The Avenger (1960 film)

The Avenger (German: Der Rächer) is a 1960 West German crime film directed by Karl Anton and starring Heinz Drache, Ingrid van Bergen and Ina Duscha.[1] It is based on the 1926 novel The Avenger by Edgar Wallace. It was shot at the Bavaria Studios in Munich. The films sets were designed by the art director Willi Herrmann.

The Avenger
German film poster for The Avenger
Directed byKarl Anton
Produced byKurt Ulrich
Heinz Willeg
Written byGustav Kampendonk
Rudolf Katscher
Based onThe Avenger
by Edgar Wallace
StarringHeinz Drache
Ingrid van Bergen
Ina Duscha
Music byPeter Sandloff
CinematographyWilli Sohm
Edited byWalter von Bonhorst
Kurt Ulrich Filmproduktion
Distributed byEuropa-Filmverleih
Release date
  • 5 August 1960 (1960-08-05)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryWest Germany


A number of packaged disembodied heads have been in random areas of the English countryside. In each package is a letter to the police from the killer, who dubs himself "The Executioner." Each victim is seemingly unrelated to one another. When a Scotland Yard employee is killed, Detective Mike Brixan (Heinz Drache) of Special Branch is called in to investigate. The only clue is that a black, four-door sedan has been seen at the scene of the crime, and that the typewriter that the letters have been written on have two offset letters.

When Ruth Sanders (Ina Duscha), the niece of the man killed and the last person to see him alive, is located as an extra working on location, Brixan discovers a page of a script that has been written on the same typewriter as the Executioner's letters. Consequently, Brixan believes that the Executioner is among the cast, crew, or parties involved in the film shoot.



Author and film critic Leonard Maltin awarded the film two and a half out of four stars, calling it "[an] Above-par shocker".[2] Dave Sindelar, on his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings gave the film a mixed review, criticizing the film's poor dubbing, and pacing. However, Sindelar also wrote, "Some of the other Edgar Wallace movies from this time feel the same way, and I sometimes wonder if the movie would fare better in subtitled form. Still, there is a sense of dark, morbid fun to the stories, and I suspect that some time in the future, another enterprising movie company will see the appeal of Wallace’s work and make their own series. And, you know, I wouldn’t mind that at all."[3] TV Guide awarded the film a mixed two out of four stars, calling it "A charming mix of old dark house cliches and behind-the-scenes drama".[4]

See also


  1. "Der Rächer". Film Portal. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  2. Leonard Maltin; Spencer Green; Rob Edelman (January 2010). Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide. Plume. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-452-29577-3.
  3. Sindelar, Dave. "The Avenger (1960)". Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  4. McDonagh, Maitland. "The Avenger - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Maitland McDonagh. Retrieved 6 April 2018.


  • Bergfelder, Tim. International Adventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-Productions in the 1960s. Berghahn Books, 2005.
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