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The Face Behind the Mask (1941)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 424 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 6 critic

A disfigured watchmaker with a grudge against society embarks on a life of crime.

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(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Face Behind the Mask (1941)

The Face Behind the Mask (1941) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Janos 'Johnny' Szabo
...
Helen Williams
...
Lt. James 'Jim' O'Hara
...
Dinky
John Tyrrell ...
Watts
Cy Schindell ...
Benson (as Al Seymour)
Stanley Brown ...
Harry
James Seay ...
Jeff Jeffries
Warren Ashe ...
Johnson, Reporter
Charles C. Wilson ...
Chief O'Brien (as Charles Wilson)
George McKay ...
Terry Finnegan
Edit

Storyline

Janos Szaby is a kind, innocent immigrant to America. Just after he arrives though, he is caught in a fire and his face is horribly burned and disfigured. Although a skilled craftsman his hideous features make it impossible for him to get work, and driven by despair he is forced to turn to crime to live. He finds himself very proficient at that, and soon makes enough money to buy a very lifelike mask to hide his scars behind. He hates what he does, but is he in too deep to get out? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHAT FIENDISH FURY TURNS MAN INTO MONSTER? (original one-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Gesicht hinter der Maske  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting lasted from Nov. 6-26, 1940, released January 16, 1941. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Freaks (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Screen writing done wrong
30 July 2011 | by (Baltimore MD) – See all my reviews

According to Webster's Dictionary, drivel is silly, stupid or nonsensical speech. That's a pretty good description of the screenplay of "The Face Behind the Mask." When we first meet Peter Lorre as Janos Szabo, he's a wide-eyed bumpkin, coming from somewhere in mittel Europe to begin a new life in New York. Naive? He makes Pollyanna look like a sophisticate. Then he's caught in a hotel fire, his face is hideously scarred and to make the money to get back his not-so-good looks (someone tells him about "plastic doctors,") he becomes a criminal mastermind. Then he meets a blind girl. Need we say more? Instead of showing Janos' daring and ingenious robberies, they're talked about. And talked about. Before and after. Appaently there wasn't enough money in the budget to film them. But long, stilted conversations about morarlity and fate are no problem. Lorre soldiers bravely through the dim-witted dialogue as if it really matters. That's acting. And Evelyn Keyes contributes sympathetically as the brave blind girl whose grateful for her "friends" on the radio and only wants a guide dog to complete her life. My only question -- didn't somebody read the scirpt before they shot it?


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