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The Man Who Finally Died (1963) Online

The Man Who Finally Died (1963) Online
Original Title :
The Man Who Finally Died
Genre :
Movie / Thriller / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Quentin Lawrence
Cast :
Stanley Baker,Peter Cushing,Georgina Ward
Writer :
Lewis Greifer,Louis Marks
Type :
Time :
1h 38min
Rating :

A mysterious call summons Joe Newman to Bavaria in search of the father he believed dead for 20 years.

The Man Who Finally Died (1963) Online

A mysterious call summons Joe Newman to Bavaria in search of the father he believed dead for 20 years. {locallinks-homepage}
Cast overview:
Stanley Baker Stanley Baker - Joe Newman
Georgina Ward Georgina Ward - Maria Wienewski
Peter Cushing Peter Cushing - Dr. Peter von Brecht
Mai Zetterling Mai Zetterling - Lisa Deutsch
Eric Portman Eric Portman - Inspector Hofmeister
Niall MacGinnis Niall MacGinnis - Brenner (as Niall McGinnis)
Nigel Green Nigel Green - Sgt. Hirsch
Barbara Everest Barbara Everest - Martha Gelman
Harold Scott Harold Scott - Professor Gustav Schiller

Nigel Green had also acted in the 1959 TV Serial The Man Who Finally Died (1959).

Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Georgina Ward receives an 'introducing' credit.

User reviews



Nothing is as it seems in "The Man Who Finally Died". Figures of evil turn out to be forces of good, and vice versa. Questions with a supposedly limited number of answers turn out to have more alternative outcomes. And even the hero himself is conflicted about his own identity (he was born German, but is now a British citizen). There is an interesting post-WW2 moral complexity to this film, which is also helped by atmospheric black & white photography and a classy supporting cast. The hero is (understandably) a pretty grim guy, but his few jokes score bigtime (when a hotel maid asks him why he wears his sunglasses inside his room, he responds: "I got a bit of dirt in my eye....when I was a boy"). Perhaps my only main objection has to do with the music score, which is sweeping but sometimes overemphatic. Nevertheless, this is an overlooked film that deserves more attention. **1/2 out of 4.


1962's "The Man Who Finally Died," released December 1963, was a BBC serial that originally aired in 1959, with this feature version following three years later, with an entirely different cast. Stanley Baker stars as British subject Joe Newman, formerly the German-born Joachim Deutsch, who has believed his father Kurt dead for 20 years, until receiving a phone call from Bavaria claiming to be Kurt Deutsch. Upon arriving, he locates his father's grave before visiting the Deutsch widow, Lisa (Mai Zetterling), currently living in the country home of Dr. Peter von Brecht (Peter Cushing), his every move watched by the local police, plus the insurance investigator (Niall MacGinnis) responsible for Newman's phone call, who believes the deceased still lives. Holds up rather well despite its television origins, thankfully not lost though unseen for decades, reuniting Baker with Peter Cushing five years after 1957's "Violent Playground." Cushing initially appears sympathetic but gradually displays more sinister shadings, but has only one lengthy scene during the film's first half (the von Brecht home is Bray studio's familiar Oakley Court). The fine supporting cast includes Nigel Green, who previously appeared with Cushing in 1960's "Sword of Sherwood Forest," which also featured Niall MacGinnis (playing Friar Tuck), who again supported Cushing in 1966's excellent "Island of Terror." Certainly not a horror film, though it made one appearance on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater on Aug 7 1976, paired with second feature "The Horror of Party Beach."


In fact, it would be rather an espionage British film. Post WW2, of course.

We never really believe in this poor man's BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, where Stanley Baker plays a British citizen who returns to Germany to find his missing father, understand why and where he disappeared.

I expected much more from this film, where I could AT LAST watch the face to face between Stanley Baker and Peter Cushing.

I don't think they ever played together again. But perhaps I am wrong.

A little disappointment I must admit, even with the gorgeous Mai Zetterling in the game.

The story is not too hard to follow, a tale about rocket scientist impersonating Stanley Baker's missing father.

But it's worth to be seen.


This started really well and up until about halfway I was totally involved and enjoying trying to work out, as was Stanley Baker's character, just what was going on. But then around the time we visit a cemetery and there is much discussion about whether or not a body should be interred, I begin to lose it.

