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Der Grüne Bogenschütze

The Green Archer

West Germany 1961
produced by
Horst Wendlandt for Rialto Film
directed by Jürgen Roland
starring Gert Fröbe, Klausjürgen Wussow, Karin Dor, Harry Wüstenhagen, Eddi Arent, Wolfgang Völz, Heinz Weiss, Stanislav Ledinek, Hans Epskamp, Georg Lehn, Edith Teichmann, Hela Gruel, Robert Harre, Charles Palent
screenplay by Wolfgang Menge, Wolfgang Schnitzler, based on the novel The Green Archer by Edgar Wallace, music by Heinz Funk

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

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

But who 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:

Turns out 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 plot.

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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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