'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


Celia Lovsky said that Peter was “happily unhappy” at Warner Bros. In The Maltese Falcon, Bogart put it to him another way: “When you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.” As was so often the case, Lorre’s art imitated his life. Warner Bros. may well have been a prison for a creative artist (as contract player Geraldine Fitzgerald put it), but it kept Lorre in the public eye and paid him, if not handsomely then at least reasonably, for his effort.

On top of that, it paired him with two actors he described as truly great: Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet. Ironically, Lorre’s highest paid compliment to Bogart often applied to his own work as an actor – “If you can cover a person that you play so well you become that person, then you must be a very great actor, because Bogie, inside, he wasn’t a tough man, he was a very soft-hearted, nice man.”

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.

The Maltese Falcon   —   Warner Bros., 1941, directed by John Huston, with Peter Lorre as "Joel Cairo", one of many in search of the fabulous gem-encrusted golden Falcon statuette.

Mexican lobby card for 'The Maltese Falcon'.

A Mexican lobby card advertising El Halcon Maltes (1941), which translates as The Maltese Hawk.

The Boogie Man Will Get You   —   Columbia, 1942, directed by Lew Landers, with Peter Lorre as "Dr. Lorentz", justice of the peace, mayor, coronor, loan officer, insurance salesman, and notary public – not to mention sheriff – in the small town of Jenksville.

American poster for 'The Boogie Man Will Get You'.

An American one-sheet poster advertising the original release of The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942).

Passage to Marseille   —   Warner Bros., 1944, directed by Michael Curtiz, with Peter Lorre as "Marius", the best safecracker in Paris, a virtuoso among the pickpockets, and a patriot of la France.

Mexican poster for 'Passage to Marseille'.

A poster for the Mexican release of Pasaje Para Marsella (1944) or Passage For Marseille. While most foreign artwork shows the cast apparently dressed for Casablanca (Warner Bros., 1942) – notably Peter Lorre in a white dinner jacket and black bowtie – their costumes are correct in this poster.

Mexican lobby card for 'Passage to Marseille'.

A Mexican lobby card for Marsella (Marseille, 1944). The ad-lines read, "Men without mother country in a world in flames. In a dramatic odyssey by forests and seas, they fight for freedom like those who have lost it. They live their most dangerous adventure and they discover their most charming idyll."

American lobby card for 'Passage to Marseille'.

An American lobby card for the 1956 re-release of Passage to Marseille, with Helmut Dantine and Peter Lorre in the jungle prison camp in French Guiana.

Arsenic and Old Lace   —   Warner Bros., 1944, directed by Frank Capra, with Peter Lorre as "Dr. Einstein", personal plastic surgeon to an international serial killer.

American lobby card for 'Arsenic and Old Lace'.

A lobby card advertising the original American release of Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), with Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre drinking a toast to "[Massey's] dear, dead brother", the bound and gagged Cary Grant.

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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