7.3/10
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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:

The Fabulous Tale OF A MAN OF MYSTERY! 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

For a scene taking place in the Parisian subway,which was rebuilt and filmed on Warner sound stage,the name of subway station "Balard" is misspelled and written "Ballard". See more »

Quotes

Mr. Peters: [sardonically, as he has being led away by police] You wanted to write a book. Send me a copy. I'll have lots of time to read it.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Waltz
(uncredited)
from "Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48"
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Played by the chamber orchestra during the party
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Coffin for Dimitrios.
10 February 2016 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Mask of Dimitrios is directed by Jean Negulesco and adapted to screenplay by Frank Gruber from the novel "A Coffin for Dimitrios" written by Eric Ambler. It stars Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Zachary Scott and Faye Emerson. Music is by Adolph Deutsch and cinematography by Arthur Edeson.

"For money, some men will allow the innocent to hang. They will turn traitor...they will lie, cheat, steal...they will kill. They appear brilliant, charming, generous! But they are deadly. Such a man was Dimitrios"

Dimitrios alright - ruthless and primitive.

Foreign intrigue mystery thriller dressed up in film noir clobber, Jean Negulesco's film is a treat for the so inclined. Often tagged as the inferior baby brother of John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, that statement shouldn't detract from what a good film Dimitrios is. Plot finds Lorre as mystery novelist Cornelius Leyden, who after learning of the body of master scally-wag Dimitrios Makropoulos (Scott) being washed up dead on the shores of the Bosphorus, seeks out his history in the hope of writing a novel about him - aided by the suspicious Mr. Peters (Greenstreet). What he finds is waters more muddier and deeper than the Bosphorus itself.

Narrative is a two pronged affair, we are in the company of Leyden and Peters during real time, and in the dubious company of Dimitrios in a number of flashbacks that introduce new characters that are bruised and battered, or worse, by Dimitrios' actions. The story moves through a number of exotic European locations, ensuring there's always a cosmopolitan feel to the intrigue. Intrigue that ticks away nicely because nothing you sense is as it seems. Moody atmosphere is unbound via Edeson's (also The Maltese Falcon) photography, plenty of low lights and shadows ensure all the mystery machinations are given added impetus.

Back on release some critics bemoaned the lack of action and of "A" list stars, which now looks very unfair criticism. Certainly Greenstreet and Lorre to their fans have never been seen as lesser lights, their body of work holding up as joyous celluloid art. While the lack of action is irrelevant, this is about story telling and of characterisations, of mystery unravels, all of which leads to a super finale that rewards those who invested their time. 8/10


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