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MASK OF DIMITRIOS

 Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre make a marvelous team in this exhilarating and atmospheric film noir that Daily Variety hailed as "one of the most brilliant crime dramas yet filmed." When the body of Dimitrios Makropoulos (Zachary Scott) washes ashore in Istanbul, there is cause for celebration all across Europe. The devious sociopath has left as his legacy an array of crimes including blackmail, thievery, murder and high treason. Interested in chronicling the dead man's unscrupulous exploits, mystery writer Cornelius Leyden (Lorre) takes up his trail, aided by a mysterious man named Peters (Greenstreet). But as Leyden zeroes in on the truth about Dimitrios, he finds that his new associate has an ulterior motive in helping him - with Leyden as the unwitting accomplice! As suspenseful and riveting as the Eric Ambler novel on which it is based, The Mask of Dimitrios is "an exceptional picture" (Los Angeles Times) that delivers nonstop, pulse-quickening excitement!

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Is The Kindness In The World? Aug. 3 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The body of Dimitrios Makropoulos washes up on the shore of Istanbul, and his history of crimes is brought to the attention of mystery writer Peter Lorre. Dimitrios was a man without a conscience, always looking to make money at the expense of anyone. Lorre becomes fascinated by his story, and goes on a quest to find out more about the much despised man. The quest takes him across Europe, to such locales as Sofia, Geneva, and Paris. Along the way he gets involved with Sydney Greenstreet, a menacing man who clearly knows more than he is saying, with motives of his own. The story is partly told through a series of flashbacks, as victims of Dimitrios' schemes and backstabbing relate their experiences. This is another example of film noir, with the action taking place at night, in dark spaces. Everyone has questionable motives and characters, each looking out for themselves. Lorre is good in an offbeat role, and it's entertaining to watch him with the always fun Greenstreet - what an odd couple. Zachary Scott is appropriately menacing and nasty as Dimitrios, and Steven Geray is particularly good as one of Dimitrios' unfortunate victims. I did get occasionally confused during the flashbacks, but not enough to detract from the overall film. It quickly establishes a dark, sinister mood, and doesn't let up. This is a forgotten thriller that deserves to be seen.
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By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
(Rev. 7/15/02)
...
Plus Zachary (MILDRED PIERCE) Scott, at his evil, fly-by-night best here.
...
Get this film. If any kind of 40s spy/noir/adventure/Greenstret/Lorre film buff, you'll watch this at least a dozen times inside of six months, guaranteed, at the least. It's that good. It's a little devilish, that's all: that's why you haven't heard of it. Great foreign character actors, and Lorre plays an out-of-character character himself: a somewhat mellow, yet curious novelist (mystery novelist, of course.)
You won't be disappointed, fellow fan of the European-atmosphered, espionage-stylized, cloak 'n dagger'd 'n dark, traveling-late-by-night-on-the-train, scoundrels-everywhere-in- every-guise flick.
...go for it. And don't miss BACKGROUND TO DANGER, and ACROSS THE PACIFIC.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Turkish mystery Nov. 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This 1940's film noir mystery features the successful collaboration of the heavy lidded Peter Lorre and the corpulent Sydney Greenstreet.
A macerated body washes up on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The bloated body bears the identification of Dimitrios Makropoulos, a European criminal legend. The discovery of the corpse piques the interest of Lorre, a detective story novelist. He embarks on a journey through Europe to investigate the criminal exploits of Makropoulos played well by Randolph Scott. Along the way he encounters Greenstreet, who he forms an alliance with to eventually find out what really happened. Edward Cianelli is excellent playing an aristocratic Yugoslavian spymaster.
This was a fun film to watch with a nice combination of actors of this era.
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4.0 out of 5 stars this is it! June 6 2004
Format:VHS Tape
this is THE charactor actor team to judge all others by. no two actors combind such suaveness, such style and such fun in their villany as greenstreet and lorre did.
greenstreets' waspy menace, impeccible dress, sinister smile and imposing girth.
lorre's inimitatable voice, those hard boiled eys and a trail of pure slime following him.
candle lit restaraunts, dark booths, late night rendevous, and oh, lots and lots of cigarettes.
now why on earth the rest of their films havent been released on vhs or dvd is beyond comprenension (three strangers, etc - c'mon turner!)but savour this enjoyable romp in the long lost hollywood style at its best
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Noir of European Intrigue Oct. 1 2004
By C. O. DeRiemer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a satisfying intrigue/murder/noir that by rights should be out on DVD in a restored print. Peter Lorre gets fourth billing, after Sydney Greenstreet, Fay Emerson and Zachary Scott, but he's the star of the show.

The movie is set between the wars and Lorre plays a mystery writer visiting Ankara who, at a party, meets a Turkish police officer who loves mysteries. The officer tells Lorre the story behind a body washed up the day before with a stab wound in its side and papers identifying it as a vicious crook named Dimitrios. Lorre becomes interested and decides to find out more about the fellow. In a series of flashbacks we learn just how bad a guy Dimitrios was: a killer, blackmailer, political assassin, dealer in stolen government secrets, a man who betrayed every man and woman he came into contact with. Lorre visits several people who are willing to talk about Dimitrios, but only when they learn he's dead. He works his way from Istanbul to Paris, and on the journey meets Sydney Greenstreet, another man with secrets who is interested in Dimitrios. It just might be that it wasn't Dimitrios' body that was found, and if that's true then it could get very dangerous for Lorre. As Emerson's character says, "I've known many men, but I've been afraid of only one...Dimitrios."

The movie has a great noir look about it, with lots of shadows, smoky rooms and harsh facial lighting. The movie features a number of Warner's contract character actors whose names you don't recall but whose faces are memorable, Eduardo Ciannelli, Steven Geray, John Abbott, Victor Francen, George Metaxa (a guy I last saw as Fred Astaire's competition for Ginger Rogers in Swingtime).

And best of all, of course, is the pairing of Lorre and Greenstreet. Lorre is great as a naive, sincere writer who can rise to protect a friend. And Greenstreet can be menacing and sympathetic at the same time.

If you like international intrigue with a noir look and a good story, this is worth getting, although I hope it comes out on DVD. You might also like the book by Eric Ambler, A Coffin for Dimitrios.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Film Noir June 3 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It wasn't often that Peter Lorre was cast in a hero roll. That alone makes this a memorable movie. Add Sidney Greenstreet to the mix along with Zachary Scott as the very wicked and creepy Dimitrios and you've got a film noir classic. Peter Lorre plays a mystery writer who stumbles upon what he thinks is the ending of a story worth writing about, only to discover that the story isn't really over and that the ending might just include his death.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter L. and Sydney G. together again June 5 2013
By Jf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A mystery writer traveling through Turkey gets caught up in the discovery of a floating corpse said to be that of the infamous Dimitrios.
The story of Dimitrios is told by Sydney Greenstreet among others to writer Peter Lorre through flashbacks . The mystery writer shows great interest and begins to research who Dimitrios was (is) and so begins a remarkable tale.
Zachary Scott plays the suave, slimmy thief and spy for hire. You do need to ask yourself why does Sydney keep showing up? Is the corpse really Dimitrios? A trail to find out begins with Lorre leading the way .
This movie was aka "A coffin for Dimitrios" in book form and translates into a great movie.
This film has just recently been released in dvd format but has bern shown on tv and cable for years. If anybody is interested its been available as vhs for years.
Heres a chance to see the wonderful Peter Lorre wearing the white hat as he did in "The Verdict". Also starring the great Sydney Greensteet.
Zachary Scott is terrific still playing the lovable slimball. A character which he.has perfected.
A great mystery played with three great actors and a wonderful script.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Is The Kindness In The World? Aug. 3 2002
By James L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
The body of Dimitrios Makropoulos washes up on the shore of Istanbul, and his history of crimes is brought to the attention of mystery writer Peter Lorre. Dimitrios was a man without a conscience, always looking to make money at the expense of anyone. Lorre becomes fascinated by his story, and goes on a quest to find out more about the much despised man. The quest takes him across Europe, to such locales as Sofia, Geneva, and Paris. Along the way he gets involved with Sydney Greenstreet, a menacing man who clearly knows more than he is saying, with motives of his own. The story is partly told through a series of flashbacks, as victims of Dimitrios' schemes and backstabbing relate their experiences. This is another example of film noir, with the action taking place at night, in dark spaces. Everyone has questionable motives and characters, each looking out for themselves. Lorre is good in an offbeat role, and it's entertaining to watch him with the always fun Greenstreet - what an odd couple. Zachary Scott is appropriately menacing and nasty as Dimitrios, and Steven Geray is particularly good as one of Dimitrios' unfortunate victims. I did get occasionally confused during the flashbacks, but not enough to detract from the overall film. It quickly establishes a dark, sinister mood, and doesn't let up. This is a forgotten thriller that deserves to be seen.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lorre & Greenstreet at their best June 3 2013
By H. Keller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a solid movie that I have waited for years to appear on DVD. I recently ordered it through the Warner Archive website (Sorry Amazon, but the day I ordered it, I checked, and it was still not cataloged here).

Generally the film quality was excellent. There were a few scenes where the light shifted to a darker image, then back to normal illumination - but this was the cleanest version I have ever scene. So I am pleased.

There was a trailer included. This was in a bit rougher shape, but it had the original Greenstreet narration. Many years ago I saw a trailer with an obvious announcer over-dub with assorted scenes from the movie. Pretty obviously done for either revival theaters or maybe the TV market. It was nice to see in the original style.

And yes, if they ever Blu-Ray it, I'll buy it again!
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