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The Man Behind the Mask (1936)

A young couple attend a masked ball before their planned (but secret) elopement. Suddenly everything goes wrong when the young woman is attacked and held hostage by a crazed attacker.



(adaptation), | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lady June Slade
Ronald Ward ...
Jimmy Slade
The Master (Paul Melchior)
Det. Insp. Mallory
Interpol Detective ("Voltaire")
Donald Calthrop ...
Dr. Harold E. Walpole
Marian Weeks
Wilfrid Caithness ...
Raines - the butler
Peter Gawthorne ...
Lord Slade
Gerald Fielding ...
Reginald Tate ...
Allan Hayden
Moyra Fagan ...
Ivor Barnard ...
Barbara Everest ...
Lady Slade


A young couple attend a masked ball before their planned (but secret) elopement. Suddenly everything goes wrong when the young woman is attacked and held hostage by a crazed attacker. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

24 August 1936 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Behind the Mask  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (reissue)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The only available prints of this film are taken from an edited (by about 20 minutes) post-WWII British retitled reissue print, which are available on video and television. No prints of the complete, original version are known to exist. Please check your attic. See more »

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User Reviews

A Sadly damaged Film by Michael Powell.
6 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Since having found Michael Powell's Film Noir Rynox (which is now his "first" surviving film) to be very gripping,I started to search around everywhere online in the hope of finding one of Powell's other "lost" films.After running into some dead ends,I finally ended up getting my hands on this 1936 mystery Film Noir that Michael Powell had made with Hugh Williams.(who in the same year starred in another now- rare Powell film called Her Last Affaire.)

Whilst time has left this movie badly damaged,this is still a pretty enjoyable and interesting Gothic mystery Noir.

The plot:

As June Slade waits for her secret boyfriend Nick Barclay to make his entrance at a very posh masked ball,Nick's plans get completely ruined when he is knocked out and his costume is stolen.Shortly after the party has gotten going,a man wearing Nick's costume turns out the lights,kidnaps June and steals a priceless artifact that belongs to Slade's dad.

Waking up from the knock-out hit,Nick begins to relies that he is going to have to do everything he can do to find June and attempt to stop all of the shadowy people who seem to have a raging desire in getting their hands on the almost mythical artifact.

View on the film:

The first main thing which has to be said about the film,is that whilst it was originally brought out in the UK as a 79 minute film,the only known surviving print of this adaptation of a Jacques Futerelle novel called The Case of the Golden Plate is a 56 minute "American cut",that causes some big sections of the film to go very "jumpy" in its plot lines.Whilst the interesting-looking screenplay sadly suffers from having big parts of it pulled out of existences,Michael Powell's directing impressively still makes this a pretty enjoy able film,with Powell displaying a surprisingly Gothic influence that makes the scenes of Nick battling a Femme Fatale in a disused building that's engulfed in shadows as a particularly striking part of the film.

Along with the Gothic side,Powell also gives some low budget nods to Fritz Lang's Metropolis by having two very strange characters dress up as if they are about to practise for the film,and also sometimes talking as two mad scientist's.

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