Edgar Wallace Films

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The logo of most Edgar Wallace films since 1964

Edgar Wallace films are feature films based on the works of the British writer Edgar Wallace (1875–1932).

Although there are numerous film adaptations of material by this author internationally, the Wallace adaptations of the Rialto Film made between 1959 and 1972 are now referred to as Edgar Wallace films, even if some of them were not shot based on original Wallace material. The German film producers Artur Brauner and Kurt Ulrich as well as the British film producer Harry Alan Towers brought real Edgar Wallace films to German cinemas in the 1960s.

There were also numerous attempts by film producers to build on the success of the Wallace series and to copy its style. This resulted in the emergence of numerous epigones and the formation of a sub-genre of its own, but never more precisely defined . This is why other crime films of the 1960s are also incorrectly referred to as Edgar Wallace films.

The history of the German Edgar Wallace films

1920s and 1930s

Edgar Wallace in Berlin, 1928

Even during the silent film era, German film producers recognized that Edgar Wallace's novels were easy to film. The first German Edgar Wallace film The Great Unknown was made in 1927 under the direction of Manfred Noa . Wallace himself visited the shooting team for the next film, Friedrich Zelnik's The Red Circle (1929), in Berlin .

In 1931 Carl Lamac filmed Der Zinker , one of Wallace's best-known works, as a sound film . This was followed by adaptations of the even more popular novel The Witcher (1932), also by Lamac, and The Doppelganger (1934), directed by EW Emo . After that, no more Edgar Wallace films were made in German-speaking countries.

1959 to 1972

Gerhard F. Hummel , program advisor at Constantin Film at the time , carried out an analysis of the crime novel Die toten Augen von London (original title: The Dark Eyes of London ) by Edgar Wallace in 1955 . Hummel suggested distribution director Waldfried Barthel to bring a German Edgar Wallace film series into the cinemas. Since fiction- based German crime films were poorly attended at the time, film producers advised against such an undertaking. The risk of landing a financial failure with a German Wallace film adaptation turned out to be too great.

The Danish film producer Preben Philipsen , co-owner of Constantin-Filmverleihs until 1955 and head of the Copenhagen- based Rialto Film , acquired the German Prisma- Filmverleih in 1958 . In its program, the British crime film The Ringer (English title: The Witcher , also The Strangler comes at midnight ) from 1952 was announced for 1958/59 . After viewing the film in Munich, Preben Philipsen and Waldfried Barthel decided not to bring the film to the cinemas. Instead, the idea of ​​a series of films based on novels by the British writer Edgar Wallace arose. To start with, the film adaptation of The Fellowship of the Frog from 1925 was chosen, which appeared in German a year later as The Frog with the Mask . The Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag brought his first edition in 1928 out. Since 1952 the work has been available as Goldmanns Taschen-Krimi Volume 1 . In addition, in negotiations with Edgar Wallace's daughter Penelope Wallace , Philipsen acquired the filming rights to the novel The Crimson Circle (English title: The red circle ) with an option for further adaptations based on Wallace novels.

In 1959 the Danish Rialto Film produced the film The Frog with the Mask on behalf of Constantin Film. The film turned out to be a great surprise success. Rialto then acquired the exclusive rights to almost all Wallace novels, founded a German subsidiary and, unconcerned by the numerous epigones of other producers, steered towards the artistic and commercial climax of the series. The total of 32 Wallace film adaptations of Rialto Film, which were made under the overall direction of producer Horst Wendlandt from 1961 , remained in the lead in terms of creativity and accurate staging until the late 1960s.

Starting with the production of Der Bucklige von Soho (1966), all Edgar Wallace films were made in color. People increasingly distanced themselves from the original novel in order to create their own stories based on motifs from various Wallace fabrics. This made the films more in keeping with the zeitgeist of the late 1960s. Dramaturgically, in terms of content and staging, however, the level of the films fell.

In 1969, the Rialto began to have some films co-produced by Italian companies in order to only share part of the production costs. The audience stayed away from these works and the series ended in the 1972 cinema season with the film The Riddle of the Silver Crescent . Originally the film Das Messer (also Blutspur im Park ) was supposed to be published under the title The Secret of the Black Rose as the 33rd Edgar Wallace film of Rialto Film, but after an expert opinion by Gerhard F. Hummel both Constantin Film and also withdrew Rialto Film returned from funding the project. Since the script is not based on any template by Edgar Wallace, his name was ultimately not mentioned when the film was marketed.

