THE WHITE SPIDER (1963) Reviews and overview of krimi thriller

 

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The White Spider is a 1963 German krimi thriller film about a series of murders revolving around an illegal gambling club in London’s Soho.

Directed by Harald Reinl (Castle of the Walking Dead; The Strangler of Blackmoor; The Sinister Monk) from a screenplay written by Egon Eis [as Albert Tanner] (Secret of the Red Orchid; Dead Eyes of London; The Devil’s Daffodil; Face of the Frog) based on a novel by Louis Weinert-Wilton (The Secret of the Black Widow).

The soundtrack score was composed by Peter Thomas (The Hunchback of Soho; The Mysterious Magician; The Curse of the Hidden Vault; The Squeaker; Face of the Frog).

The Arca-Winston Films Corp-Hans Oppenheimer Film co-production stars Joachim Fuchsberger, Karin Dor, Horst Frank, Werner Peters, Dieter Eppler and Mady Rahl.

Plot [may contain spoilers]:

When Muriel Irvine’s husband is killed in an automobile accident following a night of gambling, she is surprised to discover that he dramatically increased his life insurance coverage to £50,000.

The Anglo Insurance Company alerts Scotland Yard to a rash of similar deaths among gamblers that all relate to Club 55 in Soho, London. When their chief inspector is murdered while investigating the case, they bring in an undercover detective masquerading as an ex-con to investigate…

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Reviews:

“The plot moves along nicely, isn’t too complicated, or so complicated that we can’t feel superior that we’re a couple of steps ahead of the characters on the screen. It’s well-acted (though slightly less well dubbed) and moves along at a good clip. It does have that uniquely German feel of the Wallace films which are supposed to be set in England and London’s Soho district, but look and feel nothing like Soho or anywhere else in England for that matter.” Dbborroughs

” …it’s very competently crafted and moves at a pace steady enough to keep one entertained. At the same time, it has to be admitted, this is not one of Harald Reinl’s better krimis, it just seems a tad too routine, and the fact that several plot twists (first and foremost Joachim Fuchsberger actually being the secret investigator) announce themselves way too soon really takes some of the tension away from the story.” Search My Trash

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” …logic has no place in this film, but in comparison to a normal Wallace production of the time, The White Spider is exceptionally over the top, verging almost on surrealism at times. An acquired taste for non-Europeans, a brave soul might want to sit back, light up a roach and giggle his way through this illogical, delightfully camp homage. In truth, however, one doesn’t really have to be stoned to find this film entertaining.” A Wasted Life

Cast and characters:

Joachim Fuchsberger … Ralph Hubbard
Karin Dor … Muriel Irvine
Horst Frank … Kiddie Philips
Werner Peters … Sergeant Miles
Dieter Eppler … Summerfield
Mady Rahl … Mrs Falk
Paul Klinger … Inspector Dawson
Friedrich Schoenfelder … Sir James
Lotte Brackebusch … Penelope
Gerd Frickhöffer … Lord Ensfield
Chris Howland … Gideon
Lotti Alberti … Mrs Pringle (uncredited)
Hans Bergmann … Stewart Maloney (uncredited)
Fritz Eberth … Sergeant Gibbs (uncredited)
Erik Radolf … Policeman (uncredited)
Dietrich Kerky … Victim (uncredited)
Wolfgang Draeger Voice (uncredited)
Gerd Duwner … Voice (uncredited)
Richard Häussler … Voice (uncredited)
Klaus Miedel … Voice (uncredited)
Heinz Petruo … Voice (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Arca-Filmstudio, Berlin, Germany (studio)
Hamburg, Germany
London, England (stock footage)
West Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Technical details:

103 minutes
Black and white
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.66: 1

Original title:

Die weiße Spinne