MASTERS OF MENACE: GREENSTREET AND LORRE. Ted Sennett. E. P. Dutton. 1979.
Ted Sennett supplies an excellent overview of the careers of fine character actors Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, who were on occasion paired together, and whose screen images were often as smiling, sinister heavies, although both also played more benign roles in comedies. Masters of Menace is not a biography. There are some basic notes about the lives of these two actors, but nothing in depth. Instead Sennett analyzes -- and analyzes very well -- the various films they made, together and apart, and cites what the film did or did not do for each actor's career, and if the role suited them to the best advantage or not. Lots of great black and white photos and filmographies. Worth hunting down if you're a fan of both gentlemen -- and who isn't?
Verdict: Very good, fast, and informative read. ***.