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The Mask of Diijon (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 7 March 1946 (USA)
A stage illusionist's comeback attempt results in his humiliation. He plots to revenge himself by hypnotizing people into committing murders for him.

Director:

Lew Landers

Writers:

Arthur St. Claire (story and screenplay), Griffin Jay (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Erich von Stroheim ... Diijon (as Erich Von Stroheim)
Jeanne Bates ... Victoria
William Wright ... Tony Holiday
Denise Vernac Denise Vernac ... Denise
Edward Van Sloan ... Sheffield
Hope Landin ... Mrs. McGaffey
Mauritz Hugo ... Danton
Shimen Ruskin ... Guzzo
Antonio Filauri Antonio Filauri ... Alex (as Antonio Filauiri)
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Storyline

A magician neglects his career and his wife while he pursues the study of hypnosis. His inattention causes his wife to leave him for a younger man. The magician them begins to use his hypnotic powers to manipulate people and to avenge himself. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's Terrorific...in its new type of thrills! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of a faulty identification by a non-professional researcher, some modern sources list Mickey Daniels as the uncredited newsboy. Daniels does not appear in this film. See more »

Goofs

Diijon is overcome by tear gas fired into the magic shop, but the cat inside with him is unaffected. See more »

Quotes

[Diijon has hypnotized Victoria and told her to shoot Tony, her piano player]
Victoria: You'd better play "Hearts and Roses" because I'm going to kill you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trumbo (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Dillusion
Written by Billy Austin and Lou E. Zoeller (Lee Zahler)
Sung by Jeanne Bates
See more »

User Reviews

all time best ending of any film - ever
27 January 2009 | by Howard_B_EaleSee all my reviews

No one will ever accuse THE MASK OF DIIJON of being a landmark thriller/drama/noir/whatever. But this film deserves the honor of having the all-time greatest final 30 seconds in the history of cinema. To reveal its wonderful climactic secret would be to rob the viewer of easily the best moment in the whole film, so I will resist, but it's all more worth watching than one might think.

Erich Von Stroheim chews up every scene he is in, which is the bulk of the picture, and this is a good thing. Anyone who adored him as Max Von Mayerling in SUNSET BLVD. knows full well that there isn't really any such thing as a bad Stroheim performance. He even smiles and laughs - admittedly rather briefly - in THE MASK OF DIIJON.

And the film is, for all its faults in narrative, an inevitably fascinating ultra-cheapie. The very fact that Stroheim committed to the project at all raises eyebrows; he treats the whole picture as a gag and is arguably the only sparkling performer in the whole project, and must have known this. The very opening sequence shows his character reduced to peddling cheap carnival tricks (and in doing so, tricks the audience by creating a fake beginning to the film), so there had to be an air of self-consciousness here, considering that the main conceit of the film (the power of hypnosis) is entirely preposterous. And there are a handful of nice touches throughout, particularly an outlandish sequence where Stroheim hypnotizes a would-be robber and stops the crime cold.

It's all a sublimely ridiculous tale, never believable for a moment, and pure entertainment. And it has the greatest ending ever. Trust me.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mask of Dijon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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