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The Secret of the Black Widow

(The Secret Of The Spider)

Based on the novel “The Queen of the Night” by Louis Weinert-Wilton

Director: F. J. Gottlieb
Screenplay: Rolf and Alexandra Becker and F. J. Gottlieb
Camera: Gottfried Pacheco
Music: Martin Böttcher and Anton P. Olea
Sets: R. Gomez and Wolfgang Burmann
Editing: Anni Lautenbacher
Asst. Director: Lore Meyer-Döhner
Production-assistant: Gerhard Schmidt
Camera work: Rudolf Sandtner
Production manager: Horst Backwinkel
Head of Production: Franz Thierry
Producer: Dr. Alfons Carcasona

WellbyO. W. Fischer
ClarisseKarin Dor
Mr. OsborneWerner Peters
Mrs. OsborneDoris Kirchner
FishEddi Arent
BoydKlaus Kinski
Mrs. DykeClaude Farell
Inspector TerryFelix Dafauce
SellwoodGabriel Lopart
A female singerBelina

and others

The Plot

“The ‘Black Widow’ is on the prowl again!” is what the headlines of London’s yellow press are claiming.

Scotland Yard is on the trail of a sinister murderer. He killed his victims with a large-calibre revolver. The bullets are modelled on the most dangerous spider of central and south America, the “Black Widow”. Anyone hit by the poisoned projectile dies within a few seconds.

Chief reporter Wellby of “London’s Sensations” knows more about the case than the police. The first two victims of the Black Widow originate from a group of men who took part twelve years ago in the Mexico expedition of the British scientist Alfons Avery. Avery died during the expedition, apparently through the bite of a “Black Widow”. The survivors suddenly became wealthy following their return. They founded a company and laid down that in the event of the death of a shareholder, his shares would be split up amongst the others. The source of their sudden wealth as was to be discovered later was an Aztec treasure, which the expedition found in Mexico.

Did Avery really die as a result of the bite of a spider? Chief reporter Wellby has his doubts. He takes a closer look at the participants of the expedition. Now just five remain Osborne, Sellwood, Broomfield, Cartwright and Bryan, with Morton and Robbins having already died from the “Black Widow”.

Wellby doesn’t bother about the accusations of his boss Osborne who orders him to discontinue his reporting on the “Spider” murders. On the contrary he becomes all the more inquisitive. In the course of all his efforts to get to the bottom of the “Black Widow” mystery, he is confronted with an elegantly-dressed young man. This Mr. Boyd always seems to appear in the most precarious of situations at the scene of the crime.

Wellby establishes that the expedition leader Avery left a daughter. Her name is Clarisse but has adopted the name Miller. She is employed as a saleswoman and secretary at Broomfields Antique Shop. Inside Clarisse’s flat Wellby makes a sensational, but for him, shocking discovery. And there he almost becomes a victim himself of the “Black Widow”. But Boyd was again at the scene ... always this Boyd!

In the meantime Cartwright too meets his fate. He wanted to flee. On the gangway of the vessel which is to bring him to safety, he meets the Black Widow . He falls dead into the oily waters of the harbour-side. Bryan is the next; he is found on the terrace of his house. Still sticking to his cheek is the “Black Widow”!

Sellwood who had wanted to getrid of Wellby with only the timely appearance of Boyd preventing this starts to feel uneasy. He blackmails Osborne in order to gain the money for his escape. Beforehand though, he wants to put Clarisse, whom he considers to be the “Black Widow”, out of action for a while. But Wellby foils his plan. A short time later Sellwood too is a dead body.

Now Clarisse wants to know whether her father genuinely was the victim of the eight-legged creature or that of a crime. At gunpoint she forces Osborne and Broomfiled to confess. Brommfield admits that Avery was at the time shot dead in Mexico. But that confession is the deathblow for himself and Osborne: the “Black Widow” strikes again.

Clarisse flees onto Wellby s houseboat to tell him of her experience. But instead of Wellby she is suddenly confronted by the Black Widow which had only just fulfilled its ghastly deed back at Osborne’s villa. Then Fish appears the archivist at the “London’s Sensations” who is a droll figure. Meanwhile, Wellby is rushing through the night in a police car to find Clarisse who has disappeared some hours previously in his car. Boyd is of course again present. Fish shows the police the right direction. But Clarisse is still not saved. The Black Widow has dragged her into a motorboat. Then there is a wild chase through the murky waters of the River Thames. It looks almost as if there is no hope left for Clarisse.

But Wellby, Fish and the policemen are faster than the “Black Widow” which crashes into the side of a steamer. Wellby, Clarisse and Fish are pulled dripping et out of the Thames, and there can be no mistake about the fact that Wellby and Clarisse get on very well together.