The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)

95 or 97 mins | Drama | 1 July 1944

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writer:

Frank Gruber

Producer:

Henry Blanke

Cinematographer:

Arthur Edeson

Production Designer:

Ted Smith

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were A Coffin for Dimitrios and A Mask for Dimitrios . Composer Jerome Moross' name was misspelled as "Morross" in the onscreen credits. The film begins with the following written foreword: "For money, some men will allow the innocent to hang. They will turn traitor...they will lie, cheat, steal...they will kill. They will appear brilliant, charming, generous. But they are deadly. SUCH A MAN WAS DIMITRIOS." This film marked Zachary Scott's motion picture debut. HR news items add the following information about the production: Former silent film star Pola Negri was considered for a part and Faye Emerson replaced Nancy Coleman in the role of "Irana." In 1966, Seven Arts planned to remake the film as a vehicle for Rock Hudson, but that film was never ... More Less

The film's working titles were A Coffin for Dimitrios and A Mask for Dimitrios . Composer Jerome Moross' name was misspelled as "Morross" in the onscreen credits. The film begins with the following written foreword: "For money, some men will allow the innocent to hang. They will turn traitor...they will lie, cheat, steal...they will kill. They will appear brilliant, charming, generous. But they are deadly. SUCH A MAN WAS DIMITRIOS." This film marked Zachary Scott's motion picture debut. HR news items add the following information about the production: Former silent film star Pola Negri was considered for a part and Faye Emerson replaced Nancy Coleman in the role of "Irana." In 1966, Seven Arts planned to remake the film as a vehicle for Rock Hudson, but that film was never produced. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Jun 1944.
---
Film Daily
8 Jun 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Nov 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Dec 43
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 44
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1966.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Feb 44
p. 1746.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Jun 44
p. 1934.
New York Times
24 Jun 44
p. 16.
Variety
7 Jun 44
p. 19.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edward Ciannelli
George Metaxa
Saul Gorss
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Orch arr
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (New York, 1939).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
A Coffin for Dimitrios
Release Date:
1 July 1944
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 23 June 1944
Production Date:
late November 1943--late January 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 July 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12724
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
95 or 97
Length(in feet):
8,594
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
9821
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1938, a corpse is washed up on an Istanbul beach. An identity card found on the body identifies the man as Dimitrios Makopoulus, a notorious international criminal. Later, at a musicale, Colonel Haki of the Turkish police starts to tell Dimitrios' story to Dutch mystery writer Cornelius Leyden. Intrigued, Leyden asks to see the corpse. Haki complies and then continues his story in Leyden's hotel room: Haki first became aware of the criminal in 1922, when Dimitrios, a Smyrnan fig picker, killed a man after a robbery and let another man be executed for the crime. Most recently, Haki adds, Dimitrios worked in Paris as part of an international smuggling ring. Leyden decides that Dimitrios would be a wonderful character for a novel and leaves for Athens, where Dimitrios began his career. Meanwhile, the mysterious Mr. Peters also hears of Dimitrios' death. When he learns the body has already been destroyed, he also travels to Athens. Leyden, meanwhile, moves on to Sofia, where he is introduced to Irana Preveza, a former lover of Dimitrios. She tells him that years earlier, Dimitrios was involved in an assassination attempt and left the country using money borrowed from Irana. Despite his promises, Dimitrios never returned the money. Leyden returns to his hotel room and finds that Peters has searched it. Peters admits that he has followed Leyden from Athens and demands to know why he is interested in Dimitrios. Peters then proposes that Leyden continue his investigation and promises that there will be a financial reward. Leyden then visits with Wladislaw Grodek, a former spymaster, who hired Dimitrios to steal ... +


In 1938, a corpse is washed up on an Istanbul beach. An identity card found on the body identifies the man as Dimitrios Makopoulus, a notorious international criminal. Later, at a musicale, Colonel Haki of the Turkish police starts to tell Dimitrios' story to Dutch mystery writer Cornelius Leyden. Intrigued, Leyden asks to see the corpse. Haki complies and then continues his story in Leyden's hotel room: Haki first became aware of the criminal in 1922, when Dimitrios, a Smyrnan fig picker, killed a man after a robbery and let another man be executed for the crime. Most recently, Haki adds, Dimitrios worked in Paris as part of an international smuggling ring. Leyden decides that Dimitrios would be a wonderful character for a novel and leaves for Athens, where Dimitrios began his career. Meanwhile, the mysterious Mr. Peters also hears of Dimitrios' death. When he learns the body has already been destroyed, he also travels to Athens. Leyden, meanwhile, moves on to Sofia, where he is introduced to Irana Preveza, a former lover of Dimitrios. She tells him that years earlier, Dimitrios was involved in an assassination attempt and left the country using money borrowed from Irana. Despite his promises, Dimitrios never returned the money. Leyden returns to his hotel room and finds that Peters has searched it. Peters admits that he has followed Leyden from Athens and demands to know why he is interested in Dimitrios. Peters then proposes that Leyden continue his investigation and promises that there will be a financial reward. Leyden then visits with Wladislaw Grodek, a former spymaster, who hired Dimitrios to steal the charts of certain mine fields. Grodek recalls the following story about Dimitrios: In order to get the charts, Dimitrios callously plays on the insecurities of Karel Bulic, a homely clerk married to a beautiful woman. When Bulic is hopelessly indebted to a professional gambler, Dimitrios asks him to steal the charts in return for clearing his debt. Once he is in possession, Dimitrios double-crosses his employers and sells the charts to another government. Bulic later commits suicide. A curious Leyden now returns to Paris and meets with Peters, who is revealed to be Erik Peterson, a former member of Dimitrios' smuggling gang. Peters informs Leyden that the body he saw was not that of Dimitrios, who is alive and living in Paris. As the only person who saw the corpse and can confirm that it was not Dimitrios, Leyden is in a position to blackmail Dimitrios. Against his better judgment, Leyden agrees to Peters' blackmail plan. Dimitrios pays the men at a pre-arranged location, but later discovers where they are staying and shoots Peters. While Leyden struggles with Dimitrios, the wounded Peters grabs a gun and kills Dimitrios. Later, the police arrest Peters for Dimitrios' murder, and Leyden is left alone to write the story. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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