Affiche Edgar Wallace

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.


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