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Der Frosch mit der Maske (1959) HD online

Der Frosch mit der Maske (1959) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Crime / Thriller
Original Title: Der Frosch mit der Maske
Director: Harald Reinl
Writers: Edgar Wallace,Egon Eis
Released: 1959
Duration: 1h 29min
Video type: Movie
Both Scotland Yard and an amateur American sleuth are tracking a master criminal known as The Frog. This moniker refers to the bulging-eyed mask worn by the evildoer, and is reflected by the frog icons painfully tatooed onto the forearms of his henchmen. The trail leads to the country manor of an enigmatic, steely-eyed nabob, whose repressed son has eyes for the artistes at the Lolita cabaret, and whose lovely daughter captures the fancy of both the American playboy and the villain himself. Murder, kidnapping and seduction ensue.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Joachim Fuchsberger Joachim Fuchsberger - Richard Gordon
Elfie von Kalckreuth Elfie von Kalckreuth - Ella Bennet (as Eva Anthes)
Jochen Brockmann Jochen Brockmann - Philo Johnson
Carl Lange Carl Lange - John Bennet (as Karl Lange)
Dieter Eppler Dieter Eppler - Joshua Broad
Eva Pflug Eva Pflug - Lolita
Walter Wilz Walter Wilz - Ray Bennet
Fritz Rasp Fritz Rasp - Ezra Maitland
Erwin Strahl Erwin Strahl - Sergeant Balder aka Nummer 7 (German version) / Sergeant Barclay aka Number 7 (English version)
Ernst Fritz Fürbringer Ernst Fritz Fürbringer - Sir Archibald (as Ernst W. Fürbringer)
Eddi Arent Eddi Arent - James
Ulrich Beiger Ulrich Beiger - Everett
Reinhard Kolldehoff Reinhard Kolldehoff - Lew Brady
Michel Hildesheim Michel Hildesheim - Mills
Charlotte Scheier-Herold Charlotte Scheier-Herold - Lady Maggie Farnsworth (German version) / Lady Aubrid Farnsworth (English version)

The idea of creating a German Edgar Wallace-Adaption for the screen came to 'Walfried Barthel', then head of Constantin Film, and Constantin's scenario editor Gerhard F. Hummel after a private screening of Guy Hamilton's film of The Ringer (1952).

Most of the outdoor scenes were shot in Denmark.



Reviews: [9]

  • avatar

    Kirizan

    This was the first of the long-running German "krimi" series based on the mysteries of Edgar Wallace (actually, there were two simultaneous series from rival companies, the other based on the works of the author's son Bryan). As Tim Lucas and other astute critics have pointed out, the films were the precursors of the Italian giallos and ultimately the slasher pictures of the 70s and 80s. They also have obvious stylistic links to the superhero and superspy action genres of the 60s.

    Most of the key elements of the series already appear in this effort -- the foggy Soho underworld settings; the cabaret shows (which became progressively sleazier); the archvillain with his bizarre modus operandi and grotesque henchmen; the clever, persevering but underappreciated Scotland Yard inspector; the flippant comic antics of Eddie Arent (here appearing as the consummate English butler with Kato leanings) who is always smarter than he seems; the statuesque ingenues; the unfathomable plots featuring dozens of red herrings; and the quite violent-for-the-time stalk-and-murder sequences. Later the series would rely more on flashy camera tricks and tongue-in-cheek stylistics (especially under Alfred Vohrer's nifty direction), but here the proceedings are mainly played straight. Harald Reinl's work was always atmospheric but rather stiff in its mise-en-scene and ragged in continuity. However, this film features quite a sadistic, eye-opening ending that seems to have wandered in from a Jess Franco opus. Well worth a look, especially for amateur film historians.
  • avatar

    Vrion

    This is one of the better classic Edgar Wallace movies from the German series - it features all basics for a highly enjoyable Wallace crime flic movie way back from the 60ies: Although his majesty, Mr. Kinski, is missing you still have young Joachim 'Blacky' Fuchsberger, starring once again as the typical clever American 'womanizer', you have young Eddi Arendt in his best (and just as well typical) role ever - the cool, sophisticated British butler - and you have (not so young anymore) Lowitz as the melancholic yet very 'dry' ironic (and thus: highly entertaining) police investigator. Furthermore you'll get offered a freakish and very campy 'evil guy' behind a frog mask (hence the movie's title!), you'll get a crazed-out swinging soundtrack, classic b-movie action scenes, partly filmed out off the wildest perspectives (please remind the time of its origin!), yelling scream queens, and on and on... All those ingredients get shaken well up in a sweet tastin' cocktail of pure German Edgar Wallace campyness - highly recommended!!
  • avatar

    Framokay

    While I enjoy watching these German-made krimis, I've yet to find one that I just love and can recommend without hesitation. That holds true with Fellowship of the Frog. The best I can say is that it's about average. The plot is twisted and nonsensical like you'll find in most krimis. I won't even attempt to go into it other than to say it involves a masked criminal known as The Frog who, with his seemingly endless supply of flunkies, is responsible for a string of robberies and murders in London. For reasons only he knows, the Frog seems to have set his sights on a young woman named Ella Bennet and kidnaps her brother Ray to get to her. It's up to Scotland Yard and an amateur detective named Richard Gordon to put a stop to this devious criminal.

    There are several things in Fellowship of the Frog to enjoy. The film gets off to a nice start. It's appropriately dark and foggy with the requisite smoky (though unmemorable) jazz score playing in the background all helping to create a nice sinister atmosphere. The movie features a couple of faces familiar to even a novice fan of krimis like myself – Joachim Fuchsberger and Eddi Aren't (I'm sorry about the apostrophe, but the IMDb spell-checker seems intent on putting it there). While both are quite good, I especially enjoyed Aren't's unusually quiet performance as the all-knowing butler James. However when the second act begins, most of the good feelings I was having toward Fellowship of the Frog came to an end. To call the second act slow would be a gross understatement as the movie all but grinds to a halt. I had to go back and play a couple of scenes over to make sure I hadn't missed anything as my mind wandered. Fortunately, my persistence was rewarded with a delicious twist near the end that's as shocking as any I've seen recently. It almost saves Fellowship of the Frog from mediocrity.

    One final note, I understand from doing a little research that this movie is notable for being the first of the Edgar Wallace based krimis produced in the 50s and 60s. Because of that fact, and regardless of the film's shortcomings, Fellowship of the Frog is necessary viewing for anyone calling themselves a fan of these movies.
  • avatar

    Enila

    "Der Frosch mit der Maske" aka. "Fellowship Of The Frog" of 1959 is the first of the popular German Edgar Wallace movies, but it certainly isn't one of the best. It has to be respected for inciting the wave of these Wallace-based German crime flicks that became extremely popular in the early 60s. Generally speaking, I am a fan of the German Edgar Wallace flicks, but I personally always preferred those dealing with a murder series to those dealing with super-criminals like this one. Also, "Fellowship of The Frog" is a bit too naive for my tastes. Sure, the German Edgar Wallce films never were nasty, brutal or cynical like the Italian genre-cinema in the 60s, for example. Still, the naiveté is quite extreme here. This makes the film a pleasure to watch for its sentimental value, but, for me personally, it doesn't go beyond that.

    Scotland Yard are in desperate search for a ruthless super-criminal wearing a frog mask, whose henchmen can be identified by a frog tattoo on their forearms. The police have hardly any success in the search for the mysterious arch-criminal, even though the investigating chief inspector (Siegfried Lovitz) is a clever man. Richard Gordon (Joachim Fuchsberger), a rich man and hobby detective decides to investigate in the case himself, with the help of his loyal butler (Eddi Aren't)...

    It is Aren't, one of the absolute cult-actors of the German Edgar Wallace 'krimis', who is responsible for many of the (half-dumb, but often very amusing) gags in the film. Aren't, an Edgar Wallace flick regular, often played the more comical parts in these films (often that of the butler), and this is his first role to do so. Siegfried Lovitz is very good in the role of the chief inspector, and the Eva Pflug fits in well as the seductive femme fatale. The rest of the performances are not necessarily breathtaking (the greatest performances in Edgar Wallace flicks always came from the great Klaus Kinski), but they're not bad either. The only awful performance comes from Walter Wilz, who is quite terrible as a naive young guy. All things considered, "Fellowship of the Frog" is an important film for its value as the first of the German Edgar Wallace films. Nevertheless, I recommend other Edgar Wallace flicks, such as "Das Indische Tuch" (aka. "The Indian Scarf") way over this. "Fellowship Of The Frog" is a fun film to watch, but only for sentimental values. Recommended to fans of the German Edgar Wallace films.
  • avatar

    Frei

    The Frog is a master criminal who is sought both by the police and by an amateur American sleuth and his comical butler/sidekick. The Frog falls in love with a young woman and hatches a ridiculous Rube Goldbeg-like plot to get her to give herself him. He uses a singing siren named "Lolita" to ensnare her ne'r-do-well brother into a gruesome murder plot. The brother is convicted of the capital crime and sentenced to death only to find the executioner is someone very familiar to him.

    As other have said, this is the first of West German Edgar Wallace krimis. It's certainly not the best, but it is pretty entertaining. The comical sidekick (here played by Eddie Aren't) would become a staple of this series, to the annoyance of some, but personally I don't think this kind of comedy really hurts these films that much because the plots are already delightfully absurd and villains like the Frog are more than a little cartoonish to begin with(but I mean that in a good way). The butler/sidekick here kind of anticipates (perhaps even influenced?) the "Kato" character in the "Pink Panther" series in that he is always sparring with his boss to keep him sharp. The bigger liability here, however, is the "American" protagonist himself. But Joachim Fuchsberger, who was in nearly all these movies, would get a lot better in the future entries in the series, especially when he got to play an "English" detective (a role at which the German actor was much more convincing).

    But in addition to the serial-comic strip elements of the plot, there is also a little bit of raciness courtesy of "Lolita" (Eva Pflug), and some surprisingly gruesome violence--the centerpiece murder and a scene where the Frog very violently dispenses with one of his accomplices. In any event, if you enjoy the German krimi series (or the later but the closely related Italian gialli), you certainly won't want to miss this first one.
  • avatar

    Detenta

    Updated version of a story that had been turned into the film in 1938 England(Return of the Frog) concerning the pursuit by the police of a master criminal known as the Frog because of the frog like get up (bulging eyes etc) he wears.

    One of the good Wallace films from the 1960's it's a solid little entertainment. Clearly influenced by ( or did this influence) the restart of the Dr Mabuse films, the Frog seems to be more a super villain than a master thief. While not the best of the Wallace films, it is worth a look. It would make an interesting double feature with the excellent earlier film.

    Between 6 and 7 out of 10.
  • avatar

    Ucantia

    This movie is an abomination, and its making should have been considered a capital crime.

    One of the great mysteries of film-making is why nobody ever has made a faithful movie adaptation of this wonderful mystery. It is a tale of a really gripping mystery, nice old-fashioned romance, and dry English humor. Why did the makers have to change Richard Gordon from a Scotland Yard policeman to an amateur detective, introduce the idiotic role and caricature of his English servant, change the part of the main storyline about the murder charge and circumstances of Gordon's struggle to save the accused, etc., etc.? These producers and directors who always think they can make a better story than the one in the book should write the original script themselves and not to rape another person's product.
  • avatar

    Fohuginn

    "Der Frosch mit der Maske" is a pretty bad title for this German black-and-white film from the late 1950s. It is actually a human with a mask obviously and you could see it as a bit of Germany's take on the character of Scarecrow. He is one of the key players in the criminal underground here and prefers to kill his enemies with poison. I personally felt early on, also the introduction, there were a couple scenes that were interesting and they certainly could have turned this into an edge-of-seat crime thriller. Instead the inclusion of far too many characters and unintentionally comedic elements made this 87-minute film uninteresting for the most part. Quite a shame as there was certainly the possibility of a better film here. Eis and Bartsch adapted this Edgar Wallace work over 25 years after Wallace's death and the duo worked on several of these German Edgar Wallace films. The director is Harald Reinl this time and he is mostly known for his Winnetou films. Overall, "Faces of the Frog" (much better international title is not worth the watch. Towards the end, I really did not care who the Frog really was, even if I suspected it. Not recommended.
  • avatar

    godlike

    Sadly I don't remember the book anymore, but I do recall that I was captivated by the stories of Edgar Wallace. This Film represents a typical German Production of low quality. It does not hold my attention - although the story itself is good, it is just badly adabted. At the center of the misery are the characters that are overly simplyfied and exaggerated - they have no nuances in their performances. Even the well known and liked German Actors Joachim Fuchsberger and Eddy Aren't cannot rescue this poor spectacle. However there's hope ... I've been told that the films following this one are getting better and better. So in conclusion I must say that this film doesn't deserve the cinematic screen but may be enough for a lazy afternoon.