DIE GRUFT MIT DEM R√ĄTSELSCHLOSS

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’.

A pair of Class 302 EMU’s approach a station, thought to be Dagenham East. The clue is the DM8 signal number, which suggests Dagenham. The white plate with a black horizontal stripe denotes an automatic signal. The large overbridge takes Rainham Road South (the A1112) across the tracks.
The camera pans around to follow the train’s progress through the station. The fact that it doesnt’ stop, and the fact that the platforms do not appear to have any seating or signage, tells us that these main line platforms are closed. In fact, they shut to LT&S services in 1962, two years before the film was released, though the platforms remain open on the District Line which is over to the right of this shot.
London Liverpool Street, and a Class 31 diesel stands all alone over to the left
The old taxi road at Liverpool Street. In the background, some coaching stock can be seen through the platform railings.
As passengers make their way over the footbridge a train of maroon coaches stands in the platform
Probably viewed through a gap in the footbridge railings, this is a very good shot of proceedings
This shot has been included as it shows a fine old Gresley coach in BR maroon. The large white opaque window was that of the toilet.
More maroon coaching stock forms the backdrop to this busy platform scene. Visible during this particular sequence are Mk1 BSK’s No.s 4104 and 4210.
The Liverpool Street shots end back at the old taxi road, where we get a tantalising glimpse of another Class 31 diesel through the archway