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  • In 1925, Edgar Wallace wrote what was to become one of his most famous novels: "The Gaunt Stranger". He changed the title and the ending in 1926 and adapted it for the stage as "The Ringer", which is said to have been his biggest success, and it earned him the title of King of Crime. This German TV film is an adaptation of the stage play and, being one of the first German TV films ever, a historical document at the same time. Unfortunately, it is very talky and rather tedious. It seems to follow the play closely, which implies hardly any change of setting and a minimum of suspense, because the only murder we see is committed at the end of the play. So the audience has to wait almost two hours until the story finally becomes interesting for some minutes to be finished almost immediately thereafter. To offer an alternative, I recommend the version from 1964 starring Joachim Fuchsberger and Heinz Drache, which is a German film as well and held my interest from the first to the last scene. I'm sure Edgar Wallace would have liked that one, too.