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Secret of the Red Orchid (1962)

Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee (original title)
Rival gangsters from Chicago move to London and attempt to extort money from rich Britons.


Helmuth Ashley


Edgar Wallace (novel), Egon Eis (screenplay) (as Trygve Larsen)


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Complete credited cast:
Christopher Lee ... Captain Allerman
Adrian Hoven ... Inspector Weston
Marisa Mell ... Lilian Ranger
Pinkas Braun ... Edwin
Christiane Nielsen ... Cora Minelli (as Christian Nielsen)
Eric Pohlmann ... Kerkie Minelli
Fritz Rasp ... Tanner
Wolfgang Büttner Wolfgang Büttner ... Chief Inspector Tetley
Herbert A.E. Böhme ... Oberst Drood
Günther Jerschke ... Mr. Shelby
Sigrid von Richthofen Sigrid von Richthofen ... Mrs. Moore
Hans Paetsch ... Lord Arlington
Edgar Wenzel Edgar Wenzel ... Babyface
Klaus Kinski ... Steve
Eddi Arent ... Parker


Rival gangsters from Chicago move to London and attempt to extort money from rich Britons.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »



West Germany



Release Date:

1 March 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Puzzle of the Red Orchid See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuxhaven, Lower Saxony, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rialto Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm Eurocord-Magnetocord)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Christopher Lee's voice was dubbed by another actor for the English language version, but he is heard in the original German version. His German is pretty good. See more »


Referenced in Lukas: Mann und Maus (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

THE PUZZLE OF THE RED ORCHID (Helmuth Ashley, 1962) **1/2
1 September 2015 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is yet another "Krimi" pairing Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski; the hero this time around is, like them, a Jess Franco regular i.e. Adrian Hoven, and the leading lady future "Euro-Cult" starlet Marisa Mell. The film, however, is not only inferior to THE DEVIL'S DAFFODIL (1961) – which preceded this viewing – but only marginally a genre entry…as, rather, than a sadistic masked killer (the German "Krimis" were obvious precursors to the Italian "Gialli") we get rival gangs of Chicago hoodlums who improbably relocate to London to first extort and then dispatch various wealthy elders when they invariably turn to Scotland Yard for protection! Why this is done is never quite clear, especially since they never get to collect; incidentally, we start off with one mobster eliminating his opponents – but the only survivor, Kinski, soon sets up his own unit of gun-happy thugs whilst retaining an ostensibly respectable front as a tobacconist. One of the victims bequeaths his fortune to his secretary (Mell) rather than his sole ne'er-do-well relative (who has a propensity for orchids, the only link to the title – that is to say, extremely cursory – provided by the narrative!); still, he proves to be not what he seems – with his final trapping of the heroine inside a bank vault one of the very few scenes pertaining to the form's recognizable style (another highlight has a car going off the rails after a large mirror set up along the road gave the illusion to the bewildered driver of an imminent head-on collision).

Lee does not have much of substance to do as an F.B.I.(!) agent, but he at least gets to display his quick two-gun draw in a shoot-out with one of the baddies. Somewhat more prevalent, regrettably, is a comic-relief butler who happens to have served each of the murdered parties immediately prior to their untimely demise…and, ultimately, even offers his would-be expert services to both one of the perpetrators – who promptly winds up dead himself – and the Police!

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