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Some time ago I saw a rather old (50s, maybe 60s at most) German (West-German, to be accurate) movie on TV, which I only have rather vague memories about, and which you might help me identify. I don't remember if it was black and white. While some memories tell me it was, other memories are more colorful. It was set in a rather big and famous city, like Berlin or Hamburg (images of the Hamburg warehouse district come to mind).

It was a crime movie about a bank robbery with the robbers taking the bank manager and his family as hostages in order to gain clean access to the bank (a premise similar to the 2001 movie Bandits, so to say). The robbers consisted of 4 members, I think. One of them, the boss, was a quite suave guy in a suit. Another member was a young woman with short blonde hair and a strong Austrian accent, who seemed rather cold-blooded compared to her fragile looks. She was responsible for controlling the bank managers family at home while the manager was heading for the bank together with the boss.

There are some other vague scene snippets I can remember (and I hope I don't mix in other movies here): At one point the robbers try to get hold of some cassette (which they stole from the bank?) and it accidentally drops into the river. In another scene one of the robbers is surrounded by the police in a small cottage (outside of town) and eventually gunned down, I think (or just arrested?). I remember that the movie's style and story-telling was very factual and objective, yet exciting for me.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Movie Poster

Here goes my first guess: 4 Schlüssel (1966)

Went through Google-translated pages, so some of the details may be off. As far as I can make out here's how the plot unfolds:

It's the weekend and, as per routine, the four keys needed to open the vault at Hamburg Bank Traven & Co. are handed out to four different employees for safekeeping.

Following up on a telegram he received, the bank's director Edward Rose arrives at the airport. He's expecting his daughter Silvia to arrive from Vienna. He is met instead by a young Austrian woman named Franziska. She says she's his daughter's classmate and has been invited to spend the weekend at their place. Silvia, she assures him, will be taking a later flight.

Meanwhile, his daughter - who'd arrived earlier - has been abducted and taken to the mansion.

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Pic 01

Edward Rose doesn't suspect a thing as he drives home with the girl. Shortly after he enters, he is confronted by a gang of criminals and we soon discover that Franziska has been their accomplice all along.

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Pic 05

Their leader Alexander Ford arrives on the scene. He intends to take 3.5 million German Marks from the bank's vault and for this he needs the identities of the four key carriers. Edward refuses to reveal his employees' names, but when his daughter's life is threatened he finally yields.

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Pic 02

It won't be an easy task since all of them would have gone away for the weekend. While tracking the employees down, they contact Thilo (one of the key carriers). He says that the key is in a cassette in his apartment...

Does that plot or any of the faces in those photographs look familiar? Here are some more snapshots...

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Pic 04

The chief bad guy and the honest bank manager, face to face. And below, meet the "moll" :-)

4 Schlüssel (1966) - Pic 03

~ Edited from Wikipedia, A Wasted Life and

Browse through more screenshots here and here.

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Wow, just reading the plot summary and seeing those guys rings some bells. I'm almost 99% sure this is it. Definitely a +1 already, can't believe I may finally have found this, thank you. I'll check the links some more, but I'm pretty sure acceptance will follow shortly. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 17 '14 at 20:51
And in fact it's from Jürgen Roland (and seems to have been quite famous in general). So my feeling that it's quite similar to Stahlnetz in its objective style wasn't so wrong at all. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 17 '14 at 20:55
In fact it was actually you whom I had placed my hopes on. Your recent identify-answers are really great. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 17 '14 at 21:08
@Napoleon Thanks for the kind words :-) I'm always happy to pitch in! Sorry, I couldn't find any clips or trailers for you to confirm. Although there are some DVDrips floating around... – rumandwrite Feb 17 '14 at 21:49
You've done more than enough, this is definitely the movie I was looking for. Now the only thing left to do is get my hands on it to watch it again (but entirely for pleasure alone, as confirmance is really not neccessary anymore). – Napoleon Wilson Feb 17 '14 at 23:00

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