Peter Lorre didn't know English when he got this role. He learned his lines phonetically and worked with a tutor so that he truly understood them. He does an amazing job. I never understood the appeal of the remake. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day didn't work for me.
I’m finding I don’t enjoy Hitchcock’s early British period very much. Well, I do enjoy it, it just can’t hold up against his Hollywood stuff. I like the Englishness of it though, it is very charming. And Peter Lorre is always fun to watch.
Being largely unfamiliar with Hitchcock's pre-Hollywood films, this definitely whetted my appetite for more from this period of his career. And, to be honest, previous to watching this, my acquaintance with Peter Lorre mostly came from Warner Bros. cartoon caricatures. Seeing his performance here, then, was something of a revelation.
This film provides a blueprint to many of the later Hitchcock thrillers. The opening sequence develops incredibly fast, and the protagonist and the viewers are immediately sucked into a middle of an conspiracy. There is a delicate balance between suspense and comedy here, which will become Hitch's signature touch. Also, watch how he shows the final gunshot by Edna Best..., genius!!
Very well-written film where every little thing is used to perfection. Peter Lorre steals the film as the primary assassin/kidnapper. You get an active female protagonist (Edna Best), baddies who hide out at a temple of sun worshipers, and a lengthy but bad ass shoot-out that puts modern shoot-outs to shame. What more do you need? See this film!