Television productions

In the 1950s and 1960s, some television games based on Edgar Wallace were broadcast on German television. All later television productions, however, can be seen as an attempt to revive the success of the Edgar Wallace series of the 1960s. Starting in 1995 , Rialto Film produced two seasons of an Edgar Wallace series for RTL . Some of the actors from the old Edgar Wallace films could be won for these productions, such as Eddi Arent , Harald Leipnitz , Gisela Uhlen , Pinkas Braun , Eva Ebner and Friedrich Schoenfelder . The main characters of the first season are Chief Inspector Nick Higgins ( Joachim Kemmer ), Inspector Barbara Lane ( Julia Bremermann ), Scotland Yard boss Sir John ( Leslie Phillips ) and the retired Inspector Flatter (Eddi Arent). In the second season, alongside Gunter Berger as Chief Inspector Higgins and Eddi Arent as Sir John, Rebecca Immanuel , Petra Kleinert and Mariella Ahrens appear. The total of eight films of different lengths were largely narrated freely from Edgar Wallace.


In 1994 RTL produced Otto - The series with comedian Otto Waalkes . The 13-part series consisted largely of digitally edited, newly dubbed scenes from Edgar Wallace films. The series was discontinued after some actors or their relatives sued due to the unclear legal situation.

According to Tagline , the comedy film Der WiXXer , produced in 2004, was not based on a novel by Edgar Wallace . In addition to the comedians Oliver Kalkofe , Bastian Pastewka and Anke Engelke , the old stars Wolfgang Völz , Grit Boettcher and Eva Ebner also appeared in the successful parody. The makers originally wanted to win Joachim Fuchsberger for the project, who refused.

After Fuchsberger received a DVD of the film, he promised its continuation Neues vom Wixxer . The film, in which Chris Howland , Ingrid van Bergen and again Wolfgang Völz could be seen, met with less response than its predecessor. Nevertheless, another sequel was initially planned under the title Triple WixXx . After the project had been delayed again and again, Kalkofe announced in August 2015 that Triple WixXx would not be filmed due to Bastian Pastewka leaving.

Features of the German Edgar Wallace films


No director influenced the style of Edgar Wallace films more than Alfred Vohrer . The experienced dubbing director directed 14 films in the series, including classics such as The Dead Eyes of London , The Inn on the Thames and The Witcher . The slightly exaggerated acting and the pointed editing and zooming techniques are typical for practically all of Vohrer's film and television work.

Harald Reinl had no less influence on the series, whose five Edgar Wallace films include the first work in the series The Frog with the Mask and the highlights The Gang of Terror and The Eerie Monk . Typical features of the films made by the former Heimat and mountain film director are atmospheric outdoor shots with long tracking shots and pans. Stylistic devices that Reinl used especially in the Karl May films that he influenced.

The more routinely working directors Franz Josef Gottlieb (three films) and Harald Philipp (one film) with their Wallace adaptations rather had the function of copying Vohrer's and Reinl's styles. The journalist and Stahlnetz director Jürgen Roland (two films) was able to enrich the series with his idiosyncratic, almost documentary style with static and high-contrast images. Josef von Báky (a film) drew on his many years of experience as a UFA director for the staging and created a commercially successful Wallace film, which critics often described as antiquated.

Akos von Rathony and Helmuth Ashley (one film each), on the other hand, were commissioned with the staging of Wallace films in order to set new accents within the series and to consciously break with the actual style of the series. This was even more true of the work of British directors Lawrence Huntington , Freddie Francis , Robert Lynn , John Llewellyn Moxey , Cyril Frankel and Spaniard Jess Franco (one film each). Their Wallace films were more likely to be assigned to other sub-genres such as gangster , agent or adventure films . The films of the Italians Riccardo Freda , Massimo Dallamano and Umberto Lenzi belonged to the genre of Giallo . Despite the benevolent words of the film critics, most attempts to leave the genre met with little success with the audience.


The cast with proven actors in similar roles was typical of the Edgar Wallace films. The mostly mature and level-headed investigators included Joachim Fuchsberger (13 films), Heinz Drache (eight films), Siegfried Lowitz (four films), Harald Leipnitz (three films) and Klausjürgen Wussow (two films). The main female roles were mostly attractive, young actresses such as Karin Dor (five films), Brigitte Grothum (three films), Uschi Glas (five films) and Karin Baal (three films). Shady characters were regularly played by Fritz Rasp (five films), Pinkas Braun (five films), Harry Wüstenhagen (six films), Christopher Lee (three films) and, above all, Klaus Kinski (16 films). Eddi Arent (23 films), Siegfried Schürenberg (16 films) and Hubert von Meyerinck (four films) took on comic roles . In addition, well-known film and stage actors such as Elisabeth Flickenschildt , Gert Fröbe , Dieter Borsche , Lil Dagover and Rudolf Forster appeared in important guest roles.

Movie title

The film titles , which mostly corresponded to the novel titles , should evoke clear associations with the genre of Edgar Wallace films in the audience. For example, behind many of the titles there was a clear reference to the main criminal of the film ( The Green Archer , The Zinker , The Monk with the Whip and others). Less clear novel titles or fictitious titles were occasionally linked with the terms "riddle" or "secret" ( The riddle of the red orchid , The riddle of the silver triangle , The secret of the green pin, etc.). Others were given a notice of the preferred location of the films ( The Forger of London , The Hunchback of Soho , The Dead from the Thames, and others).


The plot elements of the Edgar Wallace films were similar. So the event revolved ostensibly around a mostly imaginatively masked main criminal. In contrast to the psychological thriller , the unmasking of the criminal, unknown until the finale, was decisive ( Whodunit ). The motives of the criminal characters were mostly greed, revenge, inheritance sneaking as well as girl and drug trafficking. In comparison with the Giallo subgenre, which later emerged in Italy, the investigative work of the police or a private investigator played a decisive role in the Wallace films. It was also typical to include a female victim, who had to be protected from the intrigues and sinister machinations of the perpetrator. This succeeded practically in the course of the storyline of all Wallace films and it was not uncommon for the male investigator and the female victim to be happy lovers at the end of the film.

scene of action

As in the novel, the setting was almost always London and the surrounding area, with the actors moving mainly in old castles, mansions or villas. Wicked night clubs, gloomy homes for the blind, lunatic asylums and dark cellars were popular main and secondary scenes of the plot. Girls' homes and boarding schools were added in later films.

The actual locations were seldom in Great Britain due to lower production costs , but in Germany. Streets in Berlin and Hamburg in particular served as a backdrop for scenes in London. Filming locations for other scenes of action were as Schloss Ahrensburg , Herdringen , the Spandau Citadel and the Berlin Peacock Island . The interior shots were mostly made in the Hamburg studio and in the studios of the Berlin CCC-Film . Archival recordings from London, which were inserted into the films, often provided the necessary authenticity in the films.

Opening credits

Most Edgar Wallace films began with a spectacularly staged murder. This was followed by the opening credits of the film, which from 1961 (with two exceptions) was colored (the rest of the film was black and white). Even the design of the naming with blood-red or poison-green letters should herald an exciting film.

In order to make the series even more recognizable , the opening credits of the Wallace films were opened from 1962 with shots sounding from the off and the sentence " Hello, this is Edgar Wallace speaking ". In some cases, this sentence was spoken by director Alfred Vohrer .

Film music

The soundtracks of the films were particularly striking, especially the often lurid and catchy theme music. The music for a total of 18 films in the series comes from Peter Thomas , who, with his imaginative arrangements and modern recording techniques, was the most distinctive and dominant composer of the series. A song actually written for the Wallace film The Strange Countess Come, Put Your Arm Around Me , but Peter Thomas used it for the film The Endless Night , for which he received the film tape in gold for best film music .

While the soundtracks by Martin Böttcher (five films), Willy Mattes (two films) or Peter Sandloff (one film) consisted of timeless orchestral sound with an easy-listening character, Heinz Funk (three films) and Oskar Sala (one film) also back to new techniques of electronic music and experimental compositions.

The later Oscar winner Ennio Morricone was responsible for the film music for the German-Italian co-production “ The Secret of the Green Pin ” .


Despite their great success, the Edgar Wallace films met with broad rejection from almost all film critics, with the exception of the tabloids and daily newspapers . The reviews, some of which are cited to this day, some of which deny the Wallace films any aesthetic or artistic claim or even compare them with propaganda films of the Third Reich , must be viewed today in the context of the social and political changes in the 1960s. An unbiased, scientific discussion of the Edgar Wallace films has only rudimentarily taken place to this day.


The early Edgar Wallace films (sound films from 1928)

  1. The Great Unknown (D 1927, production by Noa Film)
  2. The Terror (USA 1928, production by Warner Bros. Pictures , US title: The Terror)
  3. The red circle (D 1929, production by Efzet-Film GmbH)
  4. The Strangler (GB / D 1929, production of the Gainsborough / FPS film)
  5. The Ringer (D 1931, Gainsborough production , UK title: The Ringer, US title: The Gaunt Stranger)
  6. Der Zinker (D 1931, production of the Ondra-Lamac-Film)
  7. The Witcher (D 1932, production of the Ondra Lamac film)
  8. The Frightened Lady (UK 1932, Gainsborough production , UK title: The Frightened Lady, US title: Criminal at Large)
  9. The mysterious ship (USA 1934, production by Monogram Pictures , US / UK title: Mystery Liner, with Gustav von Seyffertitz )
  10. The double (D 1934, production of the Ondra-Lamac-Film)
  11. Return of the Terror (USA 1934, production by Warner Bros. Pictures , US / UK title: Return of the Terror, with Frank Reicher )
  12. Sanders of the River (UK 1935, London Film Productions , UK / US title: Sanders of the River, with Paul Robeson )
  13. The Squeaker (UK 1937, London Film Productions , UK / US title: The Squeaker)
  14. The Terror (UK 1938, Production by the Associated British Picture Corporation , UK / US title: The Terror, with Bernard Lee )
  15. Dangerous to Know (USA 1938, production by Paramount Pictures , US / UK title: Dangerous to Know, with Anthony Quinn )
  16. The Strangler of London (UK 1939, produced by John Argyle Productions, UK title: The Dark Eyes of London, US title: The Human Monster, with Bela Lugosi )
  17. Four Just Men (UK 1939, Ealing Studios production , UK title: Four Just Men, US title: The Secret Four)
  18. The Chamber of Secrets (UK 1940, produced by John Argyle Productions, UK title: The Door With Seven Locks, US title: Chamber of Horrors, with Lilli Palmer )
  19. The of the Frightened Lady (UK 1932, British Lion Film Corporation production , UK title: The of the Frightened Lady, US title: The Frightened Lady)
  20. The Ringer (UK 1952, production by London Film Productions , UK / US title: The Ringer, with Herbert Lom )

The Edgar Wallace series from 1959 to 1972

List of all 38 Edgar Wallace films between 1959 and 1972, optionally sorted by number (chronological order after premiere), title, country of production, year (German premiere) and number of first screenings (up to 1967 according to estimates by Constantin Distribution, then analog estimates ).

