Um Null Uhr schnappt die Falle zu
Valstrik om Middernacht
West Germany/France 1965
Heinz Willeg for Allianz Filmproduktion, Constantin Film, Prodex
directed by Harald Philipp
starring George Nader, Horst Frank, Heinz Weiss, Dominique Wilms, Monika Grimm, Gert Günther Hoffmann, Friedrich G. Beckhaus, Richard Münch, Allen Pinson, Alexander Allerson, Helga Schlack, Ricky Cooper, Werner Abrolat, Nadie Ragoo, Ingrid Capelle, Sigfrit Steiner, Georg Lehn, Harald Dietl
written by Fred Denger, Kurt Nachmann, based on characters from the magazine series G-Man Jerry Cotton published by Bastei Lübbe, music by Peter Thomas
Jerry Cotton, Jerry Cotton (George Nader)
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Actually, all what small-time crook Lew Hatton (Gert Günther Hoffmann)
wanted to steal was an empty nitro-glycerine-truck, but accidently he
steals one loaded with explosives. So he hides the nitro glycerine away on
a construction site and uses the empty truck to rob a jeweller with his
partner Maureen (Dominique Wilms) ... thing is, nitroglycerine is highly
explosive, and FBI-agent Jerry Cotton (George Nader), his partner Phil
Dekker (Heinz Weiss) and their boss Mr High (Richard Münch) know it's a
mere two days before it goes off all on its own, taking large parts of
Manhattan with it ...
Soon enough, Cotton and co have caught up with Lew Hatton too, but
that's where the problems start because his lovely partner Maureen has
meanwhile defected to gangster boss Larry Link (Horst Frank) and told him
where the nitro is ... and Link is someone who thinks big, so before long
he blackmails the FBI into paying him 5 million Dollars otherwise
Manhattan's a goner. Soonenough, Jerry is on Link's trail too, which leads
to all sorts of chases, fistfights, shootouts and a rather impressive
fight on and under the Manhattan bridge. Ultimately though, the FBI is
forced to pay up, but Jerry is clever enough to place a radio transmitter
in the bag containing the money, to be able to catch up with link and
company ... about which Link is furious when he finds it out, and now he
wants to blow up the city or at least Central Station nevertheless - which
Jerry can prevent only in the very last second (almost literally) ...
When you film a movie that's supposed to take place in America in
Germany with predominately German actors, there are always several
shortcomings you have to contend with, like having to rely on
backprojections way too much to convince the audience the action is
actually taking place in Manhattan, an overuse of stock-footage that might
at times get tiring, and most of the actors - even in small parts - being
way too familiar from other German movies (like the Edgar
Wallace series of films where the same actors pretend to be
British) to convince as Yankees.
That all said though, Um Null Uhr schnappt die Falle zu is a
pretty decent crime-flick, fast-paced and full of action. Of course, the
plot is pure pulp, some of the dialogue is nothing short of ridiculous,
and especially from today's point of view, George Nader's macho attitude
seems a bit dated - but these are only minor letdowns in a totally
entertaining and enjoyable film. Sure, it's no big arthouse flick ... but
it never claimed to be either.