|THE SQUEAKER (DER ZINKER) (director: Alfred Vohrer; screenwriters: from the novel The Squeaker by Edgar Wallace/H.G. Petersson; cinematographer: Karl Loeb; editor: Hermann Haller; music: Peter Thomas; cast: Heinze Drache (Inspector Elford), Barbara Rutting (Beryl Stedman), Klaus Kinski (Krishna), Heinz Spitzner (Dr. Green), Inge Langin (Millie), Agnes Windeck (Mrs. Nancy Mulford), Günter Pfitzmann (Frankie Sutton), Jan Hendriks (Thomas Leslie), Wolfgang Wahl (Sergeant Lomm), Eddie Arent (Josua 'Jos' Harras), Siegfried Schürenberg (Sir Geoffrey Fielding); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Preben Philipsen /Horst Wendlandt; Sinister; 1963-W.Germany/France-in German with English subtitles)|
|"The B-film reminded me of one of
those admirable Sherlock Holmes stories they
used to show on late-night TV, especially the
ones starring Basil Rathbone."
by Dennis Schwartz
("Hard Woman"/"An Alibi For Death"/"Dead Eyes of
London") competently directs in widescreen this
thriller based on the 1927 mystery novel by Edgar
Wallace. It's part of a series of German films based
on Wallace's stories made during the 1960s. This is
the third film version of the same name. The
screenplay is written by H.G. Petersson.
is experiencing a black-gloved killer
nicknamed "The Snake" poisoning some selective city
residents. The criminal, a feared
blackmailer, uses an
instrument to release the venom of the black
mamba on the underworld victim.
The mysterious Snake forces the underworld thieves to
sell him their valuable stolen gems for a song or he
either rats them out to the police or poisons them.
leaders of the criminal world and Scotland Yard
Inspector Elford (Heinze Drache), in
charge of the investigation, are trying to find out
the identity of the culprit. The Inspector, because of
his investigation, checks out all the suspects
involved in diamond robberies. The prime suspect
becomes Frankie Sutton (Günter
Pfitzmann), the operator of a pet
shop that stocks poisonous snakes.
Agnes Windeck steals the show with a great
performance as the elderly suspect Mrs. Nancy Mulford,
who is involved in helping ex-convicts. Her
husband had committed suicide years earlier and left
the business, Mulford
Ltd., to her. She has delegated
most of the responsibilities of running the business
to the manager Frankie Sutton. Meanwhile Windeck's
niece, Beryl Stedman
Rutting), is a crime story author
and court reporter.
thrown into the mix of suspects is
convicted criminal Thomas Leslie (Jan
Hendriks), just released from spending two
years behind bars when hired by Windeck. He
works in the warehouse, where the poisonous
snakes are kept. Thomas and
Frankie's secretary Millie (Inge
Langen) are seen trying to break
into the company safe, which makes
her also a suspect. While
another suspect who works in the warehouse is
the peculiar Krishna (Klaus Kinski), who
prowls around the place in a menacing silence.
comic relief, Harras (Eddi Arent), the
Telegraph newspaper reporter, tries to placate
his crotchety boss Gerald Fielding (Siegfried
Schürenberg) by getting the scoop on the
murders before a rival newspaper reporter does.
the Inspector's thorough investigation, he
finds the typing used at Mulford
Ltd. is the
same as the blackmailer's notes. Thereby the
Inspector cunningly gets a confession by setting
a Charlie Chan-like trap for the suspect.
B-film reminded me of one of those admirable Sherlock
Holmes stories they used to show on late-night TV,
especially the ones starring Basil Rathbone.
REVIEWED ON 4/7/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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