The Man Behind the Mask

The Man Behind the Mask is a 1936 British mystery film directed by Michael Powell and starring Hugh Williams, Jane Baxter, Ronald Ward, Maurice Schwartz, George Merritt, Henry Oscar and Peter Gawthorne.[1] A man assaults and switches places with another at a masked ball, and then attempts a major theft casting suspicion on the original man.[2]

The Man Behind the Mask
U.S. campaign book
Directed byMichael Powell
Produced byJoe Rock
Written byJack Byrd (adaptation)
Syd Courtenay
Stanley Haynes
Ian Hay (dialogue)
Based onthe novel The Chase of the Golden Plate
by Jacques Futrelle
StarringHugh Williams
Jane Baxter
Maurice Schwartz
Music byCyril Ray
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited bySam Simmonds
Joe Rock Productions
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • 24 August 1936 (1936-08-24)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Man Behind the Mask was produced by Joe Rock, for Joe Rock Productions. It was made at one of the Elstree Studios.[3]

The Man Behind the Mask was missing from the BFI National Archive, and was one of three Powell films included on the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" list of lost films.[4] It is the last of Powell's "quota quickies".[4]

A print of the American release, titled Behind the Mask, has been found, but it is a cut version of the original UK film.[5]



  1. The Man Behind the Mask on IMDb
  2. The Man Behind the Mask at the British Film Institute's Film and TV Database
  3. Wood p.91
  4. "The Man Behind the Mask / BFI Most Wanted". British Film Institute.
  5. "Crown v. Stevens (1936)". BFI Screenonline. His following assignment, The Man Behind The Mask (which does exist, but in a much truncated form with a private collector) was released only three weeks after Crown ...


  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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