Thursday, May 7, 2009

On Sale Now

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre
Stephen D. Youngkin
University of Kentucky Press
Hardcover, 680 pages

"Born Laszlo Loewenstein, Hungarian Lorre (1904–1964) transformed himself from minor stage presence to Hollywood character actor through pivotal professional relationships and one breakthrough role. Portraying a child murderer in 1931's M, Lorre conveyed his unique blend of pathos and complexity so acutely that his career blossomed—with hits like 1935's Crime and Punishment; 1941's The Maltese Falcon; and 1942's Casablanca—even as his personal life unraveled with drug addiction, romantic turmoil and personal insecurity. Youngkin, coauthor of two previous books on Lorre, examines his subject with striking rigor. Through interviews with hundreds of Lorre's friends and associates—including Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder—and frequent dips into film and media archives, Youngkin peels back the layers of Lorre's life to reveal a fascinating, nuanced individual who struggled with intellectual issues in the midst of glamour and fame. As a parallel to Lorre's struggles with typecasting, Youngkin details the rise and fall of the studio star system, giving a strong backdrop to the actor's professional as well as personal dramas."
-From Publisher's Weekly

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