Wednesday, September 28, 2022

DER ROTE KREIS - "The Crimson Circle" (1960)

Normally I'd save a film like this for the Saturday Night Special, but since Saturday is the first of October, and the beginning of the Countdown To Halloween, this great film gets relegated to this freakin' Weirdass Wednesday instead, but it's definitely more than that!

You can call it "Der Rote Kreis, or you can call it "The Red Circle."

Or you can even call it "The Crimson Circle" if you want to, just don't call it late to the execution!

The execution in question involves a safety nail not being removed, and the sobriety of the Executioner when the decapitation fails. Some years later, the man who was supposed to be in a prison nobody could escape from, has escaped, and is wreaking havoc all over London. He's killed eighteen people so far, and the only clues are red circles left on notes and bodies.

Eddi Arent is stellar in this film as Police Sergeant Haggett. Although he still provides the comic relief in this film, there's a lot less of it, and his character is not totally annoying!

Edith Mill is one of the early victims. Not really known in the United States, Edith acted exclusively in German films.

Many of these sets are really busy, and you can almost miss something like a hanged man in the foreground!

"A bow and arrow would make a good murder weapon, because the archer always wears gloves!"
And yet, she has on only one glove! 
Renate Ewert is Thalia Drummond, and only the second fictional Thalia I've ever heard of, the other being Thalia Menninger from the Dobie Gillis show. 
Renate is a sad story. When her career seemed to be going nowhere, she turned to drugs and alcohol. Her death at thirty-three was called a suicide. Overcome by grief, her parents also both committed suicide the following year!

Is it irony or planned that this guy gets off at the Crimsonfield station?

If this movie was in colour, you'd be able to see that the circle on this victim's hand is red.
This creepy looking guy is not even one of the bad guys! How's that for irony?

The swingin' soundtrack was composed by Dungeon Hall of Famer Willy (Horrors Of Spider Island) Mattes.

There's freakin' people creepin' around everywhere! Somebody needs to do a painting of this still!

The guy pointing to the dead prisoner is Karl Georg Saebisch as Police Inspector Parr. Karl is a pretty unique guy. He made his first film when he was fifty-two. This was his ninth movie and he was already fifty-seven. He was also in the Edgar Wallace film "The Terrible People," and continued working until 1975.

Somehow The Red Circle can find it's victim, even behind locked doors.

In this brief sequence Police Sergeant Haggett gets distracted by something.........

..........And a worthwhile distraction it is indeed!

Here's another Red Circle ransom note!

"Der Rote Kreis" is filled with cool shots like this, and combined with the music of Willy Mattes, the time flies right by!

I love these shots with clusters of people all packed into the background!

There's far too many twists and turns and odd characters to go into much detail here. This copy on YouTube is very good quality, and you can't beat the free price, so what are you waiting for?

I'm done with this now! It's my birthday, so just leave me alone!

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