Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Green Archer (1961)
This is an adaptation of one of Edgar Wallace's most famous stories. The plot has Valerie Howett and her family moving into a mansion somewhere in England. The estate next door belongs to Abel Bellamy (Gert Frobe), an American of questionable background. Bellamy would prefer that no one live near by, especially the Howetts. In typical Edgar Wallace fashion there are multiple seemingly parallel story lines, Scotland Yard investigating Bellamy, Valerie trying to find out what happened to her long lost mother, and the mysterious and legendary Green Archer of the title, who appears to get vengeance on enemies of his family; which all converge in the final act. The while the plot is needlessly convoluted, it keeps things interesting for its 90 minute running time (it also prevents a simple explanation of the story).
Well acted by the entire cast this is one of the better Wallace adaptations to come out of the German Wallace cycle. Gert Frobe, best known as Goldfinger, is listed last in the credits, but is probably the one character on screen the most. He gives a performance that makes you wonder why we didn't see more of him in other films. The movie moves along at a good clip with some wonderful set pieces on a ship and in a flooding basement that keeps things moving along. If there are any real complaints about the film, its the attempts at humor, especially by the television reporter that acts as a sort of Greek chorus bookend to the film. Simply put its just not funny.
If you have a desire to see a good mystery this is worth a shot. Its probably the best introduction to the Edgar Wallace series that ran in Germany all through the 1960's.
(Yes this is taken from my IMDB review. NYAFF has just worn me out)