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In this low-budget thriller (which developed something of a cult following among film buffs in the '60s and '70s), Peter Lorre plays Janos Szabo, an immigrant from Hungary who is a skilled craftsman. After he's caught in a fire, his face is horribly scarred; his terrifying appearance makes it impossible for him to get a job. With nowhere else to turn, Janos begins working for the criminal underworld, where he eventually raises enough money to purchase an expensive mask whose expressionless features are only a slight improvement over his distorted visage, but at least allow him to go out in public. However, Janos begins having second thoughts about his life of crime, especially after he falls in love with Helen (Evelyn Keyes), a kind-hearted blind woman. Director Robert Florey supposedly shot this film and Meet Boston Blackie in a mere 24 days. Florey and Lorre would team up again for another offbeat film buff favorite, The Beast with Five Fingers.

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HEH643 Face Behind the Mask DVD (1941/Peter Lorre) $19.99