id: Unidentified Film No. 268
director: Unknown
year: 1920
country: France
alternative titles: Französisches Drama
A detective [frame scan 1]. 1st IT (newspaper item): Die Hinrichtung des Mörders des Herrn Simeux findet am 17. Februar früh um 7 Uhr statt. (The execution of Lord Simeux's murderer will take place on 17th February at 7 o'clock in the morning) [frame scan 2]. A woman in despair [frame scan 3], on the telephone (with her lawyer?) [frame scan 4]: "Gnädige Frau versprachen mir doch ruhig zu warten; ich bin bestimmt morgen um 6 Uhr mit dem Täter am Gefängnistor!" (Madam, you quietly promised me to wait; I will be at the prison gates tomorrow morning at 6 with the culprit without fail!). The woman in despair inside a church. - Winter, outside. People in front of an advertising pillar [frame scan 5]. "5000 Frs. Belohnung erhält derjenige der die goldene Tabatiere des Herrn Simeux auf dem Polizeipräsidium abgibt." (5000 Franc reward for whoever hands over Lord Simeux's golden tobacco case to the police headquarters) - Charles in a prison cell, double-exposure (men, then Charles himself with a noose) [frame scans 6+7] - Date: 16th. - The aforementioned woman at her desk. She receives a letter: "Geliebte Frau! Ich sterbe unschuldig, und doch vielleicht schuldig. Gott ist gerecht. Sei unserem Kinde eine gute Mutter, Lebewohl. Charles." (Beloved wife! I will die innocent and yet maybe guilty. God is just. Be a good mother to our child. Farewell, Charles) Advertising pillar. Two crooks [close up, frame scan 8+9], a detective appears to follow one of the crooks. - IT: In der Nacht vor der Hinrichtung. (During the night before the execution) - The prison priest with Charles [frame scan 10]. - Police in front of the crook's lair. Detective: "Wer das Haus verlässt, wird verhaftet, Bin ich bis 6 Uhr nicht zurück, so dringt ins Haus ein." (Whoever leaves the house is to be arrested. If I haven't come back by 6, enter the house) - The detective searches the cellar. He identifies a piece of clothing. The detective hides as a crook comes into the cellar. His crony is alerted and stabs the detective. They place him in a bag. - An alarm clock at 5. - The woman in despair. Charles in his cell. The crooks tie up the bag and place it inside a large suitcase. The police arrest one of the crooks as he leaves the house. Clock: 6. The police enter the cellar. "Hilfe, Hilfe!" (Help! Help!) Policemen free the detective. Clock: 6:15. - Charles: "Ich möchte noch einmal meine Frau sehen!" (I would like to see my wife one more time!) Last meeting with his wife. Parallel action featuring a runaway car and the detective. The detective in the cell to Charles: "Sie sind frei! Ihre Unschuld ist erwiesen. Der wahre Mörder ist gefunden." (You are free! Your innocence has been proven. The real murderer has been found) [frame scan 11]
Jeanpaul Goergen, Deutsche Kinemathek, 24.03.2011
Length: 322m
Format: 35mm, 1.33:1
Picture/Sound: coloured, silent
Notes: Orange, blue-green & green (the latter intertitles only) tints; German intertitles; No main title; Start missing
The prison uniforms in the pictures are positively not British; from the 1870's until 1922
the generic uniform was a plain, pale material with a broad arrow-head design.
.The horizontal stripes were a feature of French prison uniforms, but possibly
elsewhere as well. The film may be set in Britain, but made on the continent ???
Mark Fuller, 01.01.2012
The location is Vienna/Wien.
The Church in the Background in still 9 is Kirche Maria vom Siege in Vienna.
So the scene was shot at Mariahilfer Gürtel a liitle bit near the U-Bahn station Gumpendorfer Straße which was completed in 1898.
Apparently there is also some construction going on while its Winter.
Is about the Location, the site says the construction around the site were finished by 1918 so the scne might have taken place before that year.
Friedrich Hartmann, 07.06.2012
I'm probably wrong, but could this be "The Devil's Passkey"? It's the right time, setting, and the man in Still 7 has a similar profile to Sam de Grasse.
Luke Bailey, 10.12.2012
Frame no. 9 shows an advertisement pillar covered with film posters. On the big poster to the left you can read: ...GN SPIES / ... TIVE FINN. This might be an advertisement for Charles Weston's film DETECTIVE FINN & THE FOREIGN SPIES (1914). So perhaps the unidentified film was produced in England around 1914/15.
Mischa von Perger, 11.09.2011
Could this be one of the German films starring Alwin Neuss as a Sherlock Holmes-styled detective? He did appear as a detective in German films such as "Detektiv Braun," produced by Vitascope in Germany. The last photo on this page bears a striking resemblance to the first one in Unidentified Film No. 268.
David Lewis, 28.07.2015
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