No. logo title country year production Visitors
01 The frog with the mask Logo 001.svg The frog with the mask DK / FRG 1959 Rialto movie 3,200,000
02 The red circle logo 001.svg The red circle DK / FRG 1960 Rialto movie 1,900,000
03 The Raecher Logo 001.svg The avenger FRG 1960 Kurt Ulrich film 2,500,000
04 The Gang of Secrets Logo 001.svg The bonds of horror FRG 1960 Rialto movie 3,200,000
05 The green archer logo 001.svg The green archer FRG 1961 Rialto movie 1,700,000
06 The Dead Eyes of London Logo 001.svg The dead eyes of London FRG 1961 Rialto movie 3,400,000
07 The secret of the yellow daffodils Logo 001.svg The secret of the yellow daffodils FRG / GB 1961 Rialto Film / Omnia Pictures 3,500,000
08 The Forger of London Logo 001.svg The forger of London FRG 1961 Rialto movie 2,000,000
09 The Strange Countess Logo 001.svg The strange countess FRG 1961 Rialto movie 2,600,000
10 The Riddle of the Red Orchid Logo 001.svg The riddle of the red orchid FRG 1962 Rialto movie 1,500,000
11 The door with the seven locks Logo 001.svg The door with the seven locks FRG / F 1962 Rialto Film / Les Films Jacques Leitienne 3,200,000
12 The Inn on the Thames Logo 001.svg The inn on the Thames FRG 1962 Rialto movie 3,600,000
13 The curse of the yellow snake Logo 001.svg The curse of the yellow snake FRG 1963 CCC movie 2,000,000
14th Der Zinker 1963 Logo 001.svg The zinc man FRG / F 1963 Rialto Film / Les Films Jacques Willemetz 2,900,000
15th The black abbot logo 001.svg The black abbot FRG / F 1963 Rialto Film / Les Films Jacques Leitienne 2,700,000
16 The Indian cloth logo 001.svg The Indian cloth FRG 1963 Rialto movie 1,900,000
17th Drums of Death on the Big River Logo 001.svg The drums of death by the great river GB / FRG 1963 Constantin-Film / Towers of London Ltd. 1,500,000
18th Room 13 Logo 001.svg Room 13 FRG / F 1964 Rialto Film / Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie 1,800,000
19th The crypt with the puzzle lock Logo 001.svg The crypt with the riddle lock FRG 1964 Rialto movie 1,300,000
20th The Witcher Logo 001.svg The witcher FRG 1964 Rialto movie 2,600,000
21st The Traitor Gate Logo 001.svg The traitor gate FRG / GB 1964 Rialto Film / Summit Film 1,500,000
22nd Sanders and the Ship of Death Logo 001.svg Sanders and the Ship of Death GB / FRG 1965 Constantin-Film / Towers of London Ltd. 800,000
23 News from the Witcher Logo 001.svg News from the witcher FRG 1965 Rialto movie 1,800,000
24 The scary monk Logo 001.svg The creepy monk FRG 1965 Rialto movie 2,600,000
25th The riddle of the silver triangle logo 001.svg The puzzle of the silver triangle GB / FRG 1966 Constantin-Film / Proudweeks Film 1,000,000
26th The hunchback from Soho Logo 001.svg Soho's hunchback FRG 1966 Rialto movie 2,200,000
27 The secret of the white nun Logo 001.svg The secret of the white nun GB / FRG 1966 Rialto movie 1,600,000
28 The blue hand logo 001.svg The blue hand FRG 1967 Rialto movie 1,700,000
29 The monk with the whip Logo 001.svg The monk with the whip FRG 1967 Rialto movie 1,800,000
30th The Dog from Blackwood Castle Logo 001.svg The dog from Blackwood Castle FRG 1968 Rialto movie 1,200,000
31 Under the spell of the uncanny Logo 001.svg Under the spell of the uncanny FRG 1968 Rialto movie 1,800,000
32 The Soho Gorilla Logo 001.svg The Soho Gorilla FRG 1968 Rialto movie 1,700,000
33 The man with the glass eye Logo 001.svg The man with the glass eye FRG 1969 Rialto movie 1,600,000
34 The face in the dark Logo 001.svg The face in the dark I / FRG 1969 Rialto Film / Colt Produzioni / Mega Film 600,000
35 The devil came from Akasava Logo 001.svg The devil came from Akasava BRD / E 1971 CCC-Film / Fénix Films 300,000
36 Die Tote aus der Thames Logo 001.svg The dead from the Thames FRG 1971 Rialto movie 1,400,000
37 The secret of the green pin Logo 001.svg The secret of the green pin I / FRG 1972 Rialto Film / Clodio Cinematografica / Italian International 1,100,000
38 The mystery of the silver half moon Logo 001.svg The riddle of the silver crescent I / FRG 1972 Rialto Film / Flora Film / National Cenematografica 800,000

Television films

  1. The Witcher (FRG 1956) (TV premiere: April 7, 1956)
  2. The Man Who Changed His Name (GDR 1956) (TV premiere: September 30, 1956)
  3. The Man Who Changed His Name (FRG 1958) (TV premiere: May 11, 1958)
  4. Der Zinker (GDR 1959) (TV premiere: June 6, 1959)
  5. The Witcher (GDR 1962) (TV premiere: September 18, 1962)
  6. The Witcher (FRG 1963) (TV premiere: June 29, 1963)
  7. The Secret of Lismore Castle (FRG 1986) (TV premiere: May 18, 1986)
  8. The Kensington Cat (D 1995) (TV Premiere: February 6, 1996)
  9. The Carousel of Death (D 1995) (TV premiere: February 20 or 27, 1996)
  10. Der Blinde (D 1995) (TV premiere: March 5, 1996)
  11. The Castle of Horror (D 1998) (TV premiere: April 6, 2002)
  12. The Eerie Letters (D 1998) (TV premiere: April 13, 2002)
  13. The Four Righteous (D 1998) (TV premiere: April 20, 2002)
  14. The House of Dead Eyes (D 1998) (TV premiere: April 27, 2002)
  15. Whiteface (D 1998) (TV premiere: May 4, 2002)


  1. The Chocolate Snoopers (D 1986)
  2. Otto - The Series (D 1995)
  3. The WiXXer (D 2004)
  4. News from Wixxer (D 2007)

"Edgar Wallace Mysteries" in Great Britain

The in London's City district London Borough of Merton -based production company Merton Park produced and co-produced 1960-1965 a total of 47 films in the series Edgar Wallace Mysteries . The films made under the producer Jack Greenwood had a length of about 60 minutes each. In this series, too, various regular actors appeared and with Bernard Ebbinghouse , Ron Goodwin and Francis Chagrin several composers of the series also stood by the side several times. The theme music played by the instrumental group The Shadows , Man of Mystery , made it into the top 5 of the UK charts. As in Germany, Wallace's name was also used in this series to successfully market films. Less than half of the films are actually based on his subjects. For the later television broadcast of the series, more films were added that had even less reference to Wallace. There are two different versions of some films, whereby Wallace's name is not mentioned in one and the other is simply provided with the usual opening credits for the film series.

In addition to Merton Park, Independent Artists Ltd. 1960 two films assigned to the Edgar Wallace series ( The Malpas Mystery and The Man in the Back Seat ). It is unclear whether these titles had already premiered as Wallace films or were only assigned to the series in the course of later screenings or broadcasts - possibly by the distributor of both production companies, Anglo Amalgamated. The production company AP Films also released another film in 1960, which is assigned to the British Wallace series ( Crossroads to Crime ) .

Some films in the Merton Park series have also been shown in Germany. Rank Filmverleih brought four programs to the cinema, each consisting of two films in the series. Another twelve films in the series were shown on ZDF between 1969 and 1972. At the same time, the television of the GDR also showed a Wallace series, consisting of a. a. from diamonds ( Solo for Sparrow ), The Man in the back seat ( The Man in the Back Seat ) The ominous chest ( Dead Man's Chest ) and mistook partners ( Change Partners ). On August 25, 2005 Solo for Inspector Sparrow ( Solo for Sparrow ) was released on DVD.

Also from the film Death travels with / The man in the back seat ( The Man in the Back Seat of Independent Artists Ltd., aired on October 29, 1965 in ARD, later repeated on Tele 5) there is a German version. Wallace is not mentioned here, however, as the film was probably only shown later in Great Britain as part of the Edgar Wallace Mysteries , when the original version was already available in Germany.

Since the majority of the films were not shown or repeated in Germany, the films are relatively unknown here. In the UK, the series was announced to be released on DVD in May 2012. 54 films are to be released in seven box sets.

  1. Urge to Kill (GB 1960)
  2. Clue of the Twisted Candle (GB 1960)
  3. Crossroads to Crime (GB 1960)
  4. Marriage of Convenience (GB 1960)
  5. The Man Who Was Nobody (GB 1960)
  6. The Malpas Mystery (GB 1960)
  7. Death drives with / Der Mann im Rücksitz (The Man in the Back Seat) (GB 1960)
  8. The Clue of the New Pin (GB 1961)
  9. Partners in Crime (GB 1961)
  10. The Fourth Square (GB 1961)
  11. The Man at the Carlton Tower (GB 1961)
  12. The Clue of the Silver Key (GB 1961)
  13. Attempt to Kill (GB 1961)
  14. Man Detained (GB 1961)
  15. Never Back Losers (GB 1961)
  16. The Sinister Man (GB 1961)
  17. Candidate for Murder (GB 1962)
  18. Backfire! (GB 1962)
  19. The Murderer's Revenge: They Must Die (The Share Out) (GB 1962)
  20. The Dagger in the Back: The Murderer Catches Himself (Flat Two) (GB 1962)
  21. Number Six (GB 1962)
  22. Diamonds of Death: Even Dead Witnesses Talk / Diamonds (Time to Remember) (GB 1962)
  23. Locker 69 (Locker 69) (GB 1962)
  24. Revenge of the Murderer: Your Friend, the Murderer (Playback) (GB 1962)
  25. Diamonds of Death: Solo for Inspector Sparrow (Solo for Sparrow) (GB 1962)
  26. The Dagger in the Back: Death Came Faster Than Money (Death Trap) (GB 1962)
  27. Once Behind Bars (The Set-up) (GB 1963)
  28. An expensive kiss (The 20,000 Pound Kiss) (GB 1963)
  29. Kisses for the Killer: Incident at Midnight (GB 1963)
  30. One Can Win (On the Run) (GB 1963)
  31. Return to Sender (GB 1963)
  32. Kisses for the Killer: Boomerang of Death (Ricochet) (GB 1963)
  33. It doesn't work out (The Double) (GB 1963)
  34. Dirty Competition (The Rivals) (GB 1963)
  35. Sergeant Fraser (To Have and to Hold) (GB 1963)
  36. The partner (The Partner) (GB 1963)
  37. Accidental Death (GB 1963)
  38. The Great Coup (Five to One) (GB 1963)
  39. Downfall (GB 1964)
  40. First of all, it turns out differently ... (The Verdict) (GB 1964)
  41. We Shall See (GB 1964)
  42. A certain Mr. Maddox (Who Was Maddox?) (GB 1964)
  43. Act of Murder (GB 1964)
  44. Face of a Stranger (GB 1964)
  45. Never Mention Murder (GB 1964)
  46. The diamonds Job (The Main Chance) (GB 1964)
  47. Game for Three Losers (GB 1965)
  48. Mistook partners (Change Partners) (GB 1965)
  49. Strangler's Web (GB 1965)
  50. The ominous chest (Dead Man's Chest) (GB 1965)


