Winnetou Films (1962–1968)

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:23, topic:469”]It’s a Kara Ben Nemsi film, set in the Orient, so officially you can’t call it a western.
The funny thing is, when you watch it, you’ll have the idea you’re simply watching an Old Shatterhand movie that is a bit bizarre, as if the director wasn’t one hunderd percent concentrated.
Is that an Indian or is it Sam Hawkins in disguise?
No, it’s a Croat dressed up like a Sjeich, wenn ich mich nicht irre.
Otherwise everything is as usual: Lex is Barker, Croatia as much the Middle East as the far West and I guess May hardly ever saw an Arab (or an Apache for that matter).[/quote]

The thing is, that Old Shatterhand and Kara Ben Nemsi are the same persons. They both are the alter egos of Karl May. One in the west, one in the orient.

True.
I often heard he boasted he actually was OLd Shatterhand and Kara Ben Nemsi. I don’t know if that is true, but you easily recognize Karl May the teacher in both men. Even their names have a distinctive Karl May signature. Karl probably never visited most countries his stories are set in, but he did his home work very well.

The name of Old Shatterhand tells us that he is a very wise (Old) and strong (he has a shattering hand);
One of the funniest details is that Old Shatterhand is so strong that he must be careful not to hit people too hard.

Kara Ben Nemsi is also a name that tells us a lot about the men.
Ben = son of, so he is called Kara ‘son of’ Nemsi.
Kara refers to the verb qaara’a = to read, to recite (it has the same linguistic root as Qur’aan = the recite, the reading), so it indicates that the man can read, is, like Old Shatterhand, a wise man;
Nemsi is an ancient arabic word (I had to ask my arabic teacher about it) that means something like ‘daring’ or ‘courageous’;

In other words, Kara Ben Nemsi is presented as a wise man, a teacher, who is the son of a very brave, a daring man.

This is extremely intersting Scherp. !!! I was always wondering what Kara Ben Nemsi might mean !!! Now I know !!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

The German DVDS of the Kara Ben/Orient Films seem to all be in German only I would
wish to buy them but I need a Italian or English Audio language not any subs. :’(
I hope the German releasing companies put that matter right soon.

I like very much the idea of a detailed LIST, synopsis and evaluation of all Winnetou films

I found three boxsets of Karl May movies over at xploitedcinema.com and I plan on getting the one that has Winnetou 1-3. I’ve read about these movies and they definitely have some interest for fans of SW.

I like these movies very much, but have you ever watched one?
Please be beware that the Winnetou Movies are not similiar to SW.

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:31, topic:469”]I like this movies very much, but have you ever watched one?
Please be beware that the Winnetou Movies are not similiar to SW.[/quote]
Yeah I am aware they are different. thanks for mentioning it. I want to check out early SW and eurowesterns (ones before Leone’s style changed everything).

The best IMO are: I don’t know the exact english Names, : “Treasure of the Silverlake”, Winnetou 1 (with Mario Adorf as Villian), Winnetou 2 (with Terence Hill and with Klaus Kinski as bandit!), Winnetou 3 and “Winnetou and Old Shatterhand in the Valley of Death”. Pierre Price is Winnetou the Chief of the Mescalero Apache and Lex Barker is Old Shatterhand a Scout and the best Friend of Winnetou. How they became friends is explained in Winnetou 1. Winnetou 3 is the last adventure of Old Shatterhand and Winnetou. These Movies were all directed by Harald Reinl, the best Director of German Westerns.

Others are Frontier Hellcat, Rampage at Apache Well and Flaming Frontier. All with Stewart Granger as Old Surehand and with Pierre Price as Winnetou. And I think Terence Hill as Mario Girotti is also in all three.
Then there are Old Shatterhand (1964), Half-Breed (1966) and Thunder at the Border (1966). These three are weaker than the others IMO and Thunder at the Border is the weakest Winnetou Movie, I wouldn’t recommend to watch it. It is with Rod Cameron as Old Firehand and again with good Piere Price as Winnetou.
Then there are the Movies with Gojko Mitic, I must say I have never watched one so I cannot tell anything about them.

I havent’ yet seen any of the Winnetou films. Which ones do you think are the best? I believe they’re all available on dvd, right?

Start with Winnetou 1. Probably the best.

A bit late, the DVDs are on their way to the Lansipuisto in the beautiful city (I hope) of Pori, Suomi Finland
Otherwise I would have copied one or two Winnetou movies

I did a few reviews on several movies, haven’t done a general overview yet
Winnetou I + Treasure of the Silver lake are probably the best
I like the Winnetou movies, partly because I was brought up with them
I have absolutely no idea what people who are not brought up with Karl May (movies, books, cartoons etc.) think of it

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:36, topic:469”]A bit late, the DVDs are on their way to the Lansipuisto in the beautiful city (I hope) of Pori, Suomi Finland
Otherwise I would have copied one or two Winnetou movies

I did a few reviews on several movies, haven’t done a general overview yet
Winnetou I + Treasure of the Silver lake are probably the best
I like the Winnetou movies, partly because I was brought up with them
I have absolutely no idea what people who are not brought up with Karl May (movies, books, cartoons etc.) think of it[/quote]
that would be interesting to know as I am german and I think everybody that was born before the 90´s had his portion of Karl May, either in written form or as film, probably both. There is just no way for me to see any of those films and not think of childhood games playing cowboys and indians.

