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The Secret Killer (1965)

Le vampire de Düsseldorf (original title)
A true story of Peter Kurten, a serial killer who committed nine murders and many other offenses in Dusseldorf during the Great Depression era.


Robert Hossein


Robert Hossein (story), Claude Desailly (story) | 5 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Hossein ... Peter Kuerten
Marie-France Pisier ... Anna
Roger Dutoit Roger Dutoit ... Commissaire Momberg
Annie Anderson Annie Anderson ... Paula
Michel Dacquin Michel Dacquin ... Beck
Anne Carrère Anne Carrère
Norma Dugo Norma Dugo ... Une fille
Jessica Jessica
Paul Pavel Paul Pavel ... Lehndorf
Robert Le Béal Robert Le Béal ... Schroeder
Colette Régis Colette Régis ... La patronne du cabaret
Jean-Michel Rouzière Jean-Michel Rouzière
André Badin André Badin ... Le garçon du dancing (as Badin)
Tony Soler Tony Soler ... Mme Loebel
Tanya Lopert Tanya Lopert ... Une fille


In the late 20's, Germany has high inflation rates and unemployment and the rise of the Nazi Party. In this scenario, in Dusseldorf, the worker Peter Kuerten, also known as The Vampire of Dusseldorf, commits nine murders. The weirdo Peter Kuerten is obsessed in the cabaret singer Anna and they have a love affair. Meanwhile he kills young women on the desert streets of Dusseldorf. One day, a man escorts Anna to her home and is followed by Peter. When he leaves her, the jealous Peter Kuerten kills him on the street. The Chief of Police Momberg is pressed by Berlin to hunt down the serial-killer since the victim was an industrialist. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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France | Italy | Spain



Release Date:

7 April 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Hussein reads the "Frankfurter Rundschau". Although an article is shown about the vampire of Düsseldorf, another article is about eastern Berlin. The newspaper itself is from the 1960s. The Frankfurter Rundschau was founded after the Second World War. It did not exist in the 30s. See more »

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User Reviews

Not accurate, but Hossein's style of directing is good.
18 January 2016 | by swedzinSee all my reviews

The movie is loosely based upon life of Peter Kurten, the psychotic serial killer from Dusseldorf, Germany. Apparently looks and says like it, but this movie is not closely accurate. The true story of serial murderer Peter Kurten is far darker, sinister, disturbing and scary than this film. And I understand that Robert Hossein maybe did not want to make a film with such elements. And kind of, I feel sorry for it, because I expect a story to follow real events. If you are making a movie based on true story, then make sure to put more facts than fiction. And of course, put some usual, fictitious movie drama while at it. However, the movie is not all that bad and I think that Hossein excelled as both director and actor. As a director, he gave us a great screen shoots (for example), good lightning and great night atmosphere. As actor he was even better. His Kurten was, well, yes, far more different than the real one. Hossein's Kurten had this uncomfortable stare, socially awkward looks, and unusual walking, with his head focused on victim. He is somewhat reminiscent of Bela Lugosi (in that good old vampire sense). Also, he fell in love with a singer at the night café, named Anna, played by Marie France – Pisier. Marie was good in her role, as beautiful, voluptuous, yet innocent-looking, but brash and young. The element of these two falling in love was quite fitting, as Kurten sees her not as a potential victim, but rather as someone who could, perhaps calm the evil within him. The movie offers quite, reasonable amount of tension, interesting music score, though I expected to be more musical scores for each scene. Camera work, editing, make up, costumes and other actors are good. The thing that makes this movie slow and uninteresting is that we have a subplot about Nazi Germans rise to power and the big depression. Yes, I understand that those things happened back then. However, I think it would be better to keep it low. At the beginning of the movie, we have exposition about everything that happened about Nazis, depression and Kurten, so Hossein basically, tells us about the stuff that happens in the film, before we even see it. I think that big depression and Nazi Germany fits well in that exposition, while he leaves Kurten and his crimes to the rest of the film. So, I do recommend this film, it's pretty good. Kudos to Robert Hossein.

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