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Mordnacht in Manhattan

Manhattan Night of Murder
Night of Murder in Manhattan / Moordnacht in Manhattan

West Germany/France 1965
produced by
Heinz Willeg for Allianz Filmproduktion, Constantin Film, Prodex
directed by Harald Philipp
starring George Nader, Heinz Weiss, Monika Grimm, Slobodan Dimitrijevic, Silvia Solar, Peter Kuiper, Siegurd Fitzek, Allen Pinson, Elke Neidhart, Henri Cogan, Willy Semmelrogge, Paul Muller, Uwe Reichmeister, Walter Bluhm, Dirk Dautzenberg, Weki Wachee, Richard Münch
screenplay by K.B. Leder, Herbert Reinecker (as Alex Berg), based on characters from the magazine series G-Man Jerry Cotton published by Bastei Lübbe, music by Peter Thomas

Jerry Cotton, Jerry Cotton (George Nader)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The 100 Dollar Gang is a ruthless gang of protection money racketeers, and normally they can go after their business undisturbed since noone dares to call the police ... until one day someone kills a restaurant owner (Dirk Dautzenberg) while they collect money and puts the blame on them - and then there's a little boy, Billy (Uwe Reichmeister) who has witnessed it all, and the racketeers just want to get him out of the way (even though he's the only one who can prove they haven't actually killed the man).

Eventually, top FBI-agent Jerry Cotton (George Nadeer) and his colleague Phil Dekker (Heinz Weiss) are entrusted with the case, and the first thing they do is pretty much save Billy from an assault by the gang. Later they set up a trap using Sophie's (Elke Neidhart) gas station - that's blown to Kingdom Come in the process - and make various attempts at catching the gang ... but to no avail at first, because the gang doesn't even shy away from killing their own men.

It is not until Jerry finds a lead to the Goldfish Club that he gets onto the gang's track, and soon he realizes that the Club's owner, Wilma De Loy (Silvia Solar), is in league with the plan - but according to his logic, the leadeer of the gang has to be a man ...

In the meantime, young Billy has watched some television, and wouldn't you know it, in an ad for a supermarket chain, he recognized the killer, Bruce Erikson (Henri Cogan), who actually owns the supermarket chain. But instead of going to the police with this information, he goes right to Erikson's office - and walks into a trap that Erikson himself hasn't even set yet. Meanwhile, Jerry has followed some of the Hundred Dollar Gang goons to Erikson's office, and Erikson is now rather surprisingly revealed to be the brains of the gang. Somehow, Erikson manages to make a getaway with Wilma and the boy while his henchmen try to get rid of Jerry (of course they don't succeed), and soon the whole policeforce tries to hunt Erikson down, but after an extended chase, it's of course a showdown between Jerry and Erikson ... but in the end, Erikson is shot by Wilma because he tried to shoot her so she can't slow him down. But even when dieing, Erikson still climbs into the small airplane he intended to use for his getaway, starts her and off she rolls - with Billy aboard ... but guess what, Jerry saves Billy in the nick of time.

Genre fave Paul Muller plays one of the gangsters w2ho is blown to smithereens in the course of the proceedings ...

 

Somehow the plot doesn't quite click: After the Hundred Dollar Gang complain about being framed for a murder they didn't commit, it was actually their boss who did the killing (!?). And why did he do it ? And if he owns a supermarket chain, why does he also run a protection money racket ? And if he runs a protection money racket, and has been seen murdering somebody, why does he show his face on TV ?

This questions aside though, Manhattan Night of Murder is a slick little thriller, containing plenty of action and moving at a fast enough pace to not make one think too much about the incongruencies of the story. Of course, like in most Jerry Cotton films, the occarional focus on police procedure is a bit ridiculous and the outdoor-scenes shot in Germany that are supposed to be set in Manhattan are not always convincing - but somehow, that's part of the charm of the Jerry Cotton series ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD