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People start dieing in & around the manor of grumpy rich man Bellamy
(Gert Fröbe) by the mysterious killer in disguise The Green Archer.
could the Archer be ?
The suspects are many: Bellamy's next door neighbour
Howatt (Hans Epskamp), Howatt's daughter Valerie (Karin Dor), rich playboy
Featherstone (Klausjürgen Wussow), Bellamy's butler Savini (Harry
Wüstenhagen), his caretaker Lamont (I won't tell yet), or even too-clumsy-to-be-true reporter Holland (Eddi Arent) ... & what about Elaine (Hela Gruel),
the woman Bellamy keeps locked away in his cellar ?
Soon a little light is
shed upon the whole affair, when Valerie turns out to be only the adopted
daughter of Howatt, who is actually searching for her real mother - Elaine of
course - & (rightly) supposes her to be in Bellamy's manor, where she has
already placed a spy ... Savini.
However she is sidetracked to the Shanghai
bar, a seedy nightclub, where its seedy owner Smith (Stanislav Ledinek) tries
to get rid of her the violent way, & she is only saved by Featherstone's
cleverness & Holland's clumsiness.
Smith however is an ally of Bellamy,
& soon he identifies Featherstone as Bellamy's caretaker Lamont ... but
Featherstone/Lamont turns out to be a scotland yard chief inspector, & he
& his assistant inspector Higgins (Wolfgang Völz) soon turn the tables on
Bellamy & search his house ... but are however unable to find the hiding
place of Elaine.
Bellamy is now more determined than ever to get rid of
Valerie, & soon he has her abducted by Smith & locked away on one of
his ships, & even though Featherstone & Scotland Yard are right on
Smith's trail, & even pick the right ship, they are unable to find Valerie,
only her trusted ally Savini does, but in the end she is saved not by him but
the Green Archer.
Back at Bellamy's manor however, pretty much everybody -
this meaning Valerie, Featherstone, & Savini & his wife (Edith
Teichmann) - walks into another trap set by Bellamy, who tries to drown them
all int eh cellar, but not before explaining everything to Valerie:
elaine was once his girlfriend, but later decided to marry his brother, &
had 2 children with him (Valerie & a certain John, who has supposedly died
in prison). The brother however died at a young age, so Bellamy had decided to
take his revenge out on Elaine (whom he locked away in the cellar for 20
years), John (whom he had put into prison & then killed), & of course
Valerie (whom he is to drown in his cellar).
While the cellar is already
dangerously filling up with water, the police is approaching, but Bellamy &
his cutthroat servants decide to hold the manor to the end, & seem to do so
successfully ... if there wasn't the Green Archer, who ultimately shoots
Bellamy & gang with bow-&-arrow, before being killed himself by a bomb
thrown in by the police (& meant of course for Bellamy). Featherstone,
Valerie, Savini & his wife are saved in the nick of time, & of course,
Feathersttone & Valerie plan their marriage on the spot ...
Oh the Archer
by the way has turned out to be John (Heinz Weiss), Valerie's presumed dead
brother, who had very little to do during this movie.
One of the
better German Edgar Wallace adaptations thanks to some stringent storytelling
that wastes less time than usual than usual to tell needless subplots to shed
suspicion on various supporting characters, instead tries to tell its main
story straight on, & uses the typical English eccentrics (a speciality of Rialto's
Edgar Wallace series) rather sparingly, so as not to distract from the main
What remains is an entertaining, at times even suspenseful little
crime thriller, that - due to its many plotholes & leaps of reason -
shouldn't be taken too seriously though.