I think in a similarly confusing giallo there would be much more vivid and colourful aspects to maintain an interest that here just waned. It ends well enough and Baker is at his very best here although I thought Cushing only just held his end up. Mai Zetterling was wasted in a lousy role.


THE MAN WHO FINALLY DIED is an early '60s black-and-white conspiracy thriller with enough twists to make even M. Night Shyamalan blush and a great cast of British character actors. Along with underrated leading man Stanley Baker and a typically villainous Peter Cushing, we're graced with the presence of NIGHT OF THE DEMON's Niall MacGinnis, Inspector Nayland Smith himself, Nigel Green, and plenty of others who round out various roles: tough cops, pompous officials, friendly advisers, and the like.

The film itself is one of those 'small town conspiracy' movies where it seems that everyone's in on some secret, apart from the lead of course. This generates plenty of suspense and although the film is rather dated when viewed in a modern light – cosy rather than dangerous – it proves more than adequate entertainment. It also possesses at least one twist I didn't see coming in advance, so there's kudos for that.

The film is a little slow and stodgy in places. It feels like a Bond film on occasion, with Baker arriving in an exotic (well, Germany) destination and attempting to uncover the secrets involving some evil criminal mastermind. The eventual solving of the crime ties into the Cold War in a nicely unexpected way. Yes, I could have done with some more action, some more open peril – the movie's premise is perfect for the odd chase scene, for instance – but it's hard to fault or be too hard on an efficient little thriller like this.


The problem with this film is that there is just much talk.Furthermore the pace is almost find real.Everything is an unexplained mystery,even why Stanley Baker,,with an eye complaint keeps on putting on and taking off his dark glasses.Some of the characterisation seem strange to say the least.Eric Portman plays the local police detective as if he was a member of the Gestapo.You expect him to order Nigel Green to give Stanley the once over with a piece of rubber hose.There is so little explanation of exactly what has happened that you struggle to make any sense of the film.The music tends to be far too intrusive.It is rather frustrating not to be able to understand the plot till the last 10 minutes.However even then the motivation of the characters remains unclear.


Joe Newman (formerly Joachim Deutsch) is the son of a German father and British mother. One day he receives a phone call from a man who says he is father, Kurt Deutsch. The man asks him to visit him in his home town in Bavaria. Joe is surprised, because he has long believed that his father was killed during the Second World War. It turns out that Kurt had survived the war. He had been imprisoned in a Soviet concentration camp, but escaped with his friend, a scientist. The latter was, however, shot to death. Back in Germany he moved into the large mansion of Dr. van Brecht and married a younger woman. Joe is told that his father had passed away recently.

When it is revealed that Kurt was buried as a catholic, although he was a protestant, Joe begins to question the circumstances regarding his father's death. When it is revealed that a young Eastern European refugee woman was the only attendee at his funeral, Joe believes that it was her father who was buried in Kurt's grave instead.

Brenner, an investigator for an insurance company, tells Joe that Kurt indeed is alive. His wife and Dr. van Brecht has staged Kurt's death because of insurance fraud.

The local police also seems to work against him. Well, everything is not what it seems. It is towards the end we get to know the truth.

A well-made thriller and a very good cast, although Mai Zetterling has almost nothing to do. Peter Cushing is playing a doctor, although not one of his regular "mad scientists". Nial MacGinnis is excellent as the ambiguous investigator for an insurance company. Eric Portman is good as the police officer, likewise Nigel Green as his assistant.


A man prompted by a phone call returns to Germany where he was born in search of his father whom he had supposed dead. But is he? The film answers the question but in a talky, pedestrian way. There are twists and turns towards the end that perk up the film but mostly it is unexciting which is a shame as it had lots of potential. The music score tries to be thrilling but becomes laughably over intense.

Stanley Baker gives a one note performance, Eric Portman gives a strange performance and Mai Zetterling doesn't do much. Peter Cushing is good as always as an ambiguous doctor, Nigel Green as a taciturn policeman is scary and Niall MacGinnis steals the film as an insurance investigator. Familiar players like Alfred Burke and Brian Wilde have minor but effective roles.

The best thing is the sparkling black and white photography and the accomplished use of the widescreen format.


