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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:

Thrilling successor to "The 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 (1943). Both films were based on novels by Eric Ambler. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film Mr. Peters is arrested and indicates that he will be serving a long prison term for killing Dimitrios. However, under French law he would not have gone to prison since he killed him in self-defense and to also save Professor Leyden. 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

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

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User Reviews

 
Dimitrios Unmasked
20 March 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Eric Ambler was in a way the John Le Carré of his generation. A few of his works were turned into fantastic films. The two best ones were "Journey Into Fear" and "The Mask of Dimitrios." From the opening sequence when a body is washed ashore and a group of beachcombers walk up to it, realize what it is, and run away screaming, to the final fade out, this movie grabs the viewer's attention and holds it.

The acting is brilliant, from the stand out performances of the two leads, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet to the smallest bit players. Zachary Scott in his first screen appearance is a knockout as the coldblooded, calculating, ruthless international schemer, Dimitrios Makropoulos. Faye Emerson as one of the women, Irana Preveza, Dimitrios used for his own selfish purposes then discarded is uncanny as she changes from a beautiful nightclub singer (in the flashback) to the worn out haggard shadow of a person she has become when relating her story to Cornelius Leyden (Lorre). She tells Leyden that Dimitrios was the only man she was ever actually afraid of. Adding to the effectiveness of this scene is the haunting "Perfidia (Tonight)," played in the background. Victor Francen gives a powerful portrayal of Wladislaw Grodek, someone else Dimitrios has double crossed.

The story unfolds as Leyden, a writer intrigued by Dimitrios' treachery, sets about to uncover as much information as possible about the archfiend in order to write a book. He views Dimitrios' corpse at the morgue then begins backtracking to separate fact from fiction. Enter a stranger who has been following him, a Mr. Peters or is it Peterson. The stranger too wants the facts on Dimitrios for what purpose is not clear.

Not only is the viewer enthralled by the picture of Dimitrios that slowly emerges, but the international scope of the hunt is riveting, Istanbul, the Hellespont, Sofia, Belgrade, Athens, Paris. This was also the time that Hitler's war was raging across Europe which only adds to the atmosphere involving spying and treason.


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