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Secret of the Black Widow (Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe), The

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The Secret of the Black Widow
(Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe)
Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe Poster.jpg
Original German Poster
Country GER.jpg West Germany
ESP 45-77.jpg Spain
Directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb
Release Date 1963
Language German
Studio International Germania Film
Procusa
Distributor Constantin Film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Wellby O. W. Fischer
Clarisse Avery Karin Dor
Boyd Klaus Kinski
Helen Osbourn
Mrs. Shor in English release
Doris Kirchner
William Osbourne
Mr. Shor in English release
Werner Peters
Fish Eddi Arent
Selwood Gabriel Llopart
Bromfield Antonio Casas


The Secret of the Black Widow (Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe) is a 1963 German-Spanish B&W crime thriller directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb and based on the novel "The Queen of the Night" by Louis Weinert-Wilton. A London journalist Wellby (O. W. Fischer) is involved in the investigation of a series of strange murders. Former members of an expedition in Mexico are killed by poison darts with the image of black widow spider. The investigation leads Wellby to the acquaintance with Clarisse Avery (Karin Dor), the daughter of the expedition leader who died in the jungles under mysterious circumstances.


The following weapons were used in the film The Secret of the Black Widow (Das Geheimnis der schwarzen Witwe):

SPOILERS.jpg WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS!



Revolvers

Arminius HW-1

Boyd (Klaus Kinski) draws a revolver when he saves Wellby who is assaulted by Selwood's bouncers. This revolver is an Arminius model, most likely HW-1.

Arminius HW-1 starter revolver
Boyd draws his revolver. The gun has the common appearance of Arminius revolvers of 1960s though the barrel is maybe too long for HW-1.
Boyd threatens the thugs.

Pistols

Walther LP-53

A Walther LP-53 is the murder weapon throughout the movie. The ajustable rear sight is removed from the gun (the screws on the top strap can be seen), and the pistol has a shorter barrel than the standard model. It's worth noting that the usage of LP-53 for shooting poisoned darts is a common plot item in 1960s films (for example, That Man from Rio and The Majordomo).

Walther LP-53 Air Pistol - .177. The screen gun lacks the ajustable rear sight and has the shorter barrel.
The air pistol is seen during the second murder.
A close view of the muzzle and the front sight.
The pistol is seen during the fifth murder.
DGdSW-WaltherLP53-4.jpg
Helen Osbourn (Doris Kirchner) loads the air pistol in the climactic scene.
Helen aims the pistol.
She shoots the gun.
Helen aims at Clarisse in the scene in Wellby's houseboat.

Llama II

Wellby (O. W. Fischer) owns a bright chrome plated Llama II pistol. In the final scene this gun is used by Helen Osbourn (Doris Kirchner). The exact model of this pistol can be estimated judging by the lack of the grip safety that exists on generally similar Llama III.

Llama II - .380 ACP. Courtesy of Carbines for Collectors. Used with kind permission.
Wellby draws the pistol finding an intruder in his houseboat.
The external extractor is seen.
The Llama logo is seen on the grip.
The grip lacks the safety.
Helen takes the pistol that Wellby carelessly left on the table.
The muzzle is seen.
Helen holds Clarisse at gunpoint during the boat chase.
Helen fires at pursuers.

Arrizabalaga Sharp-Shooter

When Clarisse Avery (Karin Dor) comes into William Osbourn's house, she is armed with an Arrizabalaga Sharp-Shooter pistol, a Spanish gun of 1920s with tip-up barrel. The size of the gun and the position of the safety allows to identify a version chambered in .32 rather than in .25.

Arrizabalaga Sharp-Shooter pistol - 7.65x17mm (.32 ACP)
Clarisse enters the room with a pistol in hand.
She aims the pistol at Osbourn.
A view of the muzzle. The pearl or ivory grips are seen.

Astra 400

Bryan (Angel Menéndez), one of the members of the expedition, owns an Astra 400 pistol. Inspector Terry (Felix Dafauce) and Boyd (Klaus Kinski) hold Astra pistols in the final scene. In the same scene Helen Osbourn's Llama pistol switches to the Astra due to a continuity error, and then back to the Llama.

Astra 400 - 9 x 23mm Bergmann / Largo
DGdSW-Astra400-2.jpg
Brian trains in shooting.
Biran reloads the pistol. The heel-mounted magazine release is seen.
One more view of Brian's pistol.
The pistol lies near Brian's dead body.
Inspector Terry holds his pistol at the left.
Helen's Llama switches to an Astra during the boat chase.
Boyd fires an Astra during the boat chase.

Astra 300

Wellby (O. W. Fischer) holds a compact Astra 300 during the boat chase.

Astra 300 - 9mm Kurz (.380ACP)
Wellby fires in air.

Antique Pistols

Several antique pistols are seen on the wall in Selwood's apartments. They aren't seen clear enough for positive identification but at least the bottom one appears to be a percussion cap gun. Possibly these pistols are non-firing wall-hangers.

Five pistols are seen on the wall at the top left. The bottom one seems to be a percussion cap gun. The second from the bottom gun may be not a pistol but a revolver.

Submachine Guns

MP40

In the final scene two plainclothes police detectives are armed with an MP40.

MP40 - 9x19mm
A detective with an MP40 runs out of the car.
DGdSW-MP40-2.jpg
Another detective holds an MP40 at the right.

Rifles

Garate El Tigre

A photo of the expedition shows some of the members with rifles in their hands. William Osbourne's (Werner Peters) rifle is the only one that is seen clear enough for the identification. This is a lever-action Winchester-style rifle, and following the fact that the movie was filmed in Spain, we can make the assuption that Garate El Tigre is most possible guess.

Garate El Tigre - .44-40 WCF.
Osbourne holds a lever-action rifle.

Unidentified rifles

On the same photo rifles are seen in hands of Morton (uncredited), Cartwright (José María Caffarel) and Broomfield (Antonio Casas). This guns hardly can be identified.

DGdSW-Rifle-2.jpg
Morton's (sitting at the left) rifle seems to be a bolt-action gun. It is hardly possible to make any assumptions about Cartwright's and Broomfield's guns.

Trivia

Mauser C96 Light Gun

In the scenes, set in Selwood's club, several light gun shooter games are seen. One of these light guns is a very faithful copy of Mauser C96. Note: the best known shooting gallery with Mauser-style light gun is Dale Gun Shooting Gallery, but it looks different.

The light gun is a very authentic looking Mauser C96.
Same shooter game in the empty club at night.

Light Gun

The light gun of another shooter game.

See Also

Louis Weinert-Wilton
The Carpet of Horror (1962)  •  The White Spider (1963)  •  The Secret of the Black Widow (1963)  •  The Secret of the Chinese Carnation (1964)

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