'The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre' by Stephen D. Youngkin

The Lost One:
A Life of
Peter Lorre



Chapter 3

Peter Lorre's
(A Sample)

Critics Are
Saying . . .

The Author

What's New!


Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre:
The Man,
The Actor


Photo Album

Poster Art



Radio Programs


With its signature “M” imprinted on an outstretched hand, poster artwork for M (1931) stood in sharp contrast to the commercial work being turned out by UFA (Universum-Film Aktien Gesellschaft), Germany’s major film studio from 1918-1943.

In a “post-haste” market, illustrators familiarized themselves with a film’s subject matter and reacted in the style of the times with Gothic, Expressionist and Art Deco artistic trends that were strongly cinematic. Appropriately stark and graphic, original poster images for M were eventually infused with powerful imagery and intense colors by foreign illustrators in France, England, Denmark, and eventually the United States.

Except where noted, all images are from the collection of Stephen Youngkin.
For a larger view, click on the thumbnail. A new window will open.

M   —   Nero-Films, 1931, directed by Fritz Lang, with Peter Lorre as “Hans Beckert”, the child-murderer.

German poster for 'M'.

A German poster advertising the original release of M (Nero-Film, 1931).

French poster for 'M le maudit'.

A one-sheet poster for the French version of M, titled M le maudit M the Damned One), which premiered in Paris on April 18, 1932.

British trade ad for 'M'.

A British trade ad for M, dated 1932.

Danish poster for 'M'.

A Danish one-sheet poster for the 1947 re-release of M.

German poster for 'M'.

An undated German one-sheet poster for M by artist Kurt Degen, from Zigzag Posters.

Spanish mini-poster for 'M'.

A Spanish mini-poster for the 1967 re-release of M, titled El Vampiro de Dusseldorf (The Vampire of Dusseldorf).

Poster for 'M' by Janus.

An updated version of the original German poster for the re-release of M in the 1970s.

Der weisse Dämon (The White Demon)   —   UFA, 1932, directed by Kurt Gerron, with Peter Lorre as “the hunchback”, a dealer in illegal narcotics.

German poster for 'Der weisse Dämon'.

Seven of the posters for Der weisse Dämon (The White Demon, 1932) featured the likeness of Hans Albers only.

German poster for 'Der weisse Dämon'.

This is the only poster to picture all four starring players. A bald-headed Lorre looms in the background.

Peter Lorre photo from the 'Der weisse Dämon' pressbook.

The UFA publicity department recommended that local theaters order portraits of Hans Albers, Gerda Maurus, Trude von Molo and Peter Lorre, captured by a special sepia tone process, and place them in their foyers and ticket booths.

Hans Albers photo from the 'Der weisse Dämon' pressbook.

A sepia-tone photo of Hans Albers, available to movie theaters showing Der weisse Dämon (1932).

Gaumont-British’s advertising department marketed Lorre’s image as a “Continental player of sinister roles,” namely his “magnificent performance in M.”

The Man Who Knew Too Much

  —   Gaumont-British, 1934, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, with Peter Lorre as “Abbott”, the leader of a band of anarchists operating in London.

British poster for 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'.

A British one-sheet poster advertising The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934).

British title card for 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'.

A title card for the film’s original British release in 1934.

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The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005) by Stephen Youngkin – now in its third printing and winner of the Rondo Award for “Best Book of 2005” – is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as these on-line merchants.

The Films of Peter Lorre (1982), also by Youngkin, is out of print, but copies may be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble below. Interested in Lorre’s radio and television performances? Check out Radio Showcase and Movies Unlimited. Netflix has Lorre movies for rent.

U.S. Amazon – Soft-bound
Amazon U.S. – Hard-Cover

Amazon Canada – Hard-Cover
Amazon Canada – Soft-bound

Amazon U.K. – Soft-bound
Amazon U.K. – Hard-Cover

University Press of Kentucky
Barnes & Noble – Nook and Hard-bound