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The Face Behind the Mask (1941) DVD-R

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Starring Peter Lorre, Evelyn Keyes, Don Beddoe, George E. Stone, John Tyrrell
Directed by Robert Florey

Print: black/white
Runtime: 69 min.
Genre: drama
Print Quality: B

In this low-budget thriller (which developed something of a cult following among film buffs in
the '60s and '70s), Peter Lorre plays Janos Szabo, an immigrant from Hungary who is a
skilled craftsman. After he's caught in a fire, his face is horribly scarred; his terrifying
appearance makes it impossible for him to get a job. With nowhere else to turn, Janos
begins working for the criminal underworld, where he eventually raises enough money to
purchase an expensive mask whose expressionless features are only a slight
improvement over his distorted visage, but at least allow him to go out in public. However,
Janos begins having second thoughts about his life of crime, especially after he falls in love
with Helen (Evelyn Keyes), a kind-hearted blind woman. Director Robert Florey supposedly
shot this film and Meet Boston Blackie in a mere 24 days. Florey and Lorre would team up
again for another offbeat film buff favorite, The Beast with Five Fingers.

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