The Lost One:
A Life of
Except where noted, all photos are from the collection
of Stephen Youngkin.
For a larger image, click on the thumbnail.
A new window will open.
A casually-dressed Peter Lorre joins Don Ameche and Sonja
Henie, then making Happy Landing (1938), for lunch at the Fox
cafeteria. Though not in costume as the Japanese detective, Peter was
finishing work on Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937).
Merry Christmas from Peter Lorre! After completing work
on Thank You, Mr. Moto (20th Century-Fox, 1937), Peter took time
out to pose for this photo to include with his 1937 Christmas cards.
On the set of Mr. Moto’s Gamble (1938),
James Tinling (center) directs a scene in the dressing room of murdered
boxer Frankie Stanton (Russ Clark). Left to right: George E. Stone, Cliff
Clark, Keye Luke, Harold Huber, Peter Lorre, Edwin Stanley, and Clark
(lying on table). Originally Charlie Chan at the Ringside, the
script was rewritten as the fourth entry in the Moto series (and
released third) when Chan star Warner Oland suddenly quit the
production. Keye Luke remained as Chan’s son, “Lee
To advertise Peter Lorre’s guest appearance on the
radio program Hollywood Hotel, on March 5, 1937, a composite
photo was created blending the CBS microphone with a publicity photo of
Lorre in make-up as “Professor Sturm” for the film Nancy
Steele is Missing!, then in release. On the radio program, Lorre was
joined in a sketch of the film by his movie co-stars Victor McLaglen and
June Lang. Lewis Lawes, warden of Sing Sing Prison who had appeared in
several radio programs, cut in from New York.
In an early scene from Mr. Moto Takes a Chance,
Norman Foster directs Peter Lorre and an unbilled actor at an archaeological
dig in the 20th Century-Fox version of Tong Moi, Cambodia. A New York
Times article (Aug. 22, 1937) reported Moto’s “personal
jungle” was located just outside the soundstage where Tyrone Power
and Alice Faye were at work on the million-dollar epic In Old
Chicago (1937). A brass band from the film’s “political
rally” sequence frequently interrupted the Moto-makers with a
rendition of “The Blue Danube.”
The second entry in the Mr. Moto series,
Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) was filmed as Look Out, Mr.
Moto and released fourth. As the intrepid Japanese detective, Peter
Lorre strikes a dramatic pose, while romantic leads Robert Kent and
Rochelle Hudson and villain J. Edward Bromberg look on.
Norman Foster sits on the “cherry picker”
with his cinematographer Virgil Miller and directs Peter Lorre on the
spiral staircase of the “Sultana Theatre of Variety” set in
a scene from Mr. Moto”s Last Warning (20th Century-Fox,
Another from a series of studio portraits of Peter
Lorre in the 1930s.
Supporting cast members (left to right) Robert Lowery,
Neely Edwards, Paul Harvey, and Douglass Dumbrille confront Peter Lorre in
a publicity still for Danger Island (20th Century-Fox, 1939), the
final movie shot in the Mr. Moto series, but released seventh.
Warren Hymer and Peter Lorre appear to have just finished
shooting the “warehouse escape” sequence in Danger
Island. Originally filmed as Mr. Moto in Puerto Rico, it is
the only entry in the Moto series that does not include the
Japanese detective”s name in the title.
Peter Lorre helps a Fox makeup man put the finishing
touches on actor Duncan Renaldo for another of his late-1930s
action-adventure film roles. In the 1950s, Renaldo would become known
as “The Cisco Kid” on the small screen.
A gathering of the German émigré community
at the Hollywood home of film director Ernst Lubitsch (center, white suit),
late 1930s. Peter Lorre sits at a table in the far right-hand corner.
On August 10, 1939, Hollywood and Broadway stars
conferred at Lawrence Tibbett’s New York home on their dispute
with a dissident block of entertainers headed by Sophie Tucker. Here,
Katharine Hepburn, violinist Jascha Heifetz and Peter Lorre discuss the
“showdown” between opposing theatrical unions.
In New York City for radio appearances on Rudy
Vallee’s The Royal Gelatin Hour and George Jessel’s
program, Peter visited the 1939 World's Fair, held that year in Queens.
Snapped while having lunch in a restaurant in “France,” he
was easily identified, but according to the photo caption, “Mr.
Lorre refused flatly to give the name of his fair companion.”
August 19, 1939.
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 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