The Mask of Diijon
Erich Von Stroheim's bravura performance is easily the most entertaining aspect of The Mask of Diijon, though it should be noted that the film itself is better than usual for a PRC production. "The Man You Love to Hate" is cast as Diijon, a stage magician specializing in a gruesome guillotine act. Long retired, Diijon refuses to return to work, despite the urgings of his young wife Victoria (Jeanne Bates). But when he runs out of money, Diijon is forced to make a comeback as a nightclub hypnotist On opening night a mishap occurs, which Diijon is convinced is the handiwork of Victoria's ex-lover Tony Holliday (William Wright). Seething with anger, the magician utilizes his hypnotic powers to force Victoria to murder Holliday. Unfortunately for him, the scheme backfires in a grostequely spectacular fashion. Mask of Diijon is so well directed (by the usually uninspired Lew Landers) and cleverly scripted that one can't help but think that Von Stroheim submitted a few creative suggestions along the way. Denise Vernac, Von Stroheim's constant companion and aide in his final years, shows up in a minor role.