LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Mask of Dimitrios, The
The Mask of Dimitrios is of a genre rarely seen. It's pure narrative, one person telling the story to another, until that second person actually becomes a part of the story.
In this case, Peter Lorre is a writer of novels who stumbles upon the story of Dimitrios, a thief, spy and all-around nasty person. By speaking with several people, he hopes to learn enough to write a book based on the cad.
The body of Dimitrios washes ashore in the opening scene, so half of the film is told in flashback. The last half, Lorre has been sucked into the plot by Sydney Greenstreet, who hopes to make half a million French francs in a blackmailing scheme.
The dialogue in this movie is very funny. In one scene, Greenstreet is discovered rifling Lorre's hotel room. In a second scene, Greenstreet knocks on the door and Lorre answers very dryly, "Oh, you're knocking these days."
Of course in the end, all bad guys either die or go to jail, and Lorre gets his novel to write. This is the sort of film Warner Bros. could crank out in the 1940s by the ton, but this is better than most because of the chemistry of Greenstreet and Lorre.
We were privileged to see a restored print on a big screen at the local art house. If it comes your way, see this movie, especially if you've never watched a movie from this era. It's a treat.