The Treasure of the Silver Lake / Der Schatz im Silbersee (Harald Reinl, 1962)


(scherpschutter) #1

Made in 1962, in a pre-Leone Europe, this was the first adaptation of a Karl May novel set in the West. Its succes (more than 3 million visitors within 12 months) not only made European film producers aware of the possibilities of unpretentious American style action movies, but also created the cultural context for the spaghetti western.

Read the the rest of this review here:

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Treasure_of_Silver_Lake_Review


(Stanton) #2

The film had about 25 million spectators in Germany alone. An enormous success.

With 3 mio the film would have been only a moderate success.

Titanic : 18 mio in the united Germany
Lord of the Rings: 10-12 mio

But that was another time, a time in which cinema owners must have been much happier people than today.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #3

TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE 1962 LEX BARKER Pierre Brice

Directed by : Harald Reinl

TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE 1962 was not only extremely popular in Germany but also
all over Europe and it is one of the GREATEST SW/EURO WESTERNS ever made.
HARALD REINL is one of the world’s most talented/prolific/outstanding Film Directors.
WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY 1966 with Karin Dor , Maria Marlow was Reinl’s
1966 epic masterpiece. :slight_smile:


(scherpschutter) #4

@ Stanton

The 3 million visitors within 12 months are mentioned on IMDb and the German Wikipedia site of the movie (the film received a ‘Goldene Leinband’ for it)

Could you give me the site where you get your 18 million spectators from?


(Stanton) #5

Scherp, I had found this information somewhere in the net, but I don’t remember where, and I don’t remember the exact number, but it was over 20 mio, an amazing sum.

Films in Germany had much more visitors in the 50s and early 60s like e.g. in the 70s. The 25 mio seem likely for me.

Die goldene Leinwand is, like you said, for films with 3 mio spectators within 12 months, but of course that doesen’t mean that these films didn’t had much more success.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #6

Lex Barker Pierre Brice In TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE 1962


(scherpschutter) #7

[quote=“stanton, post:5, topic:870”]Scherp, I had found this information somewhere in the net, but I don’t remember where, and I don’t remember the exact number, but it was over 20 mio, an amazing sum.

Films in Germany had much more visitors in the 50s and early 60s like e.g. in the 70s. The 25 mio seem likely for me.

Die goldene Leinwand is, like you said, for films with 3 mio spectators within 12 months, but of course that doesen’t mean that these films didn’t had much more success.[/quote]

I’ll find the info. I’ll concentrate on German sites, they’re the best for these films I suppose.

I’ve planned to discuss the most important Winnetou & Old Shatterhand movies here in the near future
People can add (or correct) info, and eventually we can turn these reviews into official ones
The films were important for the European production of western movies in the 60s

What you say about the 3 million/12 months and the Goldene Leinwand is of course true, films can have a continuing story of succes. But this would mean that the film was not only an instant succes, but also a real sleeper: as far as I know, most visitors for a movie go to the cinema when the film is first released. I remember that some of the Winnetou movies were shown in cinemas in Holland and Belgium on a (more or less) regular base during the 60s, but usually in so-called ‘matinees’ : afternoon showings for children.


(Phil H) #8

It was a lot easier for films to be ‘sleepers’ in those days as you say. With no video, films often replayed in theatres for years after their first release. Especially films with family appeal. Disney are a perfect example of course. They had a regular 7 year cycle of re releasing all their animated classics every seven years as a new generation arrived who hadn’t seen them before. I also remember being taken to see The Wizard of Oz as a child and that must have been almost 30 years after its original release.


(scherpschutter) #9

You’re absolutely right. In july and august nearly every two or three years films like The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, The Wizard of Oz and the likes were shown. But apart from such family viewings, there were also regular showings of films like The Guns of Navarone, Were Eagles Dare, The Longest Day and Spartacus, so films appealing to teenagers. I guess I’ve seen all those films for the first time during summer holidays. By the way: I’ve seen films like Once upon a Time in the West and The Wild Bunch at least three times in cinema: they popped up regularly. Those were the days.


(Stanton) #10

Yes, different times.

Films where started, before Jaws opened the blockbuster era, only with a limited number of copies, so that films were shown in small towns weeks or even months after their release.

I know that several german "Heimat"films in the 50s had also over 20 mio spectators.

Even Ingmar Bergman’s scandal success The Silence (Tystnaden) reached about 12 or 15 mio people in Germany.


