Friday, January 30, 2015

Pete Petite

As Moto his throws are jujitsu
Though I note he's down low like a shih tzu
But though lacking in height
He'll start whacking with might
When you're smote you just won't know what hits you.

David Cairns

Mr. Moto tosses a ship's steward overboard. It's Harvey Parry, stuntman extraordinaire, performing the judo. Parry was still doubling Peter Lorre in Comedy of Terrors thirty years later.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In Pour Taste

For Moto each sip can be tricky
Some lowlife could slip him a mickey
Getting offed by a stranger
Is often a danger
But don't call him "Nip"-- that's just icky.

Peter Lorre is Mysterious Mr. Moto (Norman Foster; 1938), one of a series of eight films starring Lorre as the Japanese sleuth made between 1937 and 1939. The Moto films are tales of international intrigue, involving smuggling, theft of archaeological treasures, and the like. Moto Kentaro (his given name is visible only on his identity card) often works under vague auspices. He’s either an agent of Interpol, a functionary of the Japanese government, or an exporter who takes up intrigue as a hobby. (Text purloined from David Bordwell.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sound Bite

His wit is decidedly black
He's bitter and snide with a crack
He'll sarcastically snark
The most ghastly remark
To belittle, deride or attack.

Peter Lorre as "Gino" has nothing pleasant to say in The Chase (Arthur Ripley; 1946), based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


He's a rat from his psyche to toes
In most matters he'll likely oppose
His hair is slicked back
And he wears mostly black
Like a statue he's striking a pose.

Peter Lorre is sidekick to mobster Steve Cochran in The Chase (Arthur Ripley; 1946), adapted from  The Black Path of Fear by noir writer Cornell Woolrich. The story goes that Lorre was tired of playing villains, and took the part as a favor to producer Seymour Nebenzal, who also produced  Lorre's first success, M.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ginny Driver

The story is dreamlike, surreal
A torrid and seamy ordeal
The car has been gassed
And goes far, far too fast
And Lorre gets creamed at the wheel.

Peter Lorre as "Gino", driving the crazy-car rigged up by his mobster boss, Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran),who controls the speed via a second gas pedal in the back seat: The Chase (Arthur Ripley; 1946), based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

We're Not Petering Out

Our limericks on Lorre will return on Monday.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wild Goof Chase

Returning a mobster's lost purse
This poor slob takes a turn for the worse
Now the villain pursues him
To kill or abuse him
Was Bob Cummings born under a curse?

David Cairns

Peter Lorre, Steve Cochran and Robert Cummings in The Chase (Arthur Ripley; 1946). The script was based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chase in the Hole

In the heater that's tropic Miami
A scene-eater gets pop-eyed and hammy
He's a villanous vet
For whom killing's no sweat
Creepy Peter can't stop looking clammy.

Surly Hack and David Cairns
Peter Lorre as "Gino" in The Chase (Arthur Ripley; 1946), based on the Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All Lorre to Thee

Now Lorre's a pal of St. Peter.
For laughs he lets Lorre play greeter.
As new ones come in,
They see Lorre's grin
And Peter has cranked up the heater.

The Lord said "Though you think it droll.
It's wicked, and wasteful of coal.
But still I'm aware
You manage to scare
The devil from ev'ry new soul."

They thought that their quo remained stat.
But He warned, "It's not simple as that.
Lugosi and Karloff
Are having a snarl-off.
To see who's the next one at bat."

Donald B. Benson

Béla Lugosi, Peter Lorre,and Boris Karloff, posing in a production still for You'll Find Out (David Butler; 1940).

Friday, January 16, 2015

Is This Grip Necessary?


A tribute to thespian Lorre
Should be more respectful than gory.
A tug of the forelock
By fingers of Orlac
Would fall in the last category.

Donald B. Benson

Peter Lorre as Doctor Gogol and Colin Clive as Stephen Orlac, in Mad Love (Karl Freund; 1935).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cairo Practice

Having not got the bird he desired
He feels shaken and stirred, slightly wired
Cruelly cheated by fate
With a cheap paperweight
All those murders have left him quite tired.

David Cairns

Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon (John Huston; 1941).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It's all been a horrible jest
An appalling, deplorable test
As they hack at the bird
The joke's black and absurd,
But this Falcon's a doorstop at best.

Joel Cairo, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and Kasper Gutman think they've finally found the black bird: Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon (John Huston; 1941). In the background is Elisha Cook, Jr. as Wilmer Cook. Title by single malt David Cairns.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

That Sinking Feline

His Annabelle slept with a rat
(A man, and exceptional prat)
Though embracing enthralled them,
In the basement he walled them
A good plan, all except for the cat.

Montresor Herringbone (Peter Lorre) inters his wife and her lover (Vincent Price) alive in "The Black Cat" segment of Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962).

Monday, January 12, 2015

In Vinnie Veritas

He's cinema's cretinous stinker
A grinning, effete, vino drinker
Who, while snoozing, is doomed
When the boozer's entombed
Now Vinnie with Pete's wife can't tinker.

 David Cairns with Surly Hack

Vincent Price, Joyce Jameson, and Peter Lorre form a tipsy triangle in Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962).

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Interminator

This fellow's a sodden old sot
In the cellar quite oddly he'll plot
To drug and detain you,
And snugly restrain you
'til, like Jell-o, your body will rot.


Montresor Herringbone (Peter Lorre) plans the demise of his wife and her lover (Joyce Jameson and Vincent Price) in "The Black Cat", the middle episode of Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962). Title by the interminable David Cairns.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Made a cuckold, our Peter was stirred
So the schmuck has the cheaters interred
With a port (drugged) he tricks them
And with mortar he bricks them
What bad luck that a creature just purred.

Peter Lorre walls in Vincent Price in "The Black Cat,", the middle episode of Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962). Title by bric-a-brac throwing David Cairns.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In Poe Taste

"I've two in my cellar today.
And there, I'm afraid, they must stay.
Improper aeration
Will lead to stagnation
And then a most dreadful bouquet."

Donald B. Benson

Wine slob Peter Lorre bricks up Vincent Price and Joyce Jameson in the cellar in Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Let the Refreshment Fit the Crime

As Peter proceeded to build,
With what should his goblet be filled?
A light Chardonnay
Is proper, they say
For vengeance, a dish best served chilled.

 Donald B. Benson

In Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962), Peter Lorre inters Vincent Price in the cellar.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Wages of Vin

The fruit of the vine was his vice.
You ne'er had to offer it twice.
A volume of vin
He'd gladly take in
While his wife would put out for the Price.

Donald B. Benson

Peter Lorre, Joyce Jameson and Vincent Price in "The Black Cat", one of the three stories in the Poe-inspired Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962). Please welcome Donald B. Benson to LimerWrecks. Be gentle with him.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wine and Dandy

He guzzled each goblet presented, 
Thus fuzzy, the slob was contented   
Half-blind, home he'd crawl
Where, behind a brick wall,
This skuzzball and snob he cemented. 

Peter Lorre and Vincent Price in "The Black Cat" segment of Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962), which combines aspects of that story by Edgar Allan Poe with his "The Casque of Amontillado."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Brick Up Your Fears

Peter's fond of a sherry or five
When they're gone he'll get merry, revive
When with roseate glow
He disposes of foe
Who, in bondage, is buried alive.

David Cairns


Happy new year! Let's raise a glass to Peter Lorre, shown here in the wine-tasting sequence from "The Black Cat," the middle episode of Tales of Terror (Roger Corman; 1962). In the film, Lorre chains and bricks up Vincent Price in his cellar, as in Poe's "The Casque of Amontillado."