Somewhere between "M" and "Psycho", this is an expertly made crime thriller about child molestation. Switzerland's orderly system and institutional impersonality finds its dark alter ego in the disconnected peddler (an excellent Simon), in community stigma and in sexual repression. Fröbe is imposing and in spite the predictable finale, it is an involving and handsome film, sharp in its dissection of psychopathology.
I love Sean Penn's adaptation of the same source material, The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson as the retiring police officer who refuse to close a child murder case. This one is the original swiss-german adaptation; it's not as bleak as Penn's version, but just as engaging and well told. Gert Fröbe is an effective villain, and Ladislao Vajda makes the film look and sound as it was directed by Hitchcock.