Old Shatterhand (1964)


Introduction

The film Old Shatterhand (known as Apaches’ Last Battle in the UK) is a successful Eurowestern based on the character Old Shatterhand, written by German novelist Karl May and part of the Winnetou series.

Outline

Killings of innocent ranchers indicate the Apaches have broken the peace treaty. Old Shatterhand, blood brother of the Apache chief Winnetou, finds out that ruthless land grabbers did the killings, hoping to start off a war between the Indians and the settlers, and follows the trail right back to the gates of the cavalry’s fort.

Cast

  • Lex Barker … Old Shatterhand.
  • Pierre Brice … Winnetou.
  • Daliah Lavi … Paloma.
  • Guy Madison … Captain Bradley.
  • Ralf Wolter … Sam Hawkens (as Ralph Wolter).
  • Gustavo Rojo … Corporal Bush.
  • Rik Battaglia … Dixon.
  • Kitty Mattern … Rosemary (as Kitty Matern).
  • Charles Fawcett … General Taylor.
  • Mirko Ellis … Joe Burker.
  • Bill Ramsey … Timple.
  • Nikola Popovic … Sheriff Brandon (as Nicol Popovic).
  • Tom Putzgruber … Tom Kampendijk.
  • Joe D’Amato … Colonel Hunter (as Jim Burke).

Production

Background

After the success of director Harald Reinl’s Treasure of Silver Lake (Der Schatz im Silbersee) in 1962 produced by Horst Wendlandt for Rialto Film, his rival Artur Brauner from CCC Film also wanted to have his share in this upcoming series. Since Wendlandt got the rights for the original Karl May novels (although none of his films ever got too close to their respective plots), Brauner only had the chance of making a movie “inspired by” Karl May, using some of the already known characters portrayed by American Lex Barker as “Old Shatterhand” and Frenchman Pierre Brice as “Winnetou”.

American Guy Madison, who had starred in the television series The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, played one of the bad guys and Israeli actress Daliah Lavi was one of the “damsels in distress” before turning to a singing career, as did American Bill Ramsey, the comic part in this movie, already known in Germany for his Schlager music and later jazz songs.

One mystery remained from the movie: today no one remembers who the original singer was of the song “Nothing To Say” (Die Stunde kam) by saloon singer Rosemarie, played by actress Kitty Mattern.

Release

In West Germany, it was the second top-grossing film of 1964, selling 7.5 million tickets. In France, it was the 52nd top-grossing film of 1965, selling 1,013,075 tickets. In the Soviet Union, the film sold 27.6 million tickets. This adds up to a total of 36,113,075 tickets sold worldwide.

Awards

Goldene Leinwand (Golden Screen) for over 3 million viewers within 12 months, presented on 08 October 1965 at Gloria-Palast cinema, Berlin.

Trivia

  • It is a West German CCC Film production co-produced with French, Italian, and Yugoslav companies and filmed in 70mm.
  • Financed with roughly DM 5,000,000, the film was the most expensive Karl May western.
  • Composer Riz Ortolani used a chorus for his film score.
  • It was shot at the Spandau Studios in Berlin and on location in Croatia including at the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  • The film’s sets were designed by the art director Otto Pischinger.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Hugo Fregonese.
  • Producer(s):
    • Artur Brauner … producer.
    • Georg M. Reuther … line producer.
  • Writer(s):
    • Karl May … (by).
    • Ladislas Fodor … (screenplay).
    • Robert A. Stemmle … (screenplay) (as R.A. Stemmle).
  • Music:
    • Riz Ortolani.
  • Cinematography:
    • Siegfried Hold.
  • Editor(s):
    • Alfred Srp.
  • Production:
    • Central Cinema Company Film (CCC) (as CCC Filmkunst).
    • Serena Film (co-production).
    • Critérion Film (co-production).
    • Avala Film (associate production).
  • Distributor(s):
    • Omnia Deutsche Film Export (1964) (World-wide) (theatrical).
    • M.C.S Film Distributors (1964) (Italy) (theatrical) (as M.C.M.).
    • Constantin Film (1965) (Germany) (theatrical).
    • Dicifrance (1965) (France) (theatrical).
    • Golden Era Film Distributors (GEF) (1965) (UK) (theatrical) (dubbed).
    • Triangelfilm (1965) (Norway) (theatrical).
    • Wivefilm (1965) (Sweden) (theatrical).
    • D.A.S.A. (1967) (Argentina) (theatrical).
    • Don Kay Associates (1968) (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed).
    • Goldstone Film Enterprises (1968) (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed).
    • MasterTape (2003) (Russia) (DVD).
    • Seven Keys (1975) (Australia) (theatrical) (as ‘Apache’s Last Stand’).
    • Polyband & Toppic Video / WVG (1990) (West Germany) (VHS).
    • MNTEX Entertainment (1993) (USA) (VHS).
    • Polyband & Toppic Video / WVG (2002) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Video Film Express (2006) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Karl May’s Winnetou Collection Vol. 4).
    • Universum Film (UFA) (2007) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Universum Film (UFA) (2012) (Germany) (DVD).
    • Connoisseur Video (UK) (VHS).
    • Sinister Cinema (USA) (VHS) (as ‘Apache’s Last Stand’).
    • Something Weird Video (SWV) (USA) (VHS).
  • Release Date: 30 April 1964 (US).
  • Rating: U.
  • Running Time: 122 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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