind the Mask (1932)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Columbia action picture has Jack Holt playing Secret Agent Jack Hart who goes undercover in a prison and befriends the henchman (Boris Karloff) of a maniac passing off various narcotics on the street. Hart isn't able to find his identity but he begins to grow suspicious of a doctor (Edward Van Sloan) who seems to be hiding a few things. Footage from the same studio's THE CRIMINAL CODE was used here as well as several sets from that film so fans of that film might be curious to check this one out, which turns out to be fairly entertaining even though a stronger director probably would have gotten more out of it and raised it beyond its "B" movie roots. What works best is the cast, which also includes Constance Cummings as the lose interest for our main hero. She's pretty good in the film and has wonderful chemistry with Holt whose as stiff as ever but still manages to turn in a good performance. It appears people either love Holt or hate him but I'm somewhere in between. I have often been put off by his stiffness but I think it actually suits his character here quite well. Karloff gets a pretty good role and manages to be in the majority of the first half of the picture. He too makes the film worth checking out as he proves once again that he could do a wide range of roles and didn't require make up to do them. Fans of FRANKENSTEIN will certainly like seeing him and Van Sloan together again. The story itself is pretty simple and straight forward and really doesn't add too many twists or shocks that can't be spotted from a mile away. The film runs a fast paced 68-minutes, which doesn't leave the viewer too many dull moments. Again, I think a stronger director could have rises the material up some but fans of the cast will certainly want to check this one out.


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