Peter Lorre : Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

When Raiders of the Lost Ark was under production, Steven Spielberg had Ronald Lacey cast in the role of the Nazi major Toht because the actor reminded him of Peter Lorre. And honestly, it seemed like something that would fit.

Peter Lorre had played a number of creepy characters and Hollywood in the 40s was all for depicting the Axis Powers as negatively as possible. That Lorre should at some point play a sinister, creepy Nazi agent seemed only natural. And, as such, I was surprised when I finally watched Casablanca and saw that Lorre's character stood in opposition to Conrad Veidt's sinister Major Strasser.

I would have thought some film would have seized upon the chance to depict the enemy as creepy, but I'm unaware of any such role. Did he ever play such a villain during the 1940s?

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?


Peter Lorre absolutely did play Nazis! In fact, they were among his most evil characters.

"All Through the Night" (Warners, 1942) -- Pepi
"The Cross of Lorraine" (MGM, 1943) -- Sgt. Berger

Can anyone think of others?

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

Thanks, Cheryl. He's played some sinister characters in his career. Those individuals have some large shoes to fill if they rank among his most evil.

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

Skye,

I haven't seen "The Cross of Lorraine" in many years, and don't recall it well, but I know Lorre is unforgettable as Pepi in "All Through the Night", which is available on DVD as part of a Bogie box set. His screentime is a bit limited. but his first scene with Ludwig Stossel is a great example of an intense, modulated performance.

BTW, there's a famous 'Twilight Zone' episode from 1962 called "Deaths-Head Revisted" starring Oscar Beregi as an unrepentant Nazi who returns to the concentration camp he once commanded, twenty years later. Beregi is fine, and hits his notes well, but one wonders what Peter Lorre, still living and closer to the Nazi's age, might have done with such a part. I think he would have hit it out of the park, especially as it echos Lorre's own German made "Der Verolene", a bleak 1950 film about a former Nazi's unhappy walk through the past. In addition, Lorre's former wife and "All Through the Night " co-star Kaaren Verne has a bit part as an Innkeeper, so the duo would have been onscreen for the first time since 1942!!

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

Cheryl, I know you're a very respectful and knowledgable authority on Lorre --- did you not forget "Der Verlone"? It's his ultimate Nazi statement, as he didn't get to participate in the excellent 'Twilight Zone' episode "Deaths-Head Revisted, which serves almost as the American TV equivalent.

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

I don't believe Peter actually played a Nazi in "Der Verlorene". I believe that he finds out he's been working for the Nazis. I'll have to check my notes on that.

Mesnwhile, I consider Sgt. Berger in "The Cross of Lorraine" to be Peter's most evil character. He throws a loaf of bread onto the dirt floor of the barracks and watches the group of French prisoners of war fight over it. He shoots Cedric Hardwicke, playing a French priest, while Hardwicke is in prayer. He kicks Gene Kelly in the head when Kelly spits on him.

Berger also dies a gruesome death -- he is stabbed in the neck with a small scalpel and is thrown out of a moving ambulance.

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?


Re: Deathshead revisted...yes I can see where the Oscar Beregi charecter is very reminiscent of Lorre at that point in his career....


It is not our abilities that show who we truly are...it is our choices

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

There are some interesting pictures of him as the Nazi Sgt. Berger on an MP3 of his radio shows I have at home, bought from OTR Cat; they are extras.

Re: Odd question, but did Peter Lorre ever play a Nazi?

Lorre played a Nazi in THE CROSS OF LORRAINE [1944].
Top