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Der Fälscher von London

The Forger of London

West Germany 1961
produced by
Horst Wendlandt for Rialto
directed by Harald Reinl
starring Karin Dor, Hellmut Lange, Siegfried Lowitz, Viktor de Kowa, Mady Rahl, Walter Rilla, Robert Graf, Joseph Offenbach, Ulrich Beiger, Otto Collin, Sigrid von Richthofen, Eddi Arent
screenplay by Johannes Kai, based on the novel The Forger by Edgar Wallace, music by Martin Böttcher

Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, Edgar Wallace made in Germany

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jane (Karin Dor) is persuaded by her benign uncle John (Walter Rilla) to marry Peter Clifton (Hellmut Lange), a man she doesn't love but who, because of his wealth, can give her, an orphan the security she needs ... but even their wedding is disturbed by Hale (Robert Graf), a drunk ex-lover of hers, by rudepolice detective Rouper (Ulrich Geiger), and by borderline psychotic Mrs Unterson (Sigrid von Richthofen), Clifton's stepmother who claims he has cheated her out of her inheritance ...

On their honeymoon, Jane and Clifton don't fare much better, Hale shows up soon enough and he and Clifton even get in a fight, then Jane finds evidence that Clifton might be a money forger, but not just any forger but the Forger of London, plus Jane learns that Clifton is the son of a madman who might suffer from schizophrenia himself ... and as if that wasn't enough, the next day Hale is found dead while Jane finds her hubby in his bed, his cloths covered in blood.

But what does she do ? Run like nobody's business ? Blow the whistle on him and then enjoy her life with his money (after all she is his wife) ? Hide ?

Nope, dead wrong, while he's still sleeping, she changes his cloths and destroys the murder weapon, a hammer. Because now that she knows he needs her she has fallen in love with him, even though he seems to be a psycho killer. Everyone else too seems to think he's a psycho killer including detective Rouper, Uncle John, Clifton's doctor Wells (Viktor de Kowa) and of course Mrs Unterson, who is now revealed to be Hale's mother. Only chief inspector Bourke (Siegfried Lowitz) seems to have his doubts about Clifton's guilt, and he eventually even goes so far as to help Jane get rid of Clifton's blood-spattered cloths.

Soon, another murder happens, Clifton's lawyer (Otto Collin), and again every clue seems to lead straight to Clifton, and even his doctor now tries to persuade him that he is indeed schizophrenic and is indeed both the forger and the killer, but Jane and chief inspector Bourke still do everything in their power to prove his innocence ... until finally, Bourke comes up with a whole gang of culprits that includes Doc Wells, Mrs Unterson and even detective Rouper ... but the mastermind of the whole operation was none other than Jane's benign unlcle John, who made her marry Clifton in order to have her admit him to an insane asylum and then have easy access to his wealth through the girl ...

Oh, and by the way, uncle John is the ominous Forger of London as well ...

 

Overcomplicated, overconstructed murder mystery that furthermore contains a few too many pulp mainstays to remain credible ... yet if one can overlook these flaws, The Forger of London is a pretty decent, well-crafted old-fashioned murder mystery. It has a great, atmospheric visual style to it with every shot being carefully arranged, it moves at a fast enough pace to cover many of the plot's shortcomings, and despite its stupidity, the story features a few unusual plottwists. Maybe the best of the German Edgar Wallace-films.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD