BEHIND THE MASK (1932)
Article #385 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-4-2002
Posting date: 8-28-2002
The secret service tries to track down the leader of a drug smuggling ring.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Boris Karloff is given prominent billing; he has no more than an average-sized supporting role and practically vanishes from the movie at the halfway point. And don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a horror movie; outside of a particularly sadistic form of murder being used, it’s mostly a rather humdrum crime picture when all is said and done. If I understand correctly, the movie was made after FRANKENSTEIN but before that movie was released, so Karloff’s star hadn’t risen yet, and the publicity played up his presence in the movie once his name became familiar to moviegoers. Edward Van Sloan has a much more prominent role than Karloff, though neither one is the star of the film; that honor goes to Jack Holt. Not a bad movie, but outside of the ending and some juicy lines for Van Sloan, horror fans can expect to be disappointed.