The Lost Man | Chicago Reader

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Tired of being typecast in Hollywood, Peter Lorre returned to Germany to direct and star in this 1951 film based on his own novel. A physician working in a postwar refugee camp, he encounters the former Gestapo agent who persuaded him that his fiancee was a spy and goaded him into killing her. The film's flashback structure is appropriate to its subject—the power that past crimes hold over the present—and while its expressionistic style is derivative of films like M (which made Lorre a star), he gives a superb performance as the haunted protagonist. Not surprisingly, the film was a commercial failure in Germany, and Lorre returned to the Hollywood roles he had fled. In German with subtitles, many of them illegible. Also known as The Lost One. 99 min.

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