The Devil's Daffodil (1961) torrent download

The Devil's Daffodil

1961

Crime / Drama / Mystery

5.6

Synopsis

A Chinese detective breaks up a drug smuggling ring and tries to find the "Daffodil Killer". The drug smugglers had devised the ingenious method of smuggling heroin from Hong Kong in the stems of daffodils.

Director

Ákos Ráthonyi

Cast

Joachim Fuchsberger
as Jack Tarling
Klaus Kinski
as Peter Keene
Albert Lieven
as Raymond Lyne
Jan Hendriks
as Charles

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 7 /10

THE DEVIL'S DAFFODIL (Akos von Rathony, 1961) ***

I have still barely scraped the surface of the popular "Krimi" thrillers made in Germany between the late 1950s and the early 1970s; this one – atypically, a British co-production filmed simultaneously (on location in London) in both languages – is, however, easily among the better entries that I have come across. The reasons for this are mainly due to an above-average cast that includes regulars Joachim Fuchsberger and Klaus Kinski, along with the likes of Christopher Lee, Marius Goring, Albert Lieven and Walter Gotell, and the striking monochrome cinematography by the renowned Desmond Dickinson (though the credit titles are appealingly displayed in red).

The expected murder sequences are reasonably well-staged (though an old-wheelchair-bound-woman-falling-downstairs bit is entirely gratuitous!) – one of them, occurring at night in the busy Piccadilly Circus area, is especially evocative of a classic Hitchcockian set-piece; eroticism, another gene requisite, is briefly touched upon here in a titillating nightclub act. By the way, the film was only the second effort I have watched from this director, and the result is certainly a more substantial achievement than CAVE OF THE LIVING DEAD (1964) – its chief liability being the unconvincing screams from the various female victims/damsels-in-distress throughout!

The complex Edgar Wallace (from whose extensive work and that of his son, Bryan Edgar, all these flicks were derived) plot involves the ostensibly harmless importing of the titular flower serving as a front for heroin smuggling; twists relating to the identity of two of its principal characters are belatedly, yet effectively, incorporated into the fray. On the trail of the culprits are airline investigator Fuchsberger and Oriental sleuth Lee (coming across like a more ruthless Charlie Chan – complete with a steady flow of aphorisms, at one point causing a woman particularly unreceptive to his genial wit exclaiming "Sod off, Confucius!" to his face).

Actually, it is amusing to note how the film plays havoc with nationalities – where Germans are not only made to pass off as English, but the only true Brit on hand (albeit speaking in fluent German for the duration) is saddled with an Asian countenance! As for Kinski, he surprisingly plays it cool for the most part – with his signature intensity only emerging at the climax. Interestingly, too, Goring, Lee and Lieven would be reteamed for next year's similarly-titled British espionage thriller THE DEVIL'S AGENT (a recent viewing in my continuing marathon of Lee movies). Incidentally, I recall coming across a small poster of this in an old film scrapbook of my Dad's many years ago under its British moniker...since it was later retitled DAFFODIL KILLER for U.S. consumption.

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 4 /10

Death, drugs and daffodils

"Das Geheimnis der gelben Narzissen" or "The Devil's Daffodil" is a British/German co-production and there are alternate language versions for both countries out there with British and German actors. This one was made back in 1961, which means it has its 55th anniversary this year. The director is Hungarian filmmaker Ákos Ráthonyi and this is not the only Edgar Wallace film he worked on, even if he was not as prolific in terms of these films as many other German directors in the 1960s. There were a whole lot of writers busy with this one here as many other times with Edgar Wallace films, but (also like many other times) the outcome is an example of too many cooks spoiling the broth. I may be a bit biased as I am not a fan of the film series at all, but this movie here also did not manage to get me interested. The cast is not the problem: Fuchsberger, van Bergen, Kinski and Lee are all really prolific and successful actors. But the story is and the way the character's actions were written. i know these films also go for humor occasionally, but there are so many scenes that feel really bad. Just one example would be how long Fuchsberger's character hesitates towards the end before he follows Kinski's character. Speaking about the latter, I think he is a really good actor, but here his character is bizarre, even more than usual and makes almost no sense at all. He was completely irrelevant and had almost no screen-time until the very end and then we should take him seriously as the main antagonist? Not working. The good guys (i.e. the cops) all seemed fairly bland and uninteresting and it was impossible to cheer for them and I think it is both the actors' and the writers' fault to some extent. Lee certainly was a bit of a scene stealer, but he alone cannot make up for all the boredom and lack of realism associated with these 90 minutes. I don't recommend the watch.

Reviewed by Coventry 6 /10

Flowers? For me? Why, thank you Mr. Sadist Killer!

These German Krimi movies, based on the stories of Edgar Wallace, are by definition infamous for their convoluted and hectic screenplays, but with its numerous twists and turns "The Devil's Daffodil" truly is the cinematic equivalent of a pretzel! You won't hear me say this is the greatest movie ever made, but there is plenty of exiting stuff going on and you won't get bored for a second. The film literally opens with a double bang, namely the vicious murder of an exotic dancer in her dressing room and the explosion of a discovered drug cargo in the customs' office. The two events are undoubtedly related, since the drugs were hidden in the stems of daffodils and the killer threw a handful of flowers on victim's body; - also daffodils. The murder streak continues, with daffodil-covered corpses popping up all over London, and Scotland Yard teams up with an odd Chinese super-detective. Excellent cast, with Krimi-regulars Joachim Fuchsberger and Klaus Kinski, and the unsurpassable Christopher Lee depicting yet another Oriental character (what he also did in "Terror of the Tongs" and a handful of "Fu Manchu" movies). There's much less sinister atmosphere than in other Krimi movies I recently watched, but the pacing is good and there are gruesome & inventive death sequences. The mandatory comic relief is also missing here, unless you consider Lee's recurring line "There's an old Chinese saying..." as comical.

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