Peter Lorre is an oft-forgotten actor who has appeared in the works of master filmmakers such as Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, John Huston and more.

The Austrian actor first came to prominence in Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, M. The film was a milestone achievement in the history of cinema. It was one of the first police procedural-type films, and is also often seen as the precursor of the noir genre. Lorre depicted a child killer in what was a chillingly convincing performance. The director of M, Fritz Lang, used his background in German expressionist film making to craft the dark, shadow-filled underworld of the film.Additional information can be found at The noir genre borrowed this style along with some of its darker themes. Lang even ended up directing several noir films in Hollywood.

Lorre, a Hungarian Jew, was forced to move to England to escape the Nazi party in Germany. There he was cast in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. He learned his lines phonetically as he did not know English. Eventually he joined his director Fritz Lang in Hollywood, where he carved out a successful career playing weasels, criminals and other underworld types in classic films such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.