26 January 2017 | jrd_73
More Fun From The Edgar Wallace Team
Having enjoyed Rialto Film's later, color filled Edgar Wallace adaptations, I recently decided to give the earlier black and white adaptations a try. So far, my favorite from that period, just ahead of The Dark Eyes of London, is The Door with 7 Locks.
I'm not sure the mystery holds completely together, but it is a great pulp set up. Seven keys are being held by seven rather unscrupulous individuals, all of whom worked for a deceased lord whose son is supposed to inherit everything on his twenty-first birthday. The seven keys fit into seven locks which open a door in a castle, but what is behind that door? Scotland Yard inspector Dick Martin comes into the case after the murder of two of the key holders. Martin romances Sybil, a librarian distantly related to the deceased lord and banters with his superior Sir John and the comic relief. This comic relief is once again played by Eddi A-r-e-n-t (no apostrophe in his name, auto-correct). Here, he is playing an inspector who, in spite of having the last name of "Holmes," has less than stellar deduction skills. However, the two most welcome returning actors are Pinkas Braun, the dashing villain from Secret of the Red Orchid and Ady Berber, the Tor Johnson lookalike who played Blind Jack in The Dead Eyes of London. Here, Berber's character Giacco strikes such fear into an intended victim that just hearing his name causes the target to grab a Sten Submachine gun and start blasting.
I do not know how close the film is to the source material, but the film is a highly enjoyable mystery. Unfortunately, Klaus Kinski is bumped off too early. Recommended!