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Author Topic: Mask Of Dimitrios (1944)  (Read 823 times)
cigar joe
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« on: October 21, 2011, 04:25:08 PM »

Directed by Jean Negulesco, with  Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson, Victor Francen, George Tobias, Steve Geray, Eduardo Ciannelli, Florence Bates.



A really offbeat story of a mild-mannered mystery writer Leyden (Lorre) who is intrigued by the tale told by a Turkish policeman, of notorious criminal Dimitrios Makropolous (Scott), whose body was found washed up on the shore in Istanbul. Leyden 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 (Greenstreet), who has his own motivation. I really don't like any of the three leads all that much especially Scott who for me anyway has never been convincing in any role I've seen him in (he reminds me of Eric Roberts who I have the same ambivalence for), but Faye Emerson provides some nice eye candy. Its ineffective because you can kind of figure out the obvious direction its going.

The cinematography is very noir-ish, so its a treat regardless in that respect, but then again on the other hand its not gritty cityscapes or lonely desert roadhouse diners, trailer courts or flashing neon backstreets in the type of noirs I enjoy nor does it have any hard-boiled dialog considering the cast of characters, lol, you are not going to get any of that from the likes of three of the silver screen's oiliest weasels, Lorre, Greenstreet, or Scott, it would sound ridiculous anyway. Its like watching a dark Casablanca or any Adventure Period Piece set in Hollywood back lot Exotic-Anywhere-Ville, so it lacks the emotional punch you get out of the best noirs.

I'll give this weasel fest a 7/10

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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 08:22:07 AM »

-- yeah, it's not visually a cj-type noir (except for a the occasional shadow in important  moments). But for those of us who care about an interesting story, with good acting, this is a very enjoyable Drama. (I care not whether it is Black Film  Tongue)

-- The ending is bad, and that is real disappointing, considering how much I enjoyed this movie until that point. If you can forget about the final scene, this is an 8.5/10.

-- Though this movie is supposed to take place throughout many different countries in Europe,  everything looks like interior shots from the Warner Bros. soundstages. Aside from the opening scene where a body washes up on the beach, I don't even recall a single exterior scene. Nevermind location shooting; couldn't they at least go outside the soundtstage for an occasional backlot exterior?
There is absolutely nothing that gives you the feel that they are actually in Belgrade, or Paris, or Sofia, or wherever, except eg. Sydney Greenstreet booming "Welcome to Paris!" But it's pretty much the same with all movies from that era, which were filmed entirely in studio, so nothing to complain about.

-- The actors -- Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Zachary Scott -- are all perfect in their roles.

-- I saw this on TCM. Image Quality was decent

Bolsey Crowther wasn't too excited about this one http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=1&res=9D0DE6DC1E30E53BBC4C51DFB066838F659EDE (but that just makes me all the more confident about it  Wink)

« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 09:13:25 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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