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 this page: introduction / latest news/ filmography (the Edgar Wallace films) / links
second page: the krimis of Bryan Edgar Wallace
third page: the other krimis (the non-Wallace films)
 fourth page: image gallery
five page: krimi dance craze

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Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) was one of the most popular authors of the 20th Century. He wrote a prodigious amount of criminal thrillers, written at a rapid pace (some started and finished in just a weekend!). Understandably, film producers took an early interest in his novels, and Wallace himself, fascinated by the new medium, became a director and screenwriter.

 As an author of international repute, his books were popular in Germany in the 1920s onward, though banned during the Nazi years. Germany had already begun filming Wallace titles in 1927, but the Nazi era stopped any further production of such films. In 1959, inspired by the British Wallace film THE RINGER (1952), Preben Philipsen A/S and Rialto Film began making their first Edgar Wallace film, DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE, based on Wallace's THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG (1925). The German Edgar Wallace "krimi" was born. (A criminal or mystery thriller is called "krimi" in Germany.) Soon a familiar cadre of actors was inhabiting the Wallace krimi world: Joachim Fuchsberger, Heinz Drache, Siegfried Schurenberg, Siegfried Lowitz, Eddi Arent (providing comic relief), and that lovable maniac Klaus Kinski, best known to American audiences for his many films outside of the krimi genre. The jazzy, innovative music, provided by such composers as Martin Bottcher and Peter Thomas, added a contemporary hipness to stylish updates of stories decades old. It is these series of Rialto films, and a couple of other films made at the same time but from different producers, that represent "The German Edgar Wallace Films," and not any productions made in the 1920s or after the early 1970s.

Because of their national and international popularity, the Wallace krimis had many imitations, some involving Wallace's son, Bryan Edgar Wallace. In articles, online sites, discussions, and video catalogs, the Bryan Edgar Wallace krimis are frequently mistaken for films based on his father's work.

 There was a substantial quotient of chilling and gruesome elements in many of these krimis, and it's not surprising that several were promoted in other countries as horror films, a sales pitch likewise used in the distribution of the Dr. Mabuse films, which shared stylistic elements and certain filmmaking talent with the Wallace thrillers. By the 1970s, the Wallace films began to merge with Italian thrillers (gialli), which clearly sought inspiration from their earlier German counterparts. Soon thereafter, the German Wallaces disappeared, done in, partially, by the competitive high production rate and unrepentant exploitation of the Italian filmmaking business.

Almost all of the German Wallace films were made available in English-dubbed versions for American audiences. Though a few saw theatrical exhibition, most were first seen on American television in the late 1960s and early 1970s, pruned of any nudity and a few distinctive elements, such as the typical introductory credit sequence of gunshots and a voiceover announcing, "Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace! (Hello, this is Edgar Wallace speaking!)" Subsequently, public domain video companies released these edited films on video, sourced from 16mm elements, which did not do the films justice, but which at least kept a watchful flame burning for these important films. Germany has already released a fine video series of these films, and is beginning a superior DVD presentation. Unfortunately, all these have been presented without English-subtitles and, of course, in the European PAL format. Fortunately, American DVD releases of a few of these Wallace krimis loom in the distance, either as announced projects or speculation.

In the filmography below, films not part of the Rialto series, but in most cases no less important, are indicated by an asterisk following their German title.

 -- M.L.

 

LATEST NEWS

 
 

KRIMI CORNER #1

The premiere issue of a four page newsletter devoted to the German Edgar Wallace films and other krimis is now available. Issue One contains a general introduction to Wallace and the krimi film and a lengthy review of Retromedia's DVD of THE MONSTER OF LONDON CITY and THE SECRET OF THE RED ORCHID. There's also a Rialto Edgar Wallace film checklist. Future issues will cover the other Wallace krimis, including the Bryan Edgar Wallace krimis and such oddities as the krimi-inspired Sherlock Holmes film with Christopher Lee, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE DEADLY NECKLACE. There'll also be reviews of the latest krimi DVDs, ground-breaking research, rare ad mats, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: As of November 2008, I am debating whether to continue this series, as my time is limited and I have something else in mind, publishing-wise, that would possibly satisfy krimi fans. Monies will be returned on subscriptions if I decide not to continue with the zine.

Letter envelope mailing: $2 per copy/$8 for a five issue subscription.

Manila envelope mailing: $2.50 per copy/$10 for a five issue subscription.

