6.2/10
205
12 user 17 critic

Behind the Mask (1932)

An undercover Federal officer serving time in prison fakes his escape in order to infiltrate a heroin smuggling ring.

Writers:

Jo Swerling (story "In the Secret Service"), Jo Swerling (dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jack Holt ... Jack Hart aka Quinn
Constance Cummings ... Julie Arnold
Boris Karloff ... Jim Henderson
Claude King ... Arnold
Bertha Mann Bertha Mann ... Nurse Edwards
Edward Van Sloan ... Dr. August Steiner / Dr. Alec Munsell / Mr. X
Willard Robertson ... Capt. E.J. Hawkes
Thomas E. Jackson ... Agent Burke (as Tommy Jackson)
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Storyline

A federal agent goes undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation headed by a mysterious Mr. X, a criminal mastermind whose identity is unknown even to his henchmen. Mr. X is also running a bogus hospital where victims are killed on the operating table, and their coffins stuffed with narcotics. The drug-filled coffins are then buried in a cemetery. Written by Cameron Majidi <cmaj@prolifics.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

who is the murdering fiend? (original poster-no caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Service See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The version presently in circulation bears a 1936 re-release production code seal of approval #2316-R, modernized title credits, and the newer post-1935 Columbia logo. See more »

Goofs

A dummy, thrown from the airplane by the pilot, instead of the pilot himself, to fool the people in the boat, would not be able to pull the ripcord on the parachute at the right time, to open it up. See more »

Quotes

Mr. X: [as Hart is restrained on the operating table] I am just going to cut away your shirt. You don't mind? The pain when I am going through the layers of skin will not be unendurable. It is only when I am able to cut on the inside that you will realize you are having... an experience.
[He cackles under his surgical mask]
Mr. X: Wasn't it Nietzsche, who said that unendurable pain merges into ecstasy?
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Criminal Code (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good crime thriller keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat to the end
22 January 2008 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Jack Holt escapes from prison and follow the advice of his friend Boris Karloff to go see a certain man if he wants to remain free and make lots of money. Holt does so and soon finds himself working for a mysterious Mr X, who is running a large criminal operation. Holt however is no cook, he is instead a federal agent seeking to break a drug ring.

Made prior to the release of Frankenstein this is a film with Boris Karloff in one of his henchmen supporting roles. He's good but a bit over active. The real star here is Jack Holt who was a big star in the silent days and who's career slowly faded once sound came in. I've always liked Holt and felt he was under appreciated by most people who know who he was (The problem is that most people have no idea at all who he was). Holt here is a rugged leading man and a nice man of action. He is in short the perfect hero.

The film itself is quite good. Going from big house, to country house to doctors office, this is a thriller that keeps you guessing and keeps you interested. Its nice to see a movie that isn't so formulaic that you can connect the dots and know who is doing what before you're told. The action when it comes is well done and there is generally a good amount of suspense, especially in the final moments as it is uncertain if or how out hero will escape the villains clutches.

Worth searching out and perfect for a nice double or triple feature on a dark and stormy night.


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