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Schüsse aus dem Geigenkasten

Shots from the Violincase
Jerry Cotton G-Man Agent CIA / Operation Hurricane: Friday Noon / Tread Softly

West Germany/France 1965
produced by
Hubert Fröhlich (executive) for Allianz Filmproduktion, Studio Hamburg, Les Films Astoria
directed by Fritz Umgelter
starring George Nader, Heinz Weiss, Richard Münch, Hans E. Schons, Franz Rudnick, Sylvia Pascal, Helmut Förnbacher, Robert Rathke, Hans Waldherr, Philippe Guegan, Heidi Leupolt, Helga Schlack
written by Georg Hurdalek, 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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Several murders happen all across the USA, with only one thing in common: In each case the criminals knew about some big loot the respective victims had stashed away in a secret hidingplace ... & soon Jerry Cotton (George Nader), best man of the FBI, & his sidekick Phil Decker (Heinz Weiss) are on the case. But the only clue they have are some phonecalls of a woman (who would eventually be identified as Mary Springfield [Heidi Leupolt]) to FBI boss Mr High (Richard Münch) about her sister Kitty (Sylvia Pascal), who is dating some gangster who might be involved with the killings.

Mary though soon is run over by a car (by the gangsters of course), & the only thing she can tell Jerry before dieing is that itty's boyfriend owns a bowling alley near Penn station NYC. So disguised as a bum & reformed alcoholic, Jerry visits the bowling alley, & its owner Christallo (Hans E.Schons), & convinces him that on one hand he knows about the murders, but on the other deosn't try toblackmail him withthat knowledge but wants a job in his organisation ... & Christallo grows soft on him & employs Jerry ...

From Kitty, who is indeed Christallo's moll, Jerry soon learns their next heist: They plan to blow up a schoolhouse to divert the attention of the authorities to quietly rob a private antiques collector across the street.

Jerry can of course spoil their plans of blowing up the school, but cannot stop them from getting away through the sewers ...

Meanwhile though the gangsters have found out about Jerry's true identity, & Kilburne (Franz Rudnick), the actual head of the organisation, shoots Christallo for having invited Jerry in, then he kidnaps lawyer Hamilton, from whose safe he stole the informations about the places they robbed, & steals his yacht in hopes to get away with his accomplices & the loot. But Jerry & Phil Decker can put a stop to that & free Hanmilton even before the police arrives ...

 

Very obviously, Schüsse aus dem Geigenkasten - and the whole resulting Jerry Cotton-series - was produced as a German attempt to rival the then enormously successful British James Bond-series, even if the German series concentrated more on down-to-earth-crime drama than somewhat over-the-top espionage plots, & was of course produced on a lower budget.

Despite taking place in New York City, the film (like all of the subsequent Jerry Cotton films) was actually filmed in Germany, with some authentic New York footage spiced in or the actors sometimes acting in front of New York rear projections. Much of the (outdoor-)sets though are just German scenery made to look like New York - not always very convincingly, which lends the film a certain charm.

Taken by its own merits, the film is an ok low budget action flick, that tends to become rather funny (unintentionally of course) when it tries to be cool &/or goes for authenticism, & can't really shake a certain Germanness, displaying a certain fascination for bureaucratic correctness when it's the least needed.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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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