International mailing to countries outside of the USA (mailed only in letter envelope):
$2.50 per copy/$10 for a five issue subscription.


Checks, money orders and well-hidden cash should be sent to M. Lipinski, P.O. Box 2398, New York, NY 10009. Paypal payments can also be made to Mirelski@aol.com

 


LATEST 2008 DVD RELEASES OF WALLACE KRIMIs
AVAILABLE IN THE NTSC FORMAT

 

Two volumes of Retromedia's THE EDGAR WALLACE COLLECTION were released in 2008. The first volume paired THE MAD EXECUTIONERS with THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG, the first film in the famous Rialto Edgar Wallace series. The second volume paired CURSE OF THE YELLOW SNAKE with THE PHANTOM OF SOHO. THE MAD EXECUTIONERS and THE PHANTOM OF SOHO are not Edgar Wallace-based films, however, but rather use his son's (Bryan Edgar Wallace) work or Bryan's name for promotional purposes. That said, the "Bryan Edgar Wallace" films are some of the best krimis released in the 1960s, with a tendency to be more shocking and more sexually revealing than their Edgar Wallace counterparts. All four presentations are close to their original aspect ratios, though not exact, and quality varies considerably.

Click on cover to order at discount from Amazon.com


As seen in the screen captures below, MONSTER OF LONDON CITY contains flashes of nudity, surprising for a film in general release in 1964. In the United States, MONSTER was paired with THE PHANTOM OF SOHO, which is available either from Alpha Video and in a double-film presentation from Retromedia.

 

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THE EDGAR & BRYAN WALLACE KRIMIS
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THE EDGAR WALLACE GERMAN FILMOGRAPHY with DVD Availability
See this page for the Bryan Edgar Wallace German Filmography
(unless otherwise noted, all DVDs have English audio or subtitles)

 
Year German Title

English Title & DVD Availability

1959 DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG/FACE OF THE FROG - Vol. 1 UFA PAL set - Retromedia NTSC release
1960 DER ROTE KREIS THE RED CIRCLE/THE CRIMSON CIRCLE  - Vol. 1 UFA PAL set
1960 DIE BANDE DE SCHRECKENS THE TERRIBLE PEOPLE/HAND OF THE GALLOWS - Vol. 1 UFA PAL set
1960 DER RACHER* THE AVENGER
1961 DER GRUNE BOGENSCHUTZE THE GREEN ARCHER - Vol. 1 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1961 DIE TOTEN AUGEN VON LONDON DARK EYES OF LONDON/DEAD EYES OF LONDON - Vol. 2 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles) - Retromedia NTSC release - Alpha NTSC release
1961 DAS GEHEMNIS DER GELBEN MARZISSEN THE DEVIL'S DAFFODIL/THE DAFFODIL KILLER - Vol. 2 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1961 DER FALSCHER VON LONDON THE FORGER OF LONDON - Vol. 2 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1962 DIE SELTSAME GRAFIN THE STRANGE COUNTESS - Vol. 2 UFA PAL set
1962 DAS RATSEL DER ROTEN ORCHIDEE THE SECRET OF THE RED ORCHID/THE PUZZLE OF THE RED ORCHID - Vol. 3 UFA PAL set - Retromedia NTSC release
1962 DIE TUR MIT DEN 7 SCHLOSSERN THE DOOR WITH THE SEVEN LOCKS- Vol. 3 UFA PAL set
1962 DAS GASTHAUS AN DER THEMSE THE INN ON THE RIVER - Vol. 3 UFA PAL set
1963 DER FLUCH DER GELBEN SCHLANGE* THE CURSE OF THE YELLOW SNAKE - Retromedia NTSC release
1963 DER ZINKER THE SQUEAKER - Vol. 3 UFA PAL set
1963 DER SCHWARZE ABT THE BLACK ABBOT - Vol. 4 UFA PAL set
1963 DAS INDISCHE TUCH THE INDIAN SCARF - Vol. 4 UFA PAL set
1964 ZIMMER 13 ROOM 13 - Vol. 4 UFA PAL set
1964 DIE GRUFT MIT DEM RATSELSCHLOSS CURSE OF THE HIDDEN VAULT- Vol. 5 UFA PAL set
1964 DER HEXER THE RINGER/THE MYSTERIOUS MAGICIAN- Vol. 4 UFA PAL set
1964 DAS VERRATERTOR TRAITOR'S GATE - Vol. 5 UFA PAL set
1965 NEUES VOM HEXER AGAIN THE RINGER - Vol. 5 UFA PAL set
1965 DER UNHEIMLICHE MONCH THE SINISTER MONK - Vol. 6 UFA PAL set
1966 DAS RATSEL DES SILBERNEN DREIECK* CIRCUS OF FEAR/PSYCHO-CIRCUS - Blue Underground NTSC release - many others, including Alpha. The Blue Underground DVD is considered definitive; all others are in bad quality and cut.
1966 DER BUCKLIGE VON SOHO THE HUNCHBACK OF SOHO - Vol. 6 UFA PAL set
1966 DAS GEHEIMNIS DER WEISSEN NONNE THE TRYGON FACTOR - Vol. 6 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1967 DIE BLAUE HAND THE CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND - Vol. 6 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles) - Image NTSC release
1967 DER MONCH MIT DER PEITSCHE THE MONK WITH THE WHIP - Vol. 7 UFA PAL set - Dark Sky/MPI NTSC release (as COLLEGE GIRL MURDERS)
1967 DER HUND VON BLACKWOOD CASTLE THE HORROR OF BLACKWOOD CASTLE - Vol. 7 UFA PAL set
1968 IM BANNE DES UNHEIMLICHEN HAND OF POWER - Vol. 7 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1968 DER GORILLA VON SOHO THE GORILLA OF SOHO/THE GORILLA GANG - Vol. 7 UFA PAL set
1968 DER MANN MIT DEM GLASAUGE THE MAN WITH THE GLASS EYE - Vol. 8 UFA PAL set
1969 DAS GESICHT IM DUNKELN DOUBLE FACE - Vol. 8 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles)
1970 DER TEUFEL KAM AUS AKASAVA* THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA - Image NTSC release
1971 DIE TOTE AUS DER THEMSE THE DEAD WOMAN FROM THE THAMES - Vol. 8 UFA PAL set
1971 DAS GEHEIMNIS DER GRUNEN STECKNADEL WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE?- Vol. 8 UFA PAL set (no English audio or subtitles) - Shriek Show NTSC release
1971 DAS RATSEL DES SILBERNEN HALBMONDS THE SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS - Vol. 8 UFA PAL set - Shriek Show NTSC release
  * Not part of the Rialto series  
 

