(1964) Hansjorg Felmy, Ann Smyrner, Hans Nielson, Walter Rilla. Mystery at the track! A well-known thoroughbred is slain by a rival horse owner. Soon jockeys are being murdered by a ...
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Several employees on a nobleman's estate show up at a former abbey, reputed to be haunted, to search for a hidden treasure. Howver, a mysterious hooded figure begins killing off those who may have figured out where the treasure is hidden.
Franz Josef Gottlieb
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(1964) Hansjorg Felmy, Ann Smyrner, Hans Nielson, Walter Rilla. Mystery at the track! A well-known thoroughbred is slain by a rival horse owner. Soon jockeys are being murdered by a mysterious killer. Scandals, blackmail, and drugs abound in this fine Wallace thriller. 16mm. Written by
Criminal plots against Walter Rilla, his racehorse and his heirs disturb the aristocratic lives on his estate
"The Seventh Victim" aka "Das Siebente Opfer" is one of the nine CCC-produced films from works written by Bryan Edgar Wallace, son of Edgar Wallace. I've earlier reviewed "The Death Avenger of Soho" from this series, which was in color and which I found to be a good film with its own merits. "The Seventh Victim" is another good one, this time in black and white.
One's appreciation and liking for this film will depend on what you expect of it. This is not a totally serious mystery film. Neither is it outright parody or farce, even though the final shooting of the seventh victim tips it in that direction. Rather, it has all the plotting and appearance of a mystery story, replete with murders, but with elements in certain characters of humor and pointed satire. Thus, after several killings, there is an upper class relative who says the people didn't have the good grace to get killed someplace other than on the castle estate.
If you know the German actors and understand how they are playing their roles, that will add to your appreciation. Even if you do not know them, you can still see how they are handling their roles with less than complete seriousness and doing it with just enough lightness to keep the mystery going too and not unbalance the film.
As in a good many krimis, there are two plots going on at the same time. One involves a plot to dope a highly-favored racehorse so that he'll lose. An added element to this is to kill the horse's jockeys. Another is a plot to dispose of the heirs to the assets of the racehorse owner and get those assets into the hands of the murderer. There is also a revenge motive present. These plots and the ways in which the murders are handled are somewhat far-fetched or exaggerated, treated without much emotional investment, and therefore themselves border on parody.
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