The Indian Scarf

The Indian Scarf

Cover of Illustrierte Film-Bühne
Directed by Alfred Vohrer
Produced by Horst Wendlandt
Written by Harald G. Petersson
George Hurdalek
based on a play by Edgar Wallace
Starring Heinz Drache
Music by Peter Thomas
Cinematography Karl Löb
Edited by Hermann Haller
Rialto Film Preben Philipsen GmbH & Co. KG
Distributed by Constantin Film
Release dates
  • 13 September 1963 (1963-09-13)
Running time
86 minutes
Country West Germany
Language German

The Indian Scarf (German: Das indische Tuch) is a 1963 West German crime film directed by Alfred Vohrer.[1] It was part of a very successful series of German films based on the writings of Edgar Wallace and adapted from the 1931 play The Case of the Frightened Lady.


After the rich Lord Lebanon has been strangled, a group of different characters assembles at Mark's Priory, his lonely manor in the north of Scotland, to attend the reading of his will. However, as lawyer Frank Tanner explains—in reading a "second-to-last-will"—to the potential heirs, they will first have to stay together at the manor for six days and six nights. Thinking that Lebanon has died of heart failure they all agree. It turns out to be a dangerous requirement as the manor is cut off from the outside world by a storm and one by one the visitors are murdered—strangled with an Indian scarf. In the end, of all the guests, family and staff only Tanner, Isla Harris and Bonwit the butler survive. The last will is read and it is revealed that Lord Lebanon has in fact left all his money to the man he considered to be the greatest of the century: Edgar Wallace.[2][3]



Das indische Tuch was part of a series of films based on works by Edgar Wallace made in the late 1950s and 1960s by producer Horst Wendlandt for Rialto Film. The script to the film was adapted first by Georg Hurdalek and then Harald G. Petersson from an original treatment by Egon Eis, written under the pen name of Trygve Larsen, that had not found the approval of the producer.[4] At this stage, the film was to be called Der Unheimliche.[4] The scripts were derived from the Edgar Wallace play The Frightened Lady.[2] There were two previous film versions based on it, both British and called The Frightened Lady, made in 1932 and 1940. Of the three, Vohrer's version was the one that deviated most from the original play.[3] The story becomes a case of Ten Little Indians, as the protagonists are killed off one by one.[3] Unusually for a film of the series, even leading man Heinz Drache's character comes under suspicion.[3]

Heinz Drache was cast for this film after having starred as the hero of a very successful TV production of Francis Durbridge's The Scarf (Das Halstuch), which involved a similar modus operandi and was first aired in 1962. Several other actors, like Kinski, Arent and Schürenberg, had by that time become regulars in the film series.[4]

The film was shot between 8 July and 13 August 1963 entirely in the CCC studios in West Berlin. There were no exterior shots at all.[4] Wilhelm Vorwerk, who appears as Lord Lebanon, was not an actor, but rather the production designer at CCC studios. Eva Ebner was Vohrer's assistant.[4] A final in-joke that was cut from more recent TV versions but restored for the DVD is a telephone call purporting to be from an "Inspector Fuchsberger", a reference to actor Joachim Fuchsberger, another leading man from the series of Wallace films made by Rialto.[4]

The FSK gave the film a rating of 16 years and up and deemed it not appropriate for screenings on public holidays. It was released on 13 September 1963.[2]


  1. "New York Times: The Indian Scarf". NY Times. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 "Filmportal: Das indische Tuch". Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Pauer, Florian (1982). Die Egar Wallace-Filme (German). Goldmann. pp. 101–103. ISBN 3-442-10216-2.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kramp, Joachim (2001). Hallo—Hier spricht Edgar Wallace! (German). Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. pp. 110–115. ISBN 3-89602-368-3.
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