NON-KRIMI WALLACE FILMS BASED ON HIS "SANDERS" CHARACTER

 
1963 TODESTROMMELN AM GROSSEN FLUSS DEATH DRUMS ALONG THE RIVER
1964 SANDERS UND DAS SCHIFF DES TODES COAST OF SKELETONS
1966 DIE PAGODE ZUM FUNFTEN SCHRECKEN* FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS
* This film could be considered an ersatz krimi, as it does contain several krimi elements.
 

 


 

 

LINKS OF INTEREST


Krimis: Edgar Wallace

This seems to contain the exact text of the above site, but also a few MP3 music files and a wav. file of the famous, "Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace!"


Rialto Film

Website of the film company that produced most of the Edgar Wallace krimis in the 1960s.


Filmmusic by Martin Bottcher

Official site of this prolific German film composer who scored several krimis. The lower bar contains the English language links to the site.


Edgar Wallace: A Career in Crime

Excellent overview of Wallace the author and the krimi films by Louis Paul. I believe this is taken from the author's Blood Times' articles, and the presentation is a simple black Times Roman text on a white background. Includes filmography of not only the Wallace krimis but other krimi films as well.


Edgar Wallace: The Official Site

Official, yes, but very bare. Contains info on the Edgar Wallace Society and little else.


Edgar Wallace

Italian website featuring a partial list of Italian-translated books, including cover art, and several films. In Italian only.


Evilskip's Movie Joint

Enthusiastic fan site with an emphasis on Wallace krimis, the Mabuse films, Mexican horrors, and more. I can dig it.


Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace

Excellent new Edgar Wallace krimi site, in German. Filmography, current tv showings (in Germany), forum, sound files and more.


Edgar-Wallace-Filme.de.vu

Another great German site with info on the krimi films and some great wallpapers. Site kicks in with those gunshots that begin the most of the Rialto Edgar Wallace films and the familiar "Hallo, hier spricht Edgar Wallace." Krimi music at main portal page.


edgar-wallace.online.de.vu

A wow site, for sure. In Flash. You will be amazed, if your computer can deal with it.

 

 

 

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