Does anyone own the relatively new German BluRays? I received info that they might be region free, wondering if that could be double checked

I don’t know how to check whether the Winnetou BDs are really region-free. I can’t play Blu-rays on my computer, and my DVD-BD player doesn’t give me that information (or I’m too stupid to figure out how to get it). On the back covers of the four Blu-ray box sets that I have, the following specifications are given:

Karl May Collection I
Der Schatz im Silbersee, Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi, Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand
Region codes: A, B, C
Audio: German and English

Karl May Collection II
Unter Geiern, Der Ölprinz, Old Surehand 1. Teil
Region codes: A, B, C
Audio: German and English

Karl May Winnetou I–III
Winnetou 1. Teil, Winnetou 2. Teil, Winnetou 3. Teil
Region codes: A, B, C
Audio: German and English

Karl May Shatterhand Box
Old Shatterhand, Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten
Region code: B
Audio: only German

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I’d say this and a report to that end I received are enough to confirm these region free . Thanks! And that is good news. I always like when companies ditch the region code (sometimes they cannot due to contractual reasons)

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Maybe this is of interest to someone, although I have my doubts. Anyway, here are all the Winnetou films, first in the order of their release date (directors, screenwriters, producers and main actors are also mentioned); then in a possible order with regard to the events depicted, i.e. in a narrative order from events before the meeting of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand in Apache Gold until Winnetou’s death in The Desperado Trail.

A.

  1. Der Schatz im Silbersee, Treasure of Silver Lake, December 12, 1962, Harald Reinl; H. G. Petersson; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Karin Dor
  2. Winnetou 1. Teil, Winnetou the Warrior / Apache Gold, December 11, 1963, Harald Reinl; H. G. Petersson; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Marie Versini
  3. Old Shatterhand, Apaches’ Last Battle, April 30, 1964, Hugo Fregonese; Ladislas Fodor, R. A. Stemmle; Artur Brauner; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Daliah Lavi
  4. Winnetou 2. Teil, Last of the Renegades / Winnetou: The Red Gentleman, September 17, 1964, Harald Reinl; H. G. Petersson; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Karin Dor
  5. Unter Geiern, Frontier Hellcat / Among Vultures, December 8, 1964, Alfred Vohrer; Eberhard Keindorff, Johanna Sibelius; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Stewart Granger, Elke Sommer
  6. Der Ölprinz, Rampage at Apache Wells / The Oil Prince, August 25, 1965, Harald Philipp; Fred Denger, Harald Philipp; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Stewart Granger, Macha Méril
  7. Winnetou 3. Teil, The Desperado Trail, October 14, 1965, Harald Reinl; J. Joachim Bartsch, Harald G. Petersson; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Sophie Hardy
  8. Old Surehand 1. Teil, Flaming Frontier, December 14, 1965, Alfred Vohrer; Fred Denger; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Stewart Granger, Letitia Roman
  9. Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi, Winnetou and the Crossbreed / Half-Breed, August 17, 1966, Harald Philipp; Fred Denger; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Uschi Glas
  10. Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand, Thunder at the Border / Winnetou and Old Firehand, December 13, 1966, Alfred Vohrer; David de Reszke, C. B. Taylor, Harald G. Petersson; Horst Wendlandt; Pierre Brice, Rod Cameron, Marie Versini
  11. Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten, Winnetou and Shatterhand in the Valley of Death / The Valley of Death, December 12, 1968, Harald Reinl; Alex Berg (Herbert Reinecker), Harald Reinl; Artur Brauner; Pierre Brice, Lex Barker, Karin Dor

B.

  1. Thunder at the Border
  2. Apache Gold
  3. Treasure of Silver Lake
  4. Apaches’ Last Battle
  5. Last of the Renegades
  6. Flaming Frontier
  7. Frontier Hellcat
  8. Rampage at Apache Wells
  9. Half-Breed
  10. The Valley of Death
  11. The Desperado Trail
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Interesting. Read all the books as a kid but too long ago to remember

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That’s great, I am interested in seeing these films and would rather get them in a boxset. I won’t miss anything now. Thanks Companero!

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The Winnetou films were loved and ridiculed, admired and despised. In the German-speaking countries almost everyone in the generations born between 1950 and 1980 grew up with these films. Whether one wanted to or not, one could practically not escape them – first they were shown and re-shown in the cinema and then constantly on television. The most interesting English-language Winnetou films study that I have read is by Lee Broughton and can be found in his excellent Euro-Western book. And one thing can be said with certainty about these Karl May film adaptations from the 1960s: they are unique.

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I was a 11 when I became aware of these films. They were recommended to me by a native American friend of my Dad’s.