In the 1960s, film adaptations by other crime writers were also adapted as much as possible to the style of the Edgar Wallace films. Well-known epigones are the Dr. Mabuse series, the Pater Brown films, the Bryan Wallace series and the Louis Weinert Wilton series .

The Dr. Mabuse films of the 1960s

The traditional figure of Doctor Mabuse , conceived as a fictional character by Norbert Jacques (1880–1954) and first filmed by Fritz Lang in 1922 , once again became the main character in a whole series of new adaptations made by the film producer Artur Brauner . He had already acquired the rights to use the criminal figure in 1953. Artur Brauner also produced Dr. M Strikes Should In 1970 directed by Jess Franco to the Dr. Mabuse series and was later the subject of a legal dispute with the heirs of Norbert Jacques.

  1. The 1000 eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960)
  2. In the steel network of Dr. Mabuse (1961)
  3. The invisible claws of Dr. Mabuse (1962)
  4. The will of Dr. Mabuse (1962)
  5. Scotland Yard is chasing Dr. Mabuse (1963)
  6. The death rays of Dr. Mabuse (1964)

The Father Brown films

The actor Heinz Rühmann was seen in three films in the course of the crime film wave in the early 1960s in the role of investigating Father Brown . The popular figure came from the English author Gilbert Keith Chesterton . The producer Utz Utermann , who made the films for Bavaria Film , had planned a third part by 1964, but it was never realized. Another film followed as a latecomer in 1968, but it has even less to do with the literary model than the first two films.

  1. The Black Sheep (1960)
  2. He Can't Leave It (1962)
  3. The Adventures of Cardinal Braun (1968)

The Bryan Edgar Wallace Films

After the success of his Dr. Mabuse films, the film producer Artur Brauner secured the name and substance rights of Bryan Edgar Wallace (1904–1971), the son of Edgar Wallace. His novels were mostly about agents and world domination plans. In most of the films only the name Bryan Edgar Wallace 'was used and new, Edgar Wallace-like material was invented. The films mentioned here are, unless otherwise stated, productions of CCC-Film . Since The Secret of the Black Gloves and The Nine-Tailed Cat belong to Dario Argento's “Animal Trilogy”, for the sake of completeness, Four Flies on Gray Velvet (1971) is also assigned as the last part of the Bryan Edgar Wallace series. In fact, however, the film was never officially marketed as such.

  1. The Secret of the Black Suitcase (1962)
  2. Blackmoor Castle Strangler (1963)
  3. Scotland Yard is chasing Dr. Mabuse (1963)
  4. The Executioner of London (1963)
  5. The Phantom of Soho (1964)
  6. The London City Monster (1964)
  7. The Seventh Sacrifice (1964)
  8. The Secret of the Black Gloves (1970) (in coproduction with Seda Spettacoli, Rome)
  9. The nine-tailed cat (1971) (produced by Terra Filmkunst in coproduction with Seda Spettacoli, Rome, and Labrador Film, Paris)
  10. Soho's Death Avenger (1972) (produced by Telecine Film and Television Production in co-production with Fenix ​​Films, Madrid)
  11. The Secret of the Yellow Grave (1972) (in coproduction with Mondial Tefi, Rome, and Inex Film, Belgrade)

Louis Weinert Wilton Films

No. logo title year
1 The carpet of horror Logo 001.svg The carpet of horror 1962
2 The white spider Logo 001.svg The white spider 1963
3 The Secret of the Black Widow Logo 001.svg The Black Widow's Secret 1963
4th The Secret of the Chinese Carnation Logo 001.svg The secret of the Chinese carnation 1964

More films from the crime wave

In the 1960s there were numerous attempts to start other Wallace-style film series or to share in the series' success with new film material.

