Although Ingrid van Bergen is mentioned in some official sources as the actress who played Lily here (even the German DVD version does so), this isn't correct. The role was actually played by Maria Litto. See more »
Broadcast in the same year, when Fröbe had his huge success in the Swiss child-serial-killing movie "It happened on broad daylight" (1958), he took over a small roll in "Grabenplatz 17". From now on, this huge and big man was mainly to see in the roles of villains, capital criminals and perverse murderers. These old criminal movies who filled the German 50ies practically alone, alongside with the first Lederhosen- and other sexually intended low-level achievements, were mainly a prolonged strategy to distract people from the still existing burdens of World War II and a strong economic recession before the weather became clearer in the 60ies.
The main purpose of these movies was to entertain, and so they still should be watched. They are neither bad copies from the highly stylized American Film Noirs nor predecessors of the early French New Wave criminal movies by Jean-Pierre Melville. However, for everybody living abroad, movies like "Grabenplatz" 17 bring all those actors and actresses with whom one grew up back into one's living-room. Amongst all the so-so elaborates of the time when life, on both sides of the Ocean, was still a bit easier and even the police smoke and drank wherever they were, "Grabenplatz" 17 had a lucky fate insofar as it was directed by Erich Engels who directed twenty years ago most of the movies of Karl Valentin. I hope that the work of Engels, who is nearly forgotten nowadays, will appear part by part on DVD in the near future.
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