Garre Castle is owned by American businessman Abel Bellamy (Gert Frobe). The castle is said to be haunted by a ghost called the Green Archer. During a tour of the castle given by Bellamy’s secretary Julius Savani (Harry Wustenhagen) a man is killed by a green arrow. From Scotland Yard Sergeant Higgins (Wolfgang Volz) is assigned the case as journalist Spike Holland (Eddi Arent) investigates on his own. When Abel returns from a trip to America he is not pleased with either the dead body or his secretary letting strangers in the castle.
Valerie Howett (Karin Dor) and her father (Hans Epskamp) move into Lady’s Manor, the property next door to Garre Castle. Valerie’s last name is really Bellamy and she is the niece of Abel Bellamy. She believes that Abel is responsible for the disappearance of her mother, Elaine (Hela Gruel), and begins spying on Abel. Valerie’s brother is believed to have died in the war. His friend, John Wood (Heinz Weiss) is helping Valerie. Inspector James Featherstone is on vacation from Scotland Yard and is working undercover using the name Lamotte (KlausjurgenWussow) helping the Howett family.
When a man named Creager (Karl-Heinz Peters), who used to work at the prison, suggests that he has some information on Abel he is murdered by the archer. Valerie has been paying Savani for information on Abel. She learns that Abel has been in league with Coldharbour Smith (Stanislav Ledinke), a man of dubious ethics who owns the Shanghai Bar. Valerie’s nosing around gets her in trouble at the bar and she has to get saved by Featherstone and Holland. Everywhere Valerie goes she needs saving.
Valerie gets kidnapped by one of Coldharbour Smith’s men and is taken to an offshore freighter. A police search of the ships in the harbor reveals nothing but Savini sees the kidnapping and follows Smith’s men to the bar and then the ship. When he gets caught it is the green archer to the rescue. Unfortunately Abel has more tricks up his sleeve and everyone is captured and at the mercy of the sadistic Abel Bellamy.
“The Green Archer” AKA “Der grüne Bogenschütze” was released in 1961 and was directed by Jurgen Roland”. It is a West German crime film and a krimi. The movie was based on Edgar Wallace’s 1923 novel “The Green Archer”. The story was also the bases for two serials made in the U.S., “The Green Archer” 1925, a silent serial that is mostly lost, and “The Green Archer” 1940 by Columbia.
As with most Wallace stories, the plot is intricate and dove tails around other subplots. It doesn’t help that, in this story, many of the characters have more than one name and some have three alter egos. Then there is the fact that there is more than one archer running around killing people. Said archer actually has little to do with the story and mostly just adds color to the plot. No pun intended.
Because of all the plot devises and subplots the movie would be so messy as to be unintelligible and therefore not fun to watch if it wasn’t for the tone of the film. It is done very tongue in cheek and with quite a bit of camp. Humor continually runs through it with some offbeat characters and unusual situations. The film ends up looking more like a romp instead of a murder mystery. There is a lot going on here and many of the subplots give you an additional hint as to where the film is going and some just add additional flavor to this plot soup. Partly interesting and partly frustrating the movie is more enjoyable when looked at as more a comedy than a thriller. Just the situations that Valerie gets herself into are enough to keep you amused.