In addition, the transition from epigones of Wallace films to works in other subgenres is often fluid. This applies above all to numerous adventure and agent films as well as Gialli , often co-produced by German companies . The Jerry Cotton film series also shows a clear similarity in style with the Edgar Wallace films.

See also


The following CDs mainly contain film music from Edgar Wallace films.

  • Detective film music by Martin Böttcher - Rough Trade, BSC 307.6518.2
  • Detective film music Martin Böttcher Vol. 2 - Prudence, BSC 398.6534.2
  • Peter Thomas Detective Film Music - Prudence, BSC 398.6533.2
  • Detective film music No. 4 - Prudence, BSC 398.6560.2
  • Peter Thomas Film Music - Polydor, 517 096-2 (1 CD)
  • Peter Thomas Film Music - Polydor, 845 872-2 (2 CDs)


  • Andreas Blödorn: Style formation and visual coding in film. Using the example of the German Edgar Wallace films of the 1960s and their parody in DER WIXXER. In: Jan-Oliver Decker (Ed.): Narrative styles in literature and film . Narr, Tübingen 2007, pp. 137–152 ( Kodikas, Code - Ars semeiotica 30, No. 1/2, Special issue = issue, ISSN  0171-0834 ).
  • Joachim Kramp : Hello! This is Edgar Wallace speaking. The story of the legendary German crime film series from 1959–1972. 2nd Edition. Verlag Schwarzkopf and Schwarzkopf, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-89602-140-0 .
  • Joachim Kramp: Hello! This is Edgar Wallace speaking. The story of the legendary German crime film series from 1959–1972 . 3. Edition. (expanded new edition). Verlag Schwarzkopf and Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89602-645-3 .
  • Joachim Kramp, Jürgen Wehnert: The Edgar Wallace Lexicon. Life, work, films. It is impossible not to be captivated by Edgar Wallace! Verlag Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-89602-508-2 .
  • Andreas Neumann: Sir John chases the witcher - Siegfried Schürenberg and the Edgar Wallace films . Verlag Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-89602-473-6 .
  • Florian Pauer: The Edgar Wallace Films . Goldmann, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-442-10216-2 ( Goldmann 10216, Goldmann Magnum. Citadel Filmbücher ).
  • K. Pöschl, M. Trescher, R. Weber: Harald Reinl, the director who brought Winnetou, Edgar Wallace and the Nibelungen to the cinema - a bio and filmography. Specialized publisher for film literature 2011, ISBN 978-3-9809390-9-6 .
  • Georg Seeßlen : The German Edgar Wallace films. In: Georg Seeßlen: Murder in the cinema. History and mythology of the detective film . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1981, ISBN 3-499-17396-4 .
  • Christos Tses: The Witcher, the Zinker and Other Murderers. Behind the scenes of the Edgar Wallace films . Klartext-Verlag, Essen 2002, ISBN 3-89861-080-2 .
  • Tobias Hohmann: Edgar & Bryan Edgar Wallace: The Classic Detective Film - Volume 2 . MPW-Verlag, Hille 2011, ISBN 978-3-942621-02-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eike Kronshage: Weimar Wallace: Three Early German Screen Adaptations of Novels by Edgar Wallace (1931-1934) . In: Journal of English and American Studies: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture Vol. 67, No. 4 (2019), pp. 375-391.
  2. Oliver Kalkofe ends "Triple Wixx" rumors , August 9, 2015.
  3. http://www.deutsche-filmakademie.de/fpsuche.html?cVal=8. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 28, 2012 ; accessed on August 5, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.deutsche-filmakademie.de
  4. There is also evidence of a broadcast on February 15, 1969 and October 10, 1969: The Proof and The Revenge (original title unknown); Program for Saturday, February 15, 1969 / Program for Friday, October 10, 1969
  5. wallace-online.de. Retrieved August 5, 2017 .