Off Topic

Off Topic with Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre, born Laszlo Lowenstein, got his start in the theater in Austria, then moved to Berlin. He was an interesting bird, and was kind of the muse of Communist playwright Bertolt Brecht for a period of time. M made him a film star, but also got him typecast as a creepy weirdo. His only directorial effort, Der Verlorene, was a brilliant film about a scientist doing experiments for the Nazis. When he finds out his wife is selling secrets to the allies, he murders her. The film is shown in a series of flashbacks, and was essentially about the West’s accountability for the crimes in WWII. However, since it was not even a decade since the war ended, it wasn’t a film that people were ready for, causing poor reviews and bad returns at the box office, and he never wrote or directed another film. He was an interesting guy; remained friends with all of his ex wives and would get into debates with Bertolt Brecht about Communism vs. Socialism. When he was questioned by the HUAC about meeting anyone suspicious since his arrival in the states, ever the jokester, he said every person he’s ever met was suspicious. Also, his daughter was nearly killed by the Hillside Stranglers. She was stranded on the side of the road and they picked her up. They got to talking, and she mentioned her father was Peter Lorre. So they let her go on her merry way. Why? Because they were Peter Lorre fans.


So, what’s on your mind this fine Tuesday afternoon?