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The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee)

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The Puzzle of the Red Orchid
(Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee)
Das Ratsel der roten Orchidee Poster.jpg
Original German Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
Directed by Helmuth Ashley
Release Date 1962
Language German
Studio Rialto Film
Distributor Constantin Film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Captain Allerman Christopher Lee
Inspector Weston Adrian Hoven
Lilian Ranger Marisa Mell
Edwin Tanner Pinkas Braun
Cora Minelli Christiane Nielsen
Kerkie Minelli Eric Pohlmann
Handsome Steve Klaus Kinski
Parker Eddi Arent
Elias Zacharias Tanner Fritz Rasp
Chief Inspector Tetley Wolfgang Büttner

The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee) is a 1962 German detective movie directed by Helmuth Ashley and adapted from the 1932 novel "When the Gangs Came to London" by Edgar Wallace. Two rival gangs from Chicago transfer their activities to London. They terrorise wealthy men, demanding money for "protection". FBI agent Captain Allerman (Christopher Lee) and Scotland Yard Inspector Weston (Adrian Hoven) counteract the gangsters.

The film is the ninth installment in the Rialto Film studio film series (1959-1972) adapted from the novels of Edgar Wallace.


The following weapons were used in the film The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee):


Smith & Wesson Victory Model

Smith & Wesson Victory Model revolvers, identified by plain grips and lanyard rings, are widely used in the movie, seen in hands of Captain Allerman (Christopher Lee), Inspector Weston (Adrian Hoven), Edwin Tanner (Pinkas Braun), Parker (Eddi Arent), Scotland Yard plainclothes detectives, gangsters of both rival gangs, including Babyface (Edgar Wenzel) and several unnamed (Charles Palent, Frank Straass, and Gert Segatz).

Smith & Wesson Victory Model - a modified and parkerized version of the Smith & Wesson Model 10 - this is a British "Lend Lease" version chambered in .38 S&W
A revolver with plain grips in seen in shoulder holster of one of O'Connor's gangsters in the opening scene.
One of Minelli's gangsters fires a revolver during the massacre of O'Connor's men.
Allerman visits Minelli.
Minelli: My friend...
Allerman: I have only one friend here. This gun.
Allerman holds a pair of revolvers after he gunned down a gangster who tried to kill him. The lanyard rings are seen.
Allerman: I have two friends!
Allerman, disguised as a construction worker, holds a revolver.
Parker, armed with a Karabiner 98k and two revolvers, patrol the rooftop of Drood's estate.
Another view of one of Parker's revolvers.
Weston holds his revolver in the scene in the basement of Steve's tobacco shop.
Edwin Tanner fires his revolver in the climactic scene. The lanyard ring is seen.
Allerman fires his revolver in the climactic scene.

Mauser HSc

A Minelli's gangster holds a Mauser HSc during the assassination attempt on Capt. Allerman.

WWII Nazi German produced Mauser HSc - .32 ACP (7.65x17mm)
A gangster follows Allerman with the pistol in hand.

Walther PPK

One of the plainclothes detectives in the scene on the construction yard holds a Walther PPK.

Walther PPK - .380 ACP
The pistol is seen at the far left.

Herbert Schmidt Model 4

Gang boss Kerkie Minelli (Eric Pohlmann) carries a pocket pistol in the scene in Steve's tobacco shop. This is a Herbert Schmidt Model 4 (also mentioned as HS4) gas-firing gun. In the final scene Cora Minelli (Christiane Nielsen) fires same looking pistol.

Herbert Schmidt Model 4 - 8mm blank and gas ammo
Minelli draws his pistol but is gunned down before he could use the gun.
Being finished off by the cane-sword, Minelli still manages to shoot.
Cora fires in the final scene.

Submachine Guns


In the opening scene in Chicago Polinski (Benno Gellenbeck), one of Minelli's gangsters, is armed with an MP40. Steve's gangster (Frank Straass) uses an MP40 during the assassination of Elias Tanner. Edwin Tanner (Pinkas Braun) fires an MP40 in the scene in Steve's tobacco shop.

MP40 - 9x19mm
Polinski fires the MP40 at O'Connor's gangsters.
The MP40 is fitted with blank firing muzzle adapter.
A gangster draws the MP40 from under his overcoat in the scene in Tanner's house.
The gangster fires at Tanner.
Edwin Tanner fires the MP40.
Another view of the scene. Numerous spent brass are seen in midair.


Mauser 98 Sporter

Col. Drood (Herbert A. E. Böhme) and his men (Helmuth Ashley and uncredited one) are armed with Mauser 98 Sporter rifles during the defence of Drood's house. Gangster Babyface (Edgar Wenzel) uses a Mauser 98 Sporter with the sniper scope during the assassination of Mr. Shelby. These rifles may be converted Gewehr 1898 or Karabiner 98k rather than purposely build hunting/sporting guns.

German-style Mauser 98 Sporter Model K - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Waffenfrankonia Wurzburg Gewehr 98 .30-06 "Cigarette Sporter" fitted with Bohler Stahl barrel. Many Kar 98k rifles would wind up in similar configuration after WWII.
Babyface holds the rifle with sniper scope.
Col. Drood climbs out on the roof of his estate when he gets news that the gangsters plan to attack his from an airplane.
Drood fires at the gangsters' airplane.
Drood and two of his men fire at the airplane.
Victorious shooters watch the downed airplane.

Karabiner 98k

One of Col. Drood's men holds a Karabiner 98k rifle when Parker (Eddi Arent) visits Drood's house. Later Parker himself carries a Kar 98k.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser. Manufactured in Germany, 1937.
Drood's man holds Parker at gunpoint, suspecting him to be gangsters' accomplice.
Parker, armed with a Karabiner 98k and two Smith & Wesson Victory Model revolvers, patrol the rooftop of Drood's estate. Parker's 98k has different front sight.

Machine Guns


An MG42 is used during the assassination of Mr. Shelby.

MG42 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
The MG42 fires in the scene on the construction yard.
Allerman runs to the machine gun and finds out that it is controlled via cord from the next floor.

Other Weapons

Model 39 Eihandgranate

In the opening scene in Chicago one of Minelli's gangsters uses a Model 39 Eihandgranate hand grenade.

The Model 39 Eihandgranate hand grenade
The gangster holds the grenade.
He pulls the pin with his teeth (a common cinematic feat that hardly can be performed in real life).
He throws the grenade in the room to finish O'Connor's men off.

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