Overly melodramatic tale of a man (Stanley Baker) called by his father, whom he believed to be dead, to visit him without giving a reason. When he arrives, he finds the father has died -- but has he really? This is fairly engrossing story that is puzzling to determine what is really going on. Unfortunately, some of the confusion is the result of many of the actions by the characters being largely inexplicable. Stanley Baker, who suspects his father did not die because of Mai Zetterling's (in the role of the dead father's wife) strange behavior, is wound so tight he seems ready to explode every moment he's on camera. Not far behind is Eric Portman in the role of the inspector, who just explodes several times almost without cause. There just didn't seem to be any direction. Mai Zetterling seemed confused. Unfortunately, blaring music at suspenseful points in the film ruins some of the intrigue. I liked the way the movie was shot but the acting was just mediocre probably due to the lack of direction. Still it's an interesting curiosity and a fun, if somewhat frustrating, viewing.



Allowing my copy of the delightfully bonkers Peter Cushing flick Corruption to play on after the credits,I caught an enticing 5 minutes from a TV showing of a Film Noir co-starring Cushing. Checking for the title online,I was disappointed to find no DVD,or even Video of it.


Finding out that UK DVD company Network were holding a flash sale,I rushed over to place an order. Preparing to order the enjoyable 1957 British Film Noir The Hypnotist,I was thrilled to see Cushing's Noir appear on the same page,which led to me finally seeing the man die.

The plot:

Receiving a mysterious call, London musician Joe Newman is told that the person speaking to him is his dad Kurt Deutsch,who died during WWII 20 years ago. Finding out that the call has come from a small Bavarian town,Newman leaves London for the town. Receiving a less than warm welcome, Deutsch is taken to the grave of Deutsch. Disbelieving what he sees, Newman goes to visit his mum Lisa Deutsch. Finding his mum to be living in the country home of Dr. Peter von Brecht,Newman begins to notice that Brecht and others in the town appear determined to keep Deutsch buried.

View on the film:

Finding the title from fuzzy TV showings,Network present a perfect transfer,with the soundtrack and the picture quality being pristine.

Shot in the UK, director Quentin Lawrence & cinematographer Stephen Dade send Newman to an excellent, disorientating Film Noir town,where razor-sharp black and light low-shadows fill the space of the small population. Unearthing the truth about Newman's family with a quirky, spidery score by Philip Green, Lawrence slants the paranoia on Newman with ultra-stylised pans across to strangers with an eye on his search,against a washed-out sky that rains an eerie atmosphere on Deutsch's grave.

Based on a 7-part British mini-series, (sadly not seen since airing in 1959)the screenplay by Lewis Greifer and Louis Marks adapt the show into a tightly coiled stranger in a strange land Film Noir,as Newman's determination to dig up the secrets of the town leads to brash confrontations with locals who want the truth kept six feet under. Whilst openly borrowing from The Third Man a number of times,the writers compose an excellent, distinctive tone that tracks the revelation of the ending to the post-WWII pessimism of Film Noir,with Newman's discovery crossing the WWII isolation that haunts the town, with the shivering terror of the Cold War.

Kicking the cobblestones lining the town to the side, Stanley Baker gives a terrific performance as Newman,who Baker gives a Film Noir loner thirst to uncovering the truth about his dad,while legendary character actors Eric Portman,Nigel Green and Brian Wilde listen in on his paranoid questions. Hovering above Mai Zetterling's withdrawn widow Lisa, Peter Cushing gives a great performance as Brecht,that Cushing brims with a horror ambiguity over what Brecht knows about the man who finally dies.


The majority of the cast from this film were worth far more, than making this utter piffle. Stanley Baker was a very talented actor and an effective leading man. I can't understand what could have possessed him to appear in "The Man Who Finally Died." The year the film was released, was when that classic "This Sporting Life" was unleashed. Baker was briefly linked with the latter film and should have been cast. Peter Cushing and Nigel Green are thoroughly wasted throughout the entire film. They have nothing to offer. In all fairness, they can hardly be blamed for the alarmingly poor dialogue. The plot is supposed to be about intrigue and espionage. Sadly, there is precious little of either. The only bit of intrigue I can think of, is how Stanley Baker acquired his latest bird's nest! Not a convincing one (his never were). The film merely rambles along with no sense of continuity or co-ordination. At 96 minutes, the film wouldn't even make for a respectable 25 minute juvenile programme! This is only worth having if you are a fan of any of the actors involved.