GER 1964 1hr 30mins Dir: Franz Josef Gottlieb Starring: Klaus Kinski and Judith Dornys
Gangsters conspire to loot another criminal’s treasure secured in an enormous bobby-trapped vault
This German crime film was one of 32 produced by Rialto Films of West Germany between 1959 – 1972 that were based on Edgar Wallace novels. They flowed out of Germany at an alarming rate and proved a popular hit in their native homeland but many led a lot to be desired in terms of story. The production run of films from West Germany at this time were often quite shoddy in their production but have a ‘cult’ following today and are still worth seeking out. All were produced in both German and English language versions (with a different cast for each), and this film was Number 16 in the production run. It opens with a very good runby of a pair of Class 302 EMU’s passing through what is thought to be Dagenham East station on the London & Tilbury route. This is then followed by some excellent scenes filmed at London Liverpool Street station where a couple of Class 31 diesels can be seen among all the maroon coaching stock so prevalent at the time. This particular film was based on the 1908 novel Angel Esquire by Edgar Wallace, previously made into a British silent film in 1919. It was released in the UK under the title The Curse of the Hidden Vault but the German title roughly translates as ‘The Crypt with the Puzzle Lock’.