In my recent review of Der Mann mit dem Glasauge/The Man With the Glass Eye (1968) I wrote:
“The Man With the Glass Eye is one of those Wallace films that doesn’t even pretend to be based on any of his novels anymore. Its development, however, is probably way more interesting than a straight forward adaptation would have been as this is an example where a rival production from a different studio initially influenced by the success of the Rialto Wallaces in turn influenced a film in the original series back again.
Ladislas Fodor, an author who had been very influential in creating the 1960s series of Mabuse movies, had also provided a screenplay for Artur Brauner’s CCC Film production Das Phantom von Soho/The Phantom of Soho (1964), allegedly based on Bryan Edgar Wallace’s novel Murder by Proxy, a book that does not, however, seem to exist. In his screenplay Fodor focused on a string of knife murders in London’s red light district, committed by a masked killer in revenge for the actions of a gang of drug and girl smugglers.
Which kind of is the entire premise of The Man With the Glass Eye as well! (Right down to the exact nature of the reason for the revenge.)
For Rialto’s production Fodor supplied a treatment under the title “Die grausame Puppe” [The Cruel Doll]. His involvement went uncredited and his treatment was reworked by Paul Hengge whose name features in the credits of Rialto’s 28th Wallace movie.
There is speculation as to whether Phantom of Soho’s screenplay may have simply been sold over to Rialto at the time. Whatever exactly happened remains unknown but the similarities between both movies is striking (and possibly a subject for a future blog post).”
I have just rewatched Das Phantom von Soho/The Phantom of Soho (1964) so now thought it would be neat to have a little death match between those two movies to see which comes out the superior production.
Mind you, this is just a fun little exercise. Both movies are thoroughly enjoyable in their own right and get a thumbs up from me but this kind of exercise may help highlight some of the differences between the two rival series as well as how the Krimi genre ended up progressing over time.
I have come up with a number of categories under which I will have a quick look at the two movies before announcing the winner in each category. At the end of this post, I will count up those individual wins and announce the ultimate champion of this Death Match.