This is not so much likely to scare audiences as make them a little sick. Production, acting and story, paradoxically, are all of a fairly high order, but it's all too unpleasant.

This is not so much likely to scare audiences as make them a little sick. Production, acting and story, paradoxically, are all of a fairly high order, but it’s all too unpleasant.

Yarn has Peter Lorre an immigrant whose face is badly burned in a rooming house fire. Seared flesh is bad enough to look at, but it is not helped much by putting Lorre in a rubber mask that’s almost equally likely to cause intestinal flip-flops among the more squeamish trade. Story unfolds at deliberate pace under Robert Florey’s direction to emphasize that a sincerely honest man is forced by unfortunate circumstances to turn to crime.

Lorre handles his role ably, hurdling with minimum pain the bits of stilted dialog too frequently handed him by screenwriters Allen Vincent and Paul Jarrico [from a story by Arthur Levinson, based on a radio play by Thomas Edward O'Connell]. Evelyn Keyes, as the blind girl who is the only one he can find to accept his love, does a good job in a role that could easily be hammed up.

Face Behind the Mask

Production

Columbia. Director Robert Florey; Producer Wallace McDonald; Screenplay Allen Vincent, Paul Jarrico; Camera Franz A. Planer; Editor Charles Nelson; Music Sidney Cutner

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1941. Running time: 69 MIN.

With

Peter Lorre Evelyn Keyes George E. Stone Don Beddoe John Tyrell
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