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This is a satisfying intrigue/murder/noir that by rights should be out on DVD in a restored print. Peter Lorre gets fourth billing, after Sydney Greenstreet, Fay Emerson and Zachary Scott, but he's the star of the show.

The movie is set between the wars and Lorre plays a mystery writer visiting Ankara who, at a party, meets a Turkish police officer who loves mysteries. The officer tells Lorre the story behind a body washed up the day before with a stab wound in its side and papers identifying it as a vicious crook named Dimitrios. Lorre becomes interested and decides to find out more about the fellow. In a series of flashbacks we learn just how bad a guy Dimitrios was: a killer, blackmailer, political assassin, dealer in stolen government secrets, a man who betrayed every man and woman he came into contact with. Lorre visits several people who are willing to talk about Dimitrios, but only when they learn he's dead. He works his way from Istanbul to Paris, and on the journey meets Sydney Greenstreet, another man with secrets who is interested in Dimitrios. It just might be that it wasn't Dimitrios' body that was found, and if that's true then it could get very dangerous for Lorre. As Emerson's character says, "I've known many men, but I've been afraid of only one...Dimitrios."

The movie has a great noir look about it, with lots of shadows, smoky rooms and harsh facial lighting. The movie features a number of Warner's contract character actors whose names you don't recall but whose faces are memorable, Eduardo Ciannelli, Steven Geray, John Abbott, Victor Francen, George Metaxa (a guy I last saw as Fred Astaire's competition for Ginger Rogers in Swingtime).

And best of all, of course, is the pairing of Lorre and Greenstreet. Lorre is great as a naive, sincere writer who can rise to protect a friend. And Greenstreet can be menacing and sympathetic at the same time.

If you like international intrigue with a noir look and a good story, this is worth getting, although I hope it comes out on DVD. You might also like the book by Eric Ambler, A Coffin for Dimitrios.
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on June 3, 2013
It wasn't often that Peter Lorre was cast in a hero roll. That alone makes this a memorable movie. Add Sidney Greenstreet to the mix along with Zachary Scott as the very wicked and creepy Dimitrios and you've got a film noir classic. Peter Lorre plays a mystery writer who stumbles upon what he thinks is the ending of a story worth writing about, only to discover that the story isn't really over and that the ending might just include his death.
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on June 3, 2013
This is a solid movie that I have waited for years to appear on DVD. I recently ordered it through the Warner Archive website (Sorry Amazon, but the day I ordered it, I checked, and it was still not cataloged here).

Generally the film quality was excellent. There were a few scenes where the light shifted to a darker image, then back to normal illumination - but this was the cleanest version I have ever scene. So I am pleased.

There was a trailer included. This was in a bit rougher shape, but it had the original Greenstreet narration. Many years ago I saw a trailer with an obvious announcer over-dub with assorted scenes from the movie. Pretty obviously done for either revival theaters or maybe the TV market. It was nice to see in the original style.

And yes, if they ever Blu-Ray it, I'll buy it again!
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on August 3, 2002
The body of Dimitrios Makropoulos washes up on the shore of Istanbul, and his history of crimes is brought to the attention of mystery writer Peter Lorre. Dimitrios was a man without a conscience, always looking to make money at the expense of anyone. Lorre becomes fascinated by his story, and goes on a quest to find out more about the much despised man. The quest takes him across Europe, to such locales as Sofia, Geneva, and Paris. Along the way he gets involved with Sydney Greenstreet, a menacing man who clearly knows more than he is saying, with motives of his own. The story is partly told through a series of flashbacks, as victims of Dimitrios' schemes and backstabbing relate their experiences. This is another example of film noir, with the action taking place at night, in dark spaces. Everyone has questionable motives and characters, each looking out for themselves. Lorre is good in an offbeat role, and it's entertaining to watch him with the always fun Greenstreet - what an odd couple. Zachary Scott is appropriately menacing and nasty as Dimitrios, and Steven Geray is particularly good as one of Dimitrios' unfortunate victims. I did get occasionally confused during the flashbacks, but not enough to detract from the overall film. It quickly establishes a dark, sinister mood, and doesn't let up. This is a forgotten thriller that deserves to be seen.
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on June 5, 2013
A mystery writer traveling through Turkey gets caught up in the discovery of a floating corpse said to be that of the infamous Dimitrios.
The story of Dimitrios is told by Sydney Greenstreet among others to writer Peter Lorre through flashbacks . The mystery writer shows great interest and begins to research who Dimitrios was (is) and so begins a remarkable tale.
Zachary Scott plays the suave, slimmy thief and spy for hire. You do need to ask yourself why does Sydney keep showing up? Is the corpse really Dimitrios? A trail to find out begins with Lorre leading the way .
This movie was aka "A coffin for Dimitrios" in book form and translates into a great movie.
This film has just recently been released in dvd format but has bern shown on tv and cable for years. If anybody is interested its been available as vhs for years.
Heres a chance to see the wonderful Peter Lorre wearing the white hat as he did in "The Verdict". Also starring the great Sydney Greensteet.
Zachary Scott is terrific still playing the lovable slimball. A character which he.has perfected.
A great mystery played with three great actors and a wonderful script.
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on March 7, 1999
every time I view this video I see another nuance. It is a character study of a very evil man and the people who hate him(the friends he betrayed). "Revenge is a dish that tastes better cold" Greenstreet,Lorre and Scott are masterful!!! I searched for this video for years before going on-line(book title is slightly different but equally thrilling)
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on June 19, 2013
Who is Dimitrios? A body washes up on a foreign coast and the entire cast tells of their experiences with the fabled heel. I don't want to give anything away about the plot but this 1944 film is worth the price of the DVD! Great mystery! Great casting!

Dr. Ron Schwartz, Manhattan
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on November 10, 2002
This 1940's film noir mystery features the successful collaboration of the heavy lidded Peter Lorre and the corpulent Sydney Greenstreet.
A macerated body washes up on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The bloated body bears the identification of Dimitrios Makropoulos, a European criminal legend. The discovery of the corpse piques the interest of Lorre, a detective story novelist. He embarks on a journey through Europe to investigate the criminal exploits of Makropoulos played well by Randolph Scott. Along the way he encounters Greenstreet, who he forms an alliance with to eventually find out what really happened. Edward Cianelli is excellent playing an aristocratic Yugoslavian spymaster.
This was a fun film to watch with a nice combination of actors of this era.
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on June 7, 2013
What a disappointment. The audio on this DVD is defective. Throughout this movie the sound fades and rises, fades and rises to the point of annoyance. The characters whisper to each other. Good thing I have this movie on a VHS tape. The audio there plays just fine. You can hear every word. This is a very poor DVD. GET THE VHS TAPE.
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on July 19, 2006
I am at a loss, what with all the junk that is put out on DVD these days, that this film is currently not available either on DVD or VHS unless you can find a used copy online for a high price. This is a truly excellent film noir with an ensemble cast who are truly wonderful to watch. WHEN WILL IT BE AVAILABLE IN A RESTORED VERSION ON DVD???????? PLease make it happen.
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