The karate killers

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German title The karate killers
Original title The Karate Killers
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1967
length 92 minutes
Director Barry Shear
script Norman Hudis
production Boris Ingster on loan from MGM
music Gerald Fried
camera Fred J. Koenekamp
cut William B. Gulick
Ray Williford

The Karate Killer (OT: The Karate Killers ) is an American crime film from 1967, which, however, was only available for distribution in Europe. It is the double episode The Five Daughters Affair from the US television series Solo for ONCEL , which was cut for theatrical distribution. Joan Crawford had a brief guest role.


The two ONCEL agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin are trying to investigate the murder of the world-famous scientist Dr. True to enlighten who developed a formula for extracting gold from seawater. Shortly before his death, the doctor distributed the formula to four of his five daughters. His widow Amanda is murdered by the THRUSH counter-spies at the beginning of the plot.


After 1965, Joan Crawford's film career in the USA came to an end, not least because of her increasingly pronounced alcoholism, which made her unreliable, moody and no longer insurable. Occasionally, for a small fee, she took on supporting roles in more elaborate TV productions, for example in the double episode The Five Daughters Affair of the popular spy series Solo for ONCEL

The series had become so popular, especially in England, that the producers decided to cut some episodes and since 1965 to bring them to the UK as theatrical films. The Karate Killer was the sixth of a total of eight of these releases and is generally valid because of the episodic dramaturgy that each of the daughters of Dr. True assigns its own vignette with its own content, which are not logically connected to each other, as one of the weakest productions in the series. The double episode originally aired on March 31 and April 7, 1967 on NBC as the 87th and 88th episodes of the series.


Most critics regretted that Joan Crawford only had one short scene at the beginning of the plot. One reviewer said the actress looked as good as she made her big screen debut 42 years ago at the age of three.

The lexicon of international films took a liking to what happened:

"Exciting, occasionally parodic agent adventure with the heroes of the popular TV series Solo for ONCEL" was equally impressed:

“These are just a few episodes of the popular TV series“ Solo for ONCEL ”cobbled together for theatrical release. […] It is real fun with a lot of tension, which is more suitable for the small screen. […] Crawford, in a small role, really gives everything. [...] "


  • Roy Newquist (Ed.): Conversations with Joan Crawford . Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ 1980, ISBN 0-8065-0720-9 .
  • Lawrence J. Quirk : The Complete Films of Joan Crawford . Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ 1988, ISBN 0-8065-1078-1 .
  • Lawrence J. Quirk, William Schoell: Joan Crawford. The Essential Biography . University Press, Lexington, KY. 2002, ISBN 0-8131-2254-6 .
  • Alexander Walker: Joan Crawford. The Ultimate Star . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1983, ISBN 0-297-78216-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Karate Killer. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed April 19, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. The Karate Killers. In: TV Guide. Retrieved April 19, 2017 (English): “This is simply a few episodes of the popular“ Man from UNCLE ”television series spliced ​​together for theatrical release. [...]. It's an enjoyable and exciting romp, though it clearly belongs on the smaller screen. [...] Crawford, in a small role, gives it her all [...] "