I actually like Imus, so don't get on me. One thing he and Peter Lorre (born László Löwenstein) have in common: anyone who's heard them can imitate them. Lorre was quoted as saying, "All that anyone needs to imitate me is two soft-boiled eggs and a bedroom voice."
Come on---look at Lorre's face. Aren't you just ready to start saying, with a crazed and shaky voice, "How can somebody be so stupid!"*
|"Hm, what right do I have to think, huh?"**|
Does that mean that these old characters were lousy actors? Hardly. Developing a showbiz persona was a feature, not a bug. Even in those days "working actor" was something of an oxymoron; and an actor who was typecast was an actor who was cast. The ability of these character actors to inhabit characters convincingly varied, of course; but the vividness of these actors on screen was always apparent.
So, let's hear your Mark Wahlberg impression. Or Channing Tatum?
Can you imagine anyof them, or any of the other guys working today, giving justice to a line like:
"You... you bungled it. You and your stupid attempt to buy it. Kemedov found out how valuable it was, no wonder we had such an easy time stealing it. You... you imbecile. You bloated idiot. You stupid fat-head you!"***
Happy birthday, Mr. Lorre---even if you've stopped having them, we're still enjoying your pictures.
*Arsenic and Old Lace
***The Maltese Falcon