Dear Peter Lorre,

I am sorry to hear that you lamented the typecasting to which you were subjected in American cinema, but it is easy to understand how such a travesty could occur. Starting with Hitchcock, directors outside your native Austria, realized you are unforgettable, so they gave you roles that make you just as unforgettable for audiences. From your protruding hooded eyes to your lightly-accented croon, your on-screen persona becomes ingrained in viewers’ minds. Starting with M, you were unfailingly haunting, even when your character was added primarily for comic relief. In Casablanca, which I saw for the third time in theaters last night, your performance is brief but full of impact, as your character immediately comes across as griping, yet endearing and pitiable. You constantly shine in the company of legends, and you form the perfect trio with Bogart and Greenstreet. Your skill doubtless merited bigger roles, but to this day, you are frequently referenced and mimicked in pop culture, which is as more than even some of the best-paid actors today could ever hope for.

Good night, Mun

P.S. Remember this? It more or less encapsulates what I’m saying.


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