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  • mistermuse 1:54 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Sydney Greenstreet,   


    In my previous post dealing with “bad” actors, we looked to the stars before turning to the character actors….but Hollywood’s Golden Age produced so many great bad character actors that only ONE such showing would be an injustice. So, before making my getaway from these characters, I’ll need to do more than one more post.

    Let’s begin this post with a name mentioned in my last post, PETER LORRE. Here he is, along with two accomplices, committing an act so unconstrained, it’s almost unbelievable:

    OK, that wasn’t exactly the typical Lorre performance you expected. But if you’ve seen CASABLANCA and THE MALTESE FALCON (and what classic movie fan hasn’t?), you’ve seen the classic Peter Lorre. So let’s put a wrap on that bird with this:

    Next, we turn to Lorre’s frequent “partner in crime” movies, SYDNEY GREENSTREET:

    We close this segment with a name you may not remember, but who could forget that character:




    • moorezart 2:23 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rivergirl 3:33 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love it!
      Casablanca is one of my all time favorites. Did you know Ronald Reagan was originally slated to play Rick? I can’t even wrap my mind around that.

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 4:47 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I vaguely recall that about Ronald Reagan. The only worse casting I can imagine would be Donald Trump to play Abraham Lincoln.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Elizabeth 5:13 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t remember if I have already shared this. Every exam period the movie theater in Cambridge had a Bogart film festival. So I saw all of those films several times over. I loved Greenstreet and Lorre too. Of course I always imagined it was me that Bogie was looking at.

      Liked by 3 people

    • calmkate 5:44 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      With all these men their expressive eyes are the winners!
      Thanks for expanding my knowledge ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:41 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Kate, you might say “The eyes have it with these guys? (as opposed to Trump, who tries to pull the wool over our eyes).

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 6:43 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          he can only do that with absolute morons, any one with brains can see the psychopath for what he is …

          Liked by 3 people

    • Carmen 7:38 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Well, that was a great blast from the past!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:10 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Carmen. On that note of tribute, I’ll share with you a bit of trivia which I’m not sharing with anyone else: the first clip’s “Sweet Siberia” song (and entire score of SILK STOCKINGS) was composed by none other than Cole Porter. I’m only telling you that because I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU.


        • Carmen 8:59 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          Iโ€™ll consider that my birthday present. . . And yes, itโ€™s sweet 62! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:21 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Been there, done that. But Happy Birthday anyway, Carmen, despite the envy you make me feel!


    • davidbruceblog 9:28 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on davidbruceblog #2.

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 6:58 am on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I loved Lorre in the Mr. Moto movies. I’m interested in “yellow-face” in old movies. There are bad cases of it, such as the Charlie Chan series; however, Lorre and Karloff portrayed Asian detectives in a very straightforward way. Lorre’s Moto was a nice mix of ethics and ruthlessness. He was essentially Raymond Reddington on The Blacklist…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:08 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t see much of Mr.Moto when I was young, probably because the Charlie Chan series was on TV frequently and I became a big Chan fan (as I got older, not so much). My favorite in the “sleuth” genre was Sherlock Holmes, played so well by Basil Rathbone. I think some of the Homes films still hold up fairly well today.


    • smbabbitt 1:18 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Cook appeared in some marvelous films, and outlived most of the actors whose roles required them to insult or torment him. And deserves to be especially remembered for the memorable drumming scene in PHANTOM LADY.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:03 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Some actors’ character portrayals are so one-of-a-kind that you never forget them. Cook was certainly one such actor. Here’s the scene you mentioned (actual drumming dubbed by jazz drummer Dave Coleman):

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 4:44 pm on March 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, , , , , , Jack Benny, Maltese Falcon, Mary Astor, , Peul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet   


    I have in the past noted the birthdays or deaths of a number of star actors. Yesterday marked the death of an actor who may not have been a leading man-type star, but was one of the leading and most unforgetable character actors of all time. If you’re a fan of classic movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age, you’ve seen him as Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon and as Ugarte inย Casablanca. I refer to Laszlo Lowenstein – better known as PETER LORRE (June 26, 1904 – March 23, 1964).

    Humphrey Bogart may have been THE star (along with Ingrid Bergman in the latter of those films), but for my money, the secondary players were no less memorable: Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr., Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt and, of course, Peter Lorre.

    Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein in Austria-Hungary and began his film career in Berlin in the late 1920s, making his first big splash as a child murderer in the German filmย Mย in 1931. After fleeing Hitler’s persecution of Jews, he made his first English language film, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, in 1934. He then moved to Hollywood where, after several years, his career entered a period of decline until Director John Huston cast him in The Maltese Falcon in 1941, and the rest is mystery….along with occasional comedy – speaking of which, here he is in a guest appearance on the Jack Benny Show in 1963:

    • scifihammy 12:59 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Always knew he was in a film when you heard that unique voice. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 3:40 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, that is correct. Peter Lorre had a distinctive voice. He also appeared with Cary Grant in a film I just saw again on TCM, something about a ship from Singapore on the China Sea. At first I did not recognize Lorre with the facial hair. He had a sparse goatee of some kind which made him look like the Jew he was in real life. He played the nefarious captain of that junkee ship. On board was also some of the famous character actors Muse described. Jean Harlow in her break out role was a petty thief trying to escape the law with Gable as her guide.

        Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:20 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Right, scifihammy – not to mention knowing he was in a film when you read the credits – hahahaha. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Michaeline, that film sounds vaguely familiar. Now you’ve made me curious, so I’ll have to check and find the title, because I think I may have seen it many years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 7:52 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink

          Well I usually caught a glimpse of the middle of a film my Dad was watching – and I recognised Lorre from his voice ๐Ÿ™‚
          Nowadays there’s probably only George Clooney with ‘the voice’ – but there used to be James Mason, Richard Burton etc etc

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 9:15 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink

          And let’s also give credit to certain actresses (men weren’t the only actors with distinctive voices). Some who come to mind were Billie Burke (of Glinda the Good Witch fame), Mae West, Marjorie Main, and Mae Questel (the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl).

          Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 11:40 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink

          Marlene Dietrich ๐Ÿ™‚


    • ladysighs 5:12 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree about the secondary characters. They had character. ๐Ÿ™‚ You couldn’t imagine anyone else playing the parts Lorre did.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:25 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Right on. That’s what made the great character actors great – they “owned” the parts they played.


    • Don Frankel 6:54 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “Wait weren’t those German Couriers carrying Letters of Transit?”
      “Poor devils.”
      “That’s right Ugarte I am a little more impressed with you.”

      You mean that guy and that movie?


    • mistermuse 7:41 am on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I can picture the scene even as you mention it (as well I should – I’ve seen CASABLANCA so many times, I Must Remember This….and just about every scene in the movie).


    • mistermuse 1:46 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Strange that you should mention Marlene Dietrich, ladysighs, because I was going to include her in my reply to you this morning, but by the time I started typing in the other names, I forgot hers. Either I’m getting old, or…..I forget what else.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:12 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I think that movie I described had the words “the ship and on the China Sea (s)” if that is of anyhelp in finding the title. Sorry I do not recall the title but mainly I remember the characters, if the film was not a huge box office success. Some movies are not appreciated until they have aged, like good wine.
      I think CASABLANCA was not a favorite of the critics and theater going public at the time it was realeased. Later it did become one of the the Top Ten favorite movies. One of my favorites is the movie with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak called VERTIGO. There were not many character actors in that one as Novak managed to dispense of any witnesses to her crimes. Ha! Ha! She was so scary playing two characters.


      • mistermuse 7:53 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Michaeline, I think the film you saw was actually titled CHINA SEAS because it was on TCM last week (March 16), the plot is similar to your description. and Jean Harlow was one of the stars – however her co-star was Clark Gable (not Cary Grant), and Peter Lorre is not listed in the cast. A thorough search reveals that Harlow and Cary Grant were together in only one picture (SUZY), and Peter Lorre wasn’t in that one either.

        As for VERTIGO, it’s not only one of my favorite Hitchcock films, but one of my favorites by any director….but then, Hitchcock made at least a half-dozen of my “favorite” films!


    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:14 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I liked your recall of dialogue, Don Frankel, from the film, Casablanca. Very good memory you have. How many times have you seen it? I have lost count of my viewings.


      • Michaeline Montezinos 9:41 pm on March 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I do not know why I confuse Clark Gable with Cary Grant. Maybe because they have the same initials..C G? I also confuse two actresses who look alike and have similar names. This has been going on since I fell and bruised my brain. I hope this not going to be a permanent problem. It might drive my poor husband up the wall every time he gently corrects me. mistermuse, thanks for your corrections. What would I do without your good memory? It is far better than mine.

        Liked by 1 person

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