(Phil H) #11

Also (although of course this doesn’t affect ticket sale numbers) they used to show films continuosly so if you went into the cinema for the 11 o’clock show and really liked it you could stay in and watch it all over again. As a kid (and teenager) I used to do this alot. Also arrive half way through the second feature and if it was good, stay on to see the beginning later on.

Those really were the days.


(R-T-C Tim) #12

Just a note in response to the OP’s review - the German DVD includes English subs for the scenes with no English dubbing.

I rather enjoyed this one, although the Surehand films were always my favourite. Was there any genre of films that Herbert Lom did not star in?

My review: Treasure of Silver Lakehttp://mondo-esoterica.net/Treasure%20Silver%20Lake.html.


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #13

[quote=“R-T-C Tim, post:12, topic:870”]Just a note in response to the OP’s review - the German DVD includes English subs for the scenes with no English dubbing.

I rather enjoyed this one, although the Surehand films were always my favourite. Was there any genre of films that Herbert Lom did not star in?

My review: Treasure of Silver Lakehttp://mondo-esoterica.net/Treasure%20Silver%20Lake.html.[/quote]

HERBERT LOM has had a magnificent Euro Cult Films career and is one of the best.
I liked your review very much Tim , keep up the good work on your site.
My favourites are also the Old Surehand SW films with STEWART GRANGER.


(Bill san Antonio) #14

How’s the quality/language options on dutch Winnetou sets? I noticed they’re pretty cheap at free record shop.


(scherpschutter) #15

Most films have German and English audio, but due to the fact that the films were shown initially in a cut version, the English audio is incomplete. There are only Dutch subtitles. Some of the lesser known films (not released theatrically I suppose) have only German audio.


(Romaine Fielding) #16

I watched this movie for the second time a couple of days ago.
The story and the character motivations are (imo) juvenial.
But the film is amazing looking. The locations look almost mythical. They don’t quite pass for the real American west but that kind of seems approriate. Real and not real at the same time.
As an American not knowing much about the utlra-popular (in Germany) Karl May, I can’t view this film as an adaptation of a May novel. I wonder how the viewing experience is different (enhanced?) by having read May.
I liked this movie better on second viewing.
The action sequences are just great. The attack on Butler’s farm (fort!) is exciting and very intense.
As I said, I watched this a couple of days ago and the music is still stuck in my head. Very pleasantly stuck.
The UFA/Tobis DVDs are amazing looking.
I wish all the May films were availble in English.
I read a really interesting essay called “Finding a new Heimat in the Wild West: Karl May and German Western of the 1960s” by Tassilo Schneider.
There is a dearth of info about the Karl May westerns written in English so this short essay is really informative.
Schneider also talks about the Edgar Wallace adaptations done by the Germans during the same time the Winnetou films were being made.


(ENNIOO) #17

Glad the start voice over did not last long. Did not recognise Herbot Lom at first, as so young looking. Was trying to figure out whether it was his own voice on the German dub. Did not like Shatterhand with his beard at the start, as it looked stuck on. The battle at the house with the wooden wall was my favourite action moment. Could have done without the section where Shatterhand goes to the Indian camp, and proves what a man has to do. Just do not care for such scenes. Thinking how are duo are a little on the nosey side getting involved helping people out. I mean they do not strike me the type of guys to kick back and have a beer. But on the otherhand if they did we would not have the same story. Like treasure hunt films so probably the Winnitou film I have enjoyed the most so far.


(scherpschutter) #18

I have revised the review of this movie:

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Treasure_of_Silver_Lake_Review

I have transferred the info on the DVD to the appropriate page:

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Schatz_im_Silbersee,_Der/DVD

I’ll have a close look at all my reviews in the next few weeks, but unless major changes are made, I will only announce them here, and not on the Main Page


(Phil H) #19

With all the work Scherp has put into the Karl May reviews thought it was about time I watched some of the films. I know these are standards in Germany but I really don’t remember them being shown in the UK. Maybe the Stewart Grainger ones. I’m not sure. But this was my first viewing of anything from the series that I can recall and it was a pleasant experience.

Pure Saturday matinee stuff of course but I have a nostalgic fondness for such things. Always enjoy seeing Herbert Lom and he doesn’t disappoint here but the real star is the scenery. Breathtaking. Makes you want to visit Yugoslavia. Or Croatia anyhow.

All in all decent fun and an easy ride for me and the daughters. I’ll be checking out some other May for sure.