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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.

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writers:

Frank Gruber (screenplay), Eric Ambler (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sydney Greenstreet ... Mr. Peters
Zachary Scott ... Dimitrios Makropoulos
Faye Emerson ... Irana Preveza
Peter Lorre ... Cornelius Leyden
Victor Francen ... Wladislaw Grudek
Steven Geray ... Karel Bulic
Florence Bates ... Madame Elise Chavez
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Marukakis (as Edward Ciannelli)
Kurt Katch ... Colonel Haki
Marjorie Hoshelle Marjorie Hoshelle ... Anna Bulic
Georges Metaxa Georges Metaxa ... Hans Werner
John Abbott ... 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:

Warner Successor to "Maltese Falcon" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Coffin for Dimitrios See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The pivotal character of Colonel Haki, here played by Kurt Katch, was played by Orson Welles two years earlier in "Journey into Fear". Both films were based on novels by Eric Ambler. See more »

Quotes

Karel Bulic: [realizing he's being duped and blackmailed] You dirty spy!
[Dimitrios slaps him]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Man with Bogart's Face (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Perfidia
(uncredited)
Music by Alberto Domínguez
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Thrilling suspenser from Warner Brothers
4 May 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

It's wartime and Warners is short of those hot, young leading men, so they bring on one of the all-time great screen odd couples - Sydney and Peter - to work their magic. And as always, they deliver, in "The Mask of Dimitrios" starring Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Faye Emerson. Though never leaving the back lot of Warners, the film takes writer Cornelius Leyden (Lorre) through Istanbul, Athens, Sofia, Geneva, Belgrade and Paris, following the life and career of an intriguing figure - Dimitrios - whose dead body Leyden has just seen in the morgue. The more he learns about this man, the more fascinated he becomes, and he smells a great story. Dimitrios is a con man, a thief, a blackmailer, and a spy for hire, and his victims tell their stories in a series of flashbacks. One of these is a nightclub owner (Emerson), who owns a nightclub in Sofia; another is a police detective; another a spy. Finally, Cornelius meets Mr. Peters (Greenstreet) who has some startling information...and a plan.

"The Mask of Dimitrios" captures a European flavor with its international cast and creative sets, and director Jean Negulesco keeps the action moving. In the title role, Zachary Scott is appropriately both attractive and slithery as a man constantly eluding those out to get him. Lorre is just great, becoming more and more worried and confused as he is drawn deeper into Dimitrios' adventures. Sydney Greenstreet gives a performance as big as he is as Mr. Peters - the scene where he passionately embraces French francs is one of his best ever! The last half hour or so belong to these two screen gems, Lorre and Greenstreet, and it's very exciting.

Two odd-sized, talented character men who helped keep Warner Brothers grinding out films during the war, Lorre and Greenstreet made ten films together. Unfortunately, we don't have anything like these two making movies today. Don't miss them in "The Mask of Dimitrios."


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