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The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 July 1944 (USA)
Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Zachary Scott ...
Dimitrios Makropoulos
...
Irana Preveza
...
Cornelius Leyden
Victor Francen ...
Wladislaw Grudek
Steven Geray ...
Karel Bulic
Florence Bates ...
Madame Elise Chavez
...
Marukakis (as Edward Ciannelli)
Kurt Katch ...
Marjorie Hoshelle ...
Anna Bulic
Georges Metaxa ...
Hans Werner
...
Mr. Pappas
Monte Blue ...
Abdul Dhris
David Hoffman ...
Konrad
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Storyline

A mystery writer named Leyden is intrigued by the tale of notorious criminal Dimitrios Makropolous, whose body was found washed up on the shore in Istanbul. He decides to follow the career of Dimitrios around Europe, to learn more about the man. Along the way, he is joined by mysterious Mr. Peters, who has his own motivation. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Fabulous Tale OF A MAN OF MYSTERY!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Máscara de Dimitrios  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film of Zachary Scott. See more »

Quotes

Irana Preveza: [to Leyden] I've known many men, but I've only been afraid of one of them... Dimitrios.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in It Takes a Thief: Guess Who's Coming to Rio (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Breezin' Along With the Breeze
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Seymour Simons and Haven Gillespie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent dark film with a plethora of standout performances
1 May 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

This excellent slice of film noir sees classic actor Peter Lorre in a role that is less sinister than what we're used to seeing from him, but nevertheless; the refined performer manages a portrayal that really is a major asset for this film. The plot takes in elements of mystery and suspense and features themes of intrigue and greed at its centre. The film follows a writer who learns of a devilishly intelligent criminal by the name of Dimitrios Makropoulos, whose corpse is washed up on the shore of Istanbul. Knowing that this will give him a good base for a story, the writer follows his story across Europe and learns more and more about the illusive criminal. Much of the film's plot takes place in flashbacks, and in this respect, Jean Negulesco's film is very clever as we get to see the central figure's actions at the same time as learning about the kind of man he is; and like the writer at the heart of the tale, it's easy to become intrigued with the character of Dimitrios by watching the flashbacks.

The cast really is a strong element of this film, and starring alongside Peter Lorre is his co-star in The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and The Verdict (to name a few), Sydney Greenstreet. These two actors work well together, and this is shown by the way that their dialogue flows. They're a bit of an odd couple, with Lorre being a very short European and Greenstreet being an enormous Englishman, but really that just adds to the appeal. An excellent supporting performance from a very dapper Zachary Scott rounds off the film in the acting department. The Mask of Dimitrios benefits from its dark picture, which in turn lends the film a grim and foreboding atmosphere. The locations are good, as the film takes place across Europe, with scenes taking place in Paris, Istanbul and Athens to name a few places. The plot moves very well as it straddles between what is happening in the present and what went on in the past, and Frank Gruber's screenplay does a great job of ensuring that the characters are well thought-out in a film that is as intriguing as it is thrilling. Recommended.


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