Apaches Last Battle
Battaglia di Fort Apache / Les Cavaliers Rouges / Shatterhand
West Germany / Italy / France / Yugoslavia 1964
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
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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.
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
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.