Unscrupulous showgirl Flaxy Martin involves young attorney Walter Colby with mobster Hap Richie. A girl is murdered, with the evidence pointing to Flaxy, and Colby takes the rap and gets a ... See full summary »
Richard L. Bare
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 <email@example.com>
Exceptional B movie from Columbia, directed by Robert Florey and starring Peter Lorre as a hopeful, innocent Hungarian immigrant whose face is burned in a fire on his first day in New York. His horrible disfigurement makes it hard for him to get work so he turns to a life of crime. Eventually he's leading his own gang and makes enough money to pay for a realistic mask to hide his burns. When he falls in love with a blind woman (Evelyn Keyes) and wants to go straight, his gang turns on him.
There are no bells and whistles here, just fine acting, a decent script, and nice direction. Sensitive, brilliant performance from Peter Lorre that is far better than you would expect to find in a quickie that was filmed in less than a month. The often underrated Evelyn Keyes is terrific in this. Solid support from Don Beddoe and George E. Stone. Robert Florey's noirish direction is a major plus. He would re-team with Lorre later for the classic The Beast with Five Fingers. It's a very good film that's a sort of blend of gangster and horror pictures. If nothing else, see it for one of Peter Lorre's best starring roles.
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