Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Das Geheimnis der weissen Nonne/The Trygon Factor (1966)

With costs amounting to 4 Million Deutschmarks, The Trygon Factor is the most expensive Wallace film of the series and it sure manages to show every Pfennig spent on it.

In an outrageous mix of caper and nunsploitation movie elements, we see an international gang of female beauties dressed in white habits driving motor boats and shooting and murdering their way into a bank vault that is then cracked open in an elaborately staged heist sequence.

This production was filmed in English with some scenes being shot with alternative actors (Siegfried Schürenberg replaces James Robertson-Justice as Sir John) for its German dubbed version. Being filmed in the Shepperton Studios and at actual locations around London The Trygon Factor may lack some of the usual Teutonic inconsistencies, but for that very reason is also the most accessible one for non-German audiences.

It is an exceptionally well cast production: Stewart Granger is the most suave Wallace hero and was very popular in Germany at the time due to a series of Karl May movies for which he played Old Surehand. Robert Morley plays his usual pompous character and Brigitte Horney is excellent as the head of the nuns’ order. The biggest surprise is Eddi Arent who had his final appearance in the series here: Cast completely against type in a serious role he is absolutely convincing as a professional safe breaker. The first time we see him seemingly dead in a coffin during his funeral. For the robbery he is seen wearing something resembling the original yellow Iron Man suit of armour while shooting bullets against the safe from a futuristic looking high power machine gun. Not a sight you’re bound to forget in a while.

Sophie Hardy goes topless in a well staged murder sequence that alternates her bathroom scene with the killing of another girl in an adjoining room and that would not have been out of place in a giallo. We also have a cross dressing crook straight out of an Ed Wood movie and an infantile man who still wants to play with his mammy. Add a mysteriously masked killer and we have one helluva of a zany and fast paced production and quite possibly one of the best Wallace movies of the entire series. A definite Must See and a lorra lorra fun.

1 comment:

  1. It took a long time to find this film but it was worth it. When reading about the history of the Wallace movies Trygon is usually not present but it has ALL the elements of the classic Wallace krimi including Hardy and Arent.