The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre
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The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Often typecast as a menacing figure, Peter Lorre achieved Hollywood fame first as a featured player and later as a character actor, trademarking his screen performances with a delicately strung balance between good and evil. His portrayal of the child murderer in Fritz Lang's masterpiece M (1931) catapulted him to international fame. Lang said of Lorre: "He gave one of the...more
Hardcover, 613 pages
Published September 30th 2005 by University Press of Kentucky (first published September 1st 2005)
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Lorre is a fascinating figure. He began in the ferment of Weimar Germany, was a central part of Brecht's theatre company in the twenties and early thirties, fled Germany after Hitler came to power (I had no idea Lorre was Jewish), was a working actor in Hollywood and early radio. He had the acting chops to be far more than a character actor and film heavy, but both his distinctive looks and Hollywood corporate culture worked against him. The writer of this biography, while strong on biographical...more
Inez Parra
i've been reading this book forever!!!! it takes breaks in between other reads and that's not because it's awful or anything....BUT i certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't a Peter Lorre freak. at times it's a bit dry and overloaded with more information than anyone could ever want to retain. a positive BUT is that there are many bits of Lorre magic that make me feel happy--my favorite parts are when we get to relive some of his old radio performances!
I loved this book. Maybe five stars is extravagant but Lorre is fascinating--he worked with Brecht in Germany and Youngkin presents him intelligently.
Barry Hammond
I've always appreciated Peter Lorre's acting from classics like The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and others (even some of his 60's stuff like the Roger Corman films The Raven and Comedy Of Terrors and Tales Of Terror) but this is a really detailed and terrific biography, which covers his whole career from beginning to end. It details his work in Europe too, where he was a member of Bertolt Brecht's troupe and his years as an emigre in both Europe and America. It's a very serious look at a very ser...more
An amazing account of an amazing and undervalued and underappreciated actor of his time. Lazlo Lowenstein better known as Peter Lorre was a man far ahead of his time. This is not well used cliché in this instance. He was remarkable as one of the early pioneers of self improvised theatre and film works. His technique not modern by our standards now was unusual and rare in that he sincerely believed and expressed himself from the inside out. He wanted to bring realism to his role, which he succeed...more
Jim Dooley
Taking the title from a film that Lorre hoped would be his ticket to renewed success (and wasn't), this book tells the amazing story of a great performing artist who became known for his supporting roles and was frustrated by the possibilities that were beyond his reach.

I first became familiar with Peter Lorre through one of my favorite series characters, Mr. Moto. In this book, I learned that it was a role he detested, finding that it only used a small portion of his abilities. He may have been...more
Michael Peterson
Wish it was more about him

It seemed to contextual the events around him instead of just giving us a book about the man. Not a bad read but wish it was a little more personal.
Aug 03, 2007 Alexis rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Not worth interlibrary loaning. I should have been warned by the table of contents:

"Who are you, really?" -- Facemaker -- M is for morphine -- Escape to life -- Softly, softly, catchee monkey -- Being slapped and liking it -- Insider as outsider -- The swamp -- Smoke gets in your eyes -- Elephant droppings -- The mask behind the face -- Mimesis .

Peter Lorre deserves better!
Though I enjoyed the book, it kind of went of on tangent and came back slowly. At times a paragraph would start in one year and end in 5-10 years in the past. It is sad that he so wanted to break into comedy but was typecast. Yet he was so unique in the roles he played.
This book gave a lot of detail and at times too much detail. It would mention a person Lorre worked with then go on with that persons life store. Just on and on and on for pages.
Barry Harding
Outstanding biography. Winner of Rondo Hatton Award a few years back. One of the best biographies I've read. Essential film reading.
While this is a very interesting biography at times it's a little too full of detail so that it becomes digressive.
Sep 02, 2014 j_ay marked it as to-read
Only comprehensive bio of Lorre; full review later.
Jan 21, 2009 Frederick marked it as to-read
So far, I'm finding this fascinating and informative.
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Official Lorre Website 1 4 Dec 19, 2010 12:25PM  
The Films of Peter Lorre

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