27 April 2009

Ralph Cancy

Ralph Cancy was a one hit wonder of the German silent cinema.

Ralph Cancy
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4464/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Haas, Hamburg.

Stuart Webbs

Ralph Cancy (credited by IMDb and other sources as Clancy) starred in only one film, Das grüne Monokel/The Green Monocle (Rudolf Meinert, 1929), He was a debutant in a strong international cast, including Betty Bird, Suzy Vernon, Gaston Modot, Livio Pavanelli and Paul Hörbiger.

Das grüne Monokel/The Green Monocle was a German production by the Deutsches Lichtspiel-Syndikat AG (D.L.S.) in Berlin. The film script was written by Kurt I. Braun and Bob E. Luthge, and was based on the 1927 novel of the same name by Guido Kreutzer.

Das grüne Monokel was a detective film featuring one of the many detectives with English names created by the German cinema in the silent-film era as rivals to Sherlock Holmes.

Ralph Cancy played detective Stuart Webbs, who has many adventures in his quest to recover a stolen document. At one point he even impersonates the perpetrator he seeks to bring to justice.

Between 1914 and 1926, Stuart Webbs had been played by Ernst Reicher in dozens of silent films. In 1930 Stuart Webbs would return one last time in the silent film Masken/Masks (Rudolf Meinert, 1930). This time he was impersonated by Karl Ludwig Diehl.

Director Rudolf Meinert was Jewish and just a few years later he had to flee the Nazis. In the Netherlands he directed two more films, including the hit Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl With the Blue Hat (1934) starring Truus van Aalten. He died in London in 1945.

Why Ralph Cancy did not return as Webbs in Masken/Masks is unclear. He would never appear again on the screen.

Ernst Reicher
Ernst Reicher. German postcard by Photochemie, Berlin, no. K.1325.

Source: Siegbert Salomon Prawer (Between two worlds), and IMDb.

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