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Old Shatterhand

Apaches Last Battle
Battaglia di Fort Apache / Les Cavaliers Rouges / Shatterhand

West Germany/Italy/France/Yugoslavia 1964
produced by
Artur Brauner for CCC-Filmkunst, Serena Film, Critérion Film, Avala Film
directed by Hugo Fregonese
starring Lex Barker, Pierre Brice, Guy Madison, Daliah Lavi, Rik Battaglia, Gustavo Rojo, Ralf Wolter, Kitty Mattern, Bill Ramsey, Alain Tissier, Charles Fawcett, Nikola Popovic, Mirko Ellis, Tom Putzgruber, James Burke, Zivojin Denic, Nikola Ilic, Ulla Moritz, Stevan Petrovic, Dusko Radojcic, Uwe Rehse, Vladimir Sovanovic, Peter Mönch, Aleksandar Djuric, Vojkan Pavlovic, Mirko Boman, Georg Attlfellner, Milivoje Popovic-Mavid, Gojko Mitic
screenplay by Ladislas Fodor, Robert A.Stemmle, based on characters created by Karl May, music by Riz Ortolani

Winnetou, CCC-Filmkunst's Winnetou, Old Shatterhand, Karl May at CCC-Filmkunst

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Someone wants to incite war between the Apache Indians and the white settlers, by getting some Comanches drunk, make them burn down homesteads, then leave corpses of previously killed Apaches at the scene of the crime, and voilà, the Apache's get the blame, and the treaty Apache chieftain Winnetou (Pierre Brice) and white General Taylor (Charles Fawcett) are to sign isn't worth the paper it's written on. What nobody knows of course is that the general's right-hand man Captain Bradley (Guy Madison) is behind everything, basically because he wants the Apaches' land for himself.

Winnetou and his white bloodbrother Old Shatterhand (Lex Barker) investigate the alleged Apache murders and soon find a young boy who can testify that it wasn't the Apaches who killed his parents in an alleged Apache raid but the Comanches. However, when Bradley learns about this, he has the boy shot dead.

Much to and fro ensues, and eventually, Winnetou's foster son Tujunga (Alain Tissier) is captured by Bradley's man and incarcerated in the fort Bradley has in the meantime taken over. Winnetou wants to attack, but Old Shatterhand smells a trap and tries to free Tujunga single-handedly - but unsuccessfully. Now Winnetou and all local tribes attack the fort, but at first they seem to be no match for the fort's heavy arsenal, especially the cannons. But then, Winnetou has the cannons lassoed out of the fort and sets fire to the fort, which eventually falls when the ammunition depot explodes. And then the real army arrives to arrest treacherous Bradley and bring law and order to the region. Tujunga though had to bravely let his life in the battle.

Ralf Wolter plays scout Sam Hawkens in this one, Rik Battaglia and Gustavo Rojo, who would become regulars in Karl May adaptations, have their Karl May-debuts as Guy Madison helpers, and while Daliah Lavi has no narrative meaning in this movie, she at least has a nude scene ...

 

After the Winnetou-movies of rival producer Rialto raked in heaps of money, notorious bandwagon jumper Artur Brauner decided he wanted to have a piece of the pie and just hired that series main actors - Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Ralf Wolter - to appear in their familiar roles in a Winnetou-movie from his production house CCC-Filmkunst. The result though is modest at best (if still an enormous success at the box office of course): Basically, the film hasn't got much of a story to tell, but still overconvolutes its feeble plot with subplots and characters nobody needs, and neither subplots nor characters are particularly well developed, either. Worse yet, neither Pierre Brice nor Lex Barker as the lead characters get particularly much to do in this one, while Hollywood veteran Guy Madison just isn't a particularly good villain. And globetrotting director Hugo Fregonese certainly knows how to do Westerns, but he's less than able to recreate the fairytale-like atmosphere the Winnetou-movies have become associated with.

In all, a disappointment.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD