The very wealthy Peter Clifton (Hellmut Lange) is marrying Jane Leith (Karin Dor). The day before their wedding they attend the races with Jane’s uncle John (Walter Rilla). Peter runs into his friend from Scotland Yard, Inspector Bourke (Siegfried Lowitz). The inspector is on the trail of a forger. Also at the races is Basil Hale (Robert Graf). Basil is in love with Jane and will do anything to screw up her relationship with Peter. He assumes that she married Peter for his money. Someone at the track passes a phony five pound note. On the back is stamped Dr. Donald Wells (Viktor de Kowa). Dr. Wells is a friend and Peter’s doctor.
The next day at the wedding reception Inspector Rouper (Ulrich Beiger) shows up to ask Dr. Wells about the note. Wells says that he got it from Peter when Peter paid his fee for services. Peter says he could have gotten the note anywhere. Now the talk at the reception is about forgeries. After that Hale shows up to make a scene. Peter decides it’s time to go. Peter has rented a castle for their honeymoon so they prepare to leave the reception. Before they get out the door they are once again assailed. Mrs. Anderson (Sigrid von Richthofen) accuses Peter of stealing his brother’s inheritance. Jane never knew that Peter had a brother.
Tension between Jane and Peter develops. Jane finds out that the castle is managed by a man named Blomberg on behalf of a mysterious owner. Someone sneaks into Jane’s room and assaults her. When she looks for Peter, he is in a hidden room that contains a printing press. The next day Dr. Wells comes to the castle to talk to Peter. It appears that Peter’s father had a mental illness and Peter thinks that it may be hereditary.
Dr. Wells makes a pass at Jane and Basil shows up again. He tells Jane that Peter’s last name is really Welerson and his father died in Dartmoor prison for killing two people. He also says that Peter inherited his money and his madness. Things are getting confusing for Jane. Then Basil is murdered. By now Jane has fallen in love with her husband and starts to cover for him when things look like he may be guilty. But Jane doesn’t know who to trust and Inspector Bourke is inserting himself between Peter and Scotland Yard. Jane isn’t sure if Bourke is acting as a friend or as a policeman. Then more murders happen.
“The Forger of London” AKA “Der Fälscher von London” was released in 1961 and was directed by Harald Reinl. It is a West German crime film known as a krimi. It was based on the novel “The Forger” by Edgar Wallace written in 1927. It is the seventh film in the Rialto Film studio done from 1959 to 1972 that was adapted from Wallace’s novels.
Although there is only one plot to the film there are several aspects to it. In addition to the forgeries there is Peter’s background, which ends up being more important to the story than the forgeries. Also, Jane’s underlying strength and her feelings for her husband are explored more than usual. The movie ends up being a little more retrospective than your standard krimi. There’s less camp and comedy and more mystery. Comic relief is mostly done by Siegfried Lowitz as Inspector Bourke. Even then the comedy is more common sense than not. Still, it’s not totally different than your normal krimi. Just less convoluted.
Location shooting was done at Herdringen Castle in Arnsberg, Germany. The castle is playing the part of an English castle. There is brief stock footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II attending a horse race in both the beginning and the ending of the movie. She is, in effect, the opening and closing act of the film.