Der geheimnisvolle Klub
Detective about a man who investigates the seemingly inexplicable suicide of his brother.
From Rotterdam, Gerhard Bern has received the terrible news that, for no ostensible reason, his brother has committed suicide. The only clue seems to be his membership of a secret club.
To find an explanation, Gerhard, accompanied by a detective, hurries to Rotterdam, where he is given accommodation by Consul Verstraaten, a friend of his father. There he meets and falls in love with the Consul's daughter Ilse and shortly thereafter they become engaged.
In the meantime another mysterious suicide has been reported. It appears that in both cases the men, both members of the same club, had taken out a life insurance policy and that a certain Mr van Gelderen, leader of the club, has collected the insurance money. Gerhard manages to meet Van Gelderen and, in order to win his confidence, introduces him into the Verstraaten house. Van Gelderen takes advantage of the situation to make advances to Ilse, so that Gerhard sees him now as not only the cause of his brother's death but also as a rival.
Gerhard becomes a member of the secret club and discovers that his suspicions are justified. The members are all people who are weary of life. Every Friday they play cards and whoever draws the ace of spades is obliged to shoot himself. At the next meeting it is Gerhard who draws the fatal card. He is locked in a room with a loaded revolver.
Fortunately, Ilse knows that he has gone to the Club, but when she manages to find the hidden entrance, she is caught by Van Gelderen who abducts her. The young woman has been wise enough to inform her parents of what she intended doing, so it is soon possible to release Gerhard and, after a wild chase by motor boat through the Rotterdam harbour, to rescue the girl, reunite the lovers and arrest the villain.
G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), p. 110
Gerhard Lamprecht, Deutsche Stummfilme 1913-1914, Berlijn (1969) p. 78
P. Cherchi Usai & L. Codelli, Prima di Caligari: cinema tedesco 1895-1920, Pordenone (1990), p. 328-330
Herbert Birett (hrsg.), Verzeichnis in Deutschland gelaufener Filme, München 1980, p. 343
H. Schlüpmann, Unheimlichkeit des Blicks: das Drama des frühen deutschen Kino, Basel (1990), p. 340