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The Face Behind the Mask (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 January 1941 (USA)
A disfigured watchmaker with a grudge against society embarks on a life of crime.

Director:

Robert Florey

Writers:

Paul Jarrico (screenplay), Arthur Levinson (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lorre ... Janos 'Johnny' Szabo
Evelyn Keyes ... Helen Williams
Don Beddoe ... Lt. James 'Jim' O'Hara
George E. Stone ... Dinky
John Tyrrell ... Watts
Cy Schindell ... Benson (as Al Seymour)
Stanley Brown ... Harry
James Seay ... Jeff Jeffries
Warren Ashe Warren Ashe ... Johnson, Reporter
Charles C. Wilson ... Chief O'Brien (as Charles Wilson)
George McKay George McKay ... Terry Finnegan
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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 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Gesicht hinter der Maske See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Dinky: What do you get out of bein' dead? Layin' in a grave ain't my idea of life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Who Is Henry Jaglom? (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Embryonic Film-Noir & B-Movie Classic…Florey & Lorre Deliver
5 August 2015 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

Popular B-Movie and a Cult item because it was Directed by the Always Interesting and Creative Robert Florey and Starred icon Peter Lorre. Both the Actor and Director are at Their Best here Despite Lorre's Tantrums about the Script. He unwittingly Created a Great Character in a Low-Budget Film that is Beloved and among His Best.

The Skimpy Budget and Shooting Schedule would Not Allow the Plot to be Developed and some of the Story may seem Contrived and Forced but Overall it is Gripping Movie making with a Good Supporting Cast including Evelyn Keyes as a Blind Innocent and George E. Stone as Lorre's sympathetic Friend.

It's Touching when it Needs to be and Horrific at times. The Film is One of those Lesser Efforts that Emerges Beyond its Limitations and manages to be Amazing in its Striking Simplicity. The Ending is Tragic and goes Against the usual Early WWII Optimism. This should at least be Considered a Forerunner to Film-Noir because of its Powerful Imagery and Downbeat, Gut-Wrenching Story.


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