Der Hexer was based on The Sorcerer, a detective story by workhorse British author Edgar Wallace. The original story was a thrilling, intricately plotted murder mystery involving a master criminal and a wily detective. According to contemporary reviews, however, the film version threw out much of the suspense and excitement in favor of dull dialogue passages. This is surprising, in that its director was the usually reliable Karl Lamac. Of the actors, only Karl Ettlinger, playing what amounted to the comedy-relief character, was singled out for any praise.
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