Peter Lorre described himself as merely a ‘face maker’. His own negative attitude also characterizes traditional perspectives which position Lorre as a tragic figure within film history: the promising European artist reduced to a Hollywood gimmick, unable to escape the murderous image of his role in Fritz Lang’s M. This book shows that the life of Peter Lorre cannot be reduced to a series of simplistic oppositions. It reveals that, despite the limitations of his macabre star image, Lorre’s screen performances were highly ambitious, and the terms of his employment were rarely restrictive. Lorre’s career was a complex negotiation between transnational identity, Hollywood filmmaking practices, the ownership of star images and the mechanics of screen performance.
About the Author
Sarah Thomas is Lecturer in Film Studies at Aberystwyth University. Her research specialisms include: stardom, supporting actors and screen performance, cult cinema and stardom, celebrity and social media, film history and the historical film.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1. Lorre and the European Stage (1922–1931)
Chapter 2. M , Fritz Lang and Hans Beckert (1931)
Chapter 3. The Hollywood Leading Roles (1935–1941)
Chapter 4. The Supporting Actor (1941–1946)
Chapter 5. Der Verlorene (The Lost One)(1951)
Chapter 6. The Final Screen Roles (1954–1964)
Chapter 7. Alternative ‘Hollywood’ Media Contexts