Dir: Harald Reinl
Starring: Joachim Fuchsberger and Karin Dor
Police at Scotland Yard track down the killer of young girls attached to a nightclub, whilst dealing at the same time with a curious case of blackmail
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. All were produced in both German and English language versions (often with a different cast for each) and this film was Number 15 in the production run. Zimmer 13 (or Room 13 in English) opens with scenes at ‘Paddington’ station, which is in reality Berlin station with a Paddington station sign. Prior to this, however, there are the usual gratuitous shots of London that are often used to set the scene for these German produced but ‘London-based’ films set around the detectives of Scotland Yard. This montage sequence features a shot of the approaches to London Waterloo with a pair of 2 NOL EMU’s most noticeable. As the credit sequence continues, we then see shots of London through various coloured lenses and we return back to Waterloo just as a steam-hauled express is arriving. Everything is now bright green! Despite the main story centreing around that of a sadistic serial killer, a secondary story involves the robbing of an overnight mail train (how often has this been done?) which is running from Liverpool to Paddington. Although the destination should of course be Euston this is not outside the realms of impossibility as geographically the GWR ran to Birkenhead. Although the entire robbery sequence uses the German national network and nothing else UK railway related features, the steam locomotive hauling the train has been given fictitious BR branding with the tender carrying a lion and wheel emblem correct for the period. The loco has also been renumbered 45101 and given the name ‘City of Liverpool’. 45101 was a ‘Black Five’ allocated to Newton Heath at the time of fiilming and the name belonged to that of a former LMS ‘Coronation’! The fact that the loco has been ‘dressed up’ shows some degree of effort on behalf of the production team. How many times have we seen a UK loco dressed up to represent one from the Continent, and often rather badly too? Berlin station appears again during this robbery sequence as both ‘Paddington’ and ‘Liverpool’.