The Lost One:
A Life of
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.
A German poster advertising the original release of
M (Nero-Film, 1931).
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.
A British trade ad for M, dated 1932.
A Danish one-sheet poster for the 1947 re-release
An undated German one-sheet poster for M
by artist Kurt Degen, from Zigzag Posters.
A Spanish mini-poster for the 1967 re-release of
M, titled El Vampiro de Dusseldorf (The
Vampire of Dusseldorf).
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.
Seven of the posters for Der weisse
Dämon (The White Demon, 1932) featured the
likeness of Hans Albers only.
This is the only poster to picture all four
starring players. A bald-headed Lorre looms in the background.
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.
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
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.
A British one-sheet poster advertising The
Man Who Knew Too Much (1934).
A title card for the film’s original
British release in 1934.
Prev Page |
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
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