The Lost One: Peter Lorre’s Der Verlorene (1951)

May 4, 2020 | By

Back in 2007 I visited Berlin, and during the super-short 36 hours in town I popped into a cinema bookshop in the Sony Center and picked up a trio of DVDs, including Der Verlorene / The Lost One (1951), Peter Lorre’s lone film as director. There are obvious parallels with Charles Laughton’s similarly lauded lone directorial venture Night of the Hunter (1955), but Lorre also co-wrote and starred in his taut drama which hasn’t yet received a needed release in North America, let alone as a proper English subtitled released with important supportive materials.



Lorre had wanted to direct for some time, and when the opportunity came, it proved a tough assignment as events and circumstances seemed destined to foil his earnest efforts, and when the project was finally completed and screened, although generally well-reviewed by critics, its subject of a bio-chemist with ties to Nazi Germany working under an alias in a postwar refugee camp wasn’t what German audiences wanted.

Arthaus’ excellent 2-disc set traces the project’s long-simmering genesis, with candid interviews by filmmakers and a surviving actress from the original production. It is a film ripe for discovery among Lorre’s legion of fans, especially on Blu-ray, where the moody cinematography would benefit from the boost in resolution and detail.

From the old site archives, I’ve ported over Der Totmacher / The Deathmaker (1995), Romuald Karmakar’s gripping crime docu-drama because the filmmaker appears in one of the bonus DVDs, and there’s a specific moment in Der Verlorene when fans of Karmakar’s work will make their own connection between the 1995 and 1951 films.

Coming next: a pair of action-busting Raquel Welch westerns – the breezy but fun 100 Rifles (1969) from KINO Lorber, and the underrated Bandolero! (1969) from Twilight Time.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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