Riddle of the Sands, The

Date: 1979
Director: Tony Maylam
Production Company: The Rank Organisation; Worldmark Films Ltd

Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Simon MacCorkindale
Location(s): Greetsiel, Neuharlingersiel (Germany), Medemblik, Twisk, Enkhuizen (Netherlands)

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

In 1901, Arthur Davies is on a sailing holiday around the East Frisian Islands on his boat, the Dulcibella, when he encounters Herr Dollmann, the owner of a large yacht. Davies becomes suspicious of Dollmann, and invites his old Oxford chum Charles Carruthers, who now works for the Foreign Office, to join him. Together they investigate further, and in spite of attempts to scare them off, they uncover a German plot to invade England. The film is based on the novel by Erskine Childers.

Additional Information:

Screen captures by Phil Bailey.

Some scenes were filmed on Frensham Ponds in Surrey, but as they feature only water and fog, they aren’t presented here.

 

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The opening scenes show us a map of the area.

image no 1

Peter provides this modern map showing the same location. Image copyright Google.

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Arthur Davies (Simon MacCorkindale) and Clara (Jenny Agutter) row into the harbour. This is Neuharlingersiel, standing in for Bensersiel, and the view is north west towards Am Hafen West.

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They leave the store after buying supplies. Neuharlingersiel, on Am Hafen West in front of the large building seen in capture 2.

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A train pulls into Bensersiel railway station. Twisk station on the Medemblik-Hoorn preserved railway.

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Davies brings Charles Carruthers (Michael York) to the Dulcibella in the harbour. Greetsiel, the north-western side of the harbour.

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The following morning, Carruthers has abandoned the boat in favour of a hotel; Davies searches for him. He runs down Sielstraße in Greetsiel, with the Hohes Haus just right of centre and Am Neuen Deich crossing the canal left of shot.

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He reaches by the church in Hohe Straße.

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Later, after finding Carruthers, Davies meets Clara. Greetsiel, in front of the Hohes Haus on Sielstraße.

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Clara boards a boat to return to her father's yacht. Greetsiel, pan from capture 8

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Davies and Carruthers watch her leave. Hohes Haus on Sielstraße dressed as Bensersiel's Hafenkrug.

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The following day, returning from a trip, the two are hailed by Kommandant Von Brüning (Jurgen Andersen). Greetsiel harbour, view west towards Sielstraße.

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Walking back to the Dulcibella, they see a seaman without boots; they suspect this is the same man who fought with Carruthers earlier. Greetsiel, the north-western side of the harbour, walking down from Sielstraße.

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Opposite view from capture 12.

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Carruthers and Davies have spotted Clara's father entering a complex of buildings. Davies decides to investigate. This is almost certainly the former brickworks at Pilsum. The works was closed in 1972, and today lies derelict and overgrown.

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Making a hasty escape after being discovered, Davies runs along the roof of a building. That building has largely disappeared, but the large chimney behind remains.

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The two track down Dollmann (Alan Badel) aboard the ferry to Juist. Neuharlingersiel again; a view from the harbour looking south west with Janssen's Hotel centre of shot.

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Carruthers, on the pretence of returning to England, is shadowing Böehme. His train heads out of Bensersiel. The Medemblik-Hoorn Steam Railway is twinned with the Bluebell Railway, and via the grapevine comes the definitive identification. Mathé, the permanent way manager at Medemblik-Hoorn, immediately recognises this as the Midwoud/Oostwoud curve. We are looking southwest towards the village of Oostwoud. Thanks to Mathé for the info.

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The train arrives at Emden, and both Böehme and Carruthers disembark. Medemblik station, standing in for Emden.

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Carruthers has learned that Böehme is heading back to Bensersiel. He hurries to reach the harbour ahead of the German party. This time, Bensersiel is represented by Enkhuizen, Noord Holland. We are in Breedstraat, with numbers 153/155 just behind him.

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Bocht, Enkhuizen, at the bend that gives the street its name.