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Die Tote aus der Themse

The Body in the Thames
Angels of Terror / Der Engel des Schreckens / The Dead One in the Thames River

West Germany 1971
produced by
Horst Wendlandt for Rialto
directed by Harald Philipp
starring Uschi Glas, Hansjörg Felmy, Werner Peters, Harry Riebauer, Vadim Glowna, Siegfried Schürenberg, Günther Stoll, Petra Schürmann, Friedrich Schoenfelder, Lyvia Bauer, Peter Neusser, Friedrich G. Beckhaus, Michael Miller, Gerd Frickhöffer, Ingrid Steeger, Brigitte Skay, Ivan Desny
screenplay by Horst Wendlandt, Harald Philipp, based on the novel The Angel of Terror by Edgar Wallace, music by Peter Thomas

Rialto's Edgar Wallace cycle, Edgar Wallace made in Germany, Sir John (Siegfried Schürenberg)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Australian Dani Ferguson (Uschi Glas) comes to London to visit her sister Myrna (Lyvia Bauer) - only to find out she's been murdered. There's just one thing, her body had disappeared before the police arrived, and there's a photographer (Vadim Glowna) who tells her he has evidence that Myrna's still alive. Of course, the photographer ends up murdered eventually, and while Dani has nicked the evidence from his studio, it's soon stolen. From Scotland Yard inspector Craig (Hansjörg Felmy), Dani learns that Myrna has been working undercover with the Yard, trying to bust a drug ring, but the police is as clueless as Dani is whether Myrna's alive or dead. Eventually, Craig and Dani, alone and with each other, do find out things about the drug ring, including that it's run by antique dealer Wyman (Friedrich Schoenfelder), the owner of the hotel Dani's living in, Stout (Ivan Desny), and slaughterhouse owner Baxter (Werner Peters). But soon enough, Wyman and Stout end up dead, and Baxter has taken Dani captive - and if it wasn't for mysterious rich guy Farnborough (Harry Riebauer), the police would miss all too many clues. Of course, Craig eventually manages to free Dani while Baxter is shot dead by a person unknown as well. More than that, a corpse is fished out of River Thames that more likely than not is Myrna's. Then though Dani receives a call from Myrna, but when the two meet, Myrna's shot dead as well - but she has brought with her a clue that Craig finally leads Craig to the actual culprits, medical examiner Ellis (Günther Stoll), who has been a key player in Myrna's sting operation, and Yard secretary Susan (Petra Schürmann), who acted as his mole. Their game was to get their hands on the heroin confiscated by the yard and sell it back into the populace.

Later erotic star and yet later comedy star Ingrid Steeger makes a topless appearance in this one, while Siegfried Schürenberg plays Sir John for one last time, and is for a change not as much of an incompetent dirty old man as usual.

 

The very last solely German-produced Rialto-Edgar-Wallace (until the 1990s) is in some ways a step up from the unintentional parodies the last few efforts by director Alfred Vohrer have turned into: The script is more stringent, there's less comedy, the plot makes at least a little more sense and doesn't feel quite as convoluted, and the dialogue is a little less riddled with clichés and thus feels more natural. That all said, Harald Philipp is not as strong a director as Alfred Vohrer, so puts less emphasis on atmosphere and suspense, is more concerned with just bringing the story across - making this a rather routine krimi that has little to be remembered by. It's not a really bad movie at that, just unremarkable.

 

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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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written by
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starring
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