» » Winnetou: The Red Gentleman (1964)

Short summary

When white settlers encroach on Indian lands, the Assiniboins declare war on the settlers. Apache chief Winnetou vows to help keep the peace between whites and natives. He saves the daughter of the Assiniboin chief and in return he asks for the lives of three troopers held captive by the tribe. Among the three captives is Lt. Robert Merril, son of fort commander Col. J.F. Merril. Meanwhile, crooked oilman Bud Forrester schemes to start a war between the Army and the natives. Forrester sends his men to attack wagon trains and settlements and he blames the Indians. By starting a conflict between Indians and the Army, Forrester hopes to grab Indian land that is rich in oil. Frontier scout Old Shatterhand, Apache chief Winnetou and British adventurer Lord Castlepool join forces in an attempt to stop oilman Bud Forrester from succeeding with his evil plan. Also, fort commander Col. J.F. Merril offers his assistance to Winnetou in hunting down of those responsible for the latest attacks and...

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Cerana
    This is only the second of the long-running series of German produced Westerns filmed in Yugoslavia by cult director Harald Reinl that I have been fortunate to see, but is at least as good as TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE if not somewhat more polished of a production. Euro ManBeef matinée idol & former Tarzan star Lex Barker (of Reinl's CASTLE OF THE WALKING DEAD) returns as Karl May's "Old Shatterhand", a white man trained in the ways of the Native American Indian tribes who roams the west with the "noble Apache chief" Winnetou, played by European genre film favorite Pierre Brice (Ferroni's MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN) as the two work tirelessly to bring peace between the white man & the Natives upon who's land their settlements are inevitably encroaching.

    This time around the story is a bit more epic in nature, with Winnetou sacrificing his love for the Apache princess Ribanna (future James Bond femme fatale Karin Dor from YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) to a young Yankee cavalry officer played by future TRINITY film favorite Terence Hill, in a bid for peace between the two factions. Caught between those forces of good -- yes, the Indians are the good guys here, working with the white man -- is a ruthless oil baron played with scathing efficiency by Anthony Steele, with Klaus Kinski heading his band of cuthroat scumbag unwashed sweaty greasy cowboys, hell bent on inciting war between the Yankees and Apaches for their own personal gain.

    Quite simply put the cast alone makes this entry in the series a delight, but when coupled with somewhat higher production standards and coupled again with Martin Böttcher iconic, popular music score (which was a top 40 hit for years in Germany) the film attains a kind of sweeping, lofty "larger than life" quality that ranks it amongst the finest Westerns from the early 1960s regardless of the country of origin. The script is never talky, with not one wasted scene or unnecessary discussion, and a decidedly more humanist touch than the treasure hunting escapades from SILVER LAKE.

    One of the most fascinating aspects of these films are the Yugoslavian locales used for the filming, which have a unique flavor that sets them apart from both the Italian Spaghetti Westerns filmed in Spain and the more familiar American made productions with their Monument Valley landscapes. And the attention to detail this time out is much more effective, with the Yugoslavian extras playing the Apache tribes coming off as a people rather than just a supporting choir decked out in leatherskins.

    That's another aspect that makes these Karl May Westerns somewhat remarkable: They were certainly more advanced and sympathetic in how they depicted the Native Americans than even our own domestic productions of the time ("F TROOP", anyone?) where the Natives are either depicted as pop-up targets for the action sequences or comic relief drunks. You get a real feel for them as a dignified population who are forced to embrace the arrival of the white man with a sense of chagrin, and this story's focus revolves around efforts to undue whatever goodwill might exist between the two civilizations.

    They key to the equation is of course Barker's Shatterhand and Brice's Winnetou, each having earned the respect time and again of the otherwise opposing sides. And it's interesting to see the usual cowboy types as the source of the conflict, with the US Cavalry depicted as just going about their job rather than slaughtering the Indians indiscriminately. Try weighing this positive message against the completely negative and one-sided approach used in the dreadful SOLDIER BLUE, which potentially could have told more or less the same story if it's makers had cared about the Natives as anything other but pawns in their social agenda.

    If the film has any weaknesses it is the usual aspects of Anglo European types aping Native Americans, some of the on screen treatment of the horses used is questionable, and perhaps certain anachronisms like a 48 star American flag shown flapping heroically in the wind. But the dignity and sheer artiness & atmosphere more than compensate: A special film that deserves some kind of re-release, just as good now as it was in 1964, with nary a mean spirited bone in it's larger than life body. Remarkable, really.

  • comment
    • Author: Zyangup
    Adventures , action , crossfire and gorgeous Yugoslavian exteriors magnificently photographed .This is a thrilling and stirring adventure based on Karl May trilogy with two agreeable characters as Old Shatterhand and Winnitou, being stunningly played by Lex Barker and Pierre Brice respectively . It deals with Forester (the British Anthony Steel), a ruthless oil baron, who spreads a reign of terror from the badlands of Oklahoma to the hell-hills of the Dakotas and attempts to take Indian lands where there's petroleum . He wants to create a war between the native American tribes and the white men . Then there takes place an emotive meeting between and Winnetou (Pierre Brice) and Old Shatterhand (Lex Barker who married Spanish Carmen Cervera who subsequently wedded Braon Thyssen) .Old Shatterhand, Winnetou and their sidekick Castlepool (Arent) try to prevent this . Meanwhile Apache chief Winnetou saves a girl from a bear attack and then he falls in love for the gorgeous Indian (Karin Dor who married to director Harald Reinl) . They free three US soldiers taken prisoners by the Ponka tribe . They are joined by an army party and an amateur botanist to track down the outlaws .There is also a Lt. named Robert (Terence Hill or Mario Girotti previously his successful ¨Trinity¨) from the Army helping the group and he also falls in love with the Indian girl ,and takes place a particular loving triangle between Pierre Brice , Terence Hill and Karin Dor (of ¨Topaz¨ and appeared in other Karl May films as white woman) . Old Shatterland and his faithful half-brother are on the trail to chase the nasty Forester . In spite of troubles caused by bandits led by Luke (Klaus Kinski) who attack and massacre an Indian village , they get escape . Old Shatterhand set out on pursuit of the bandits and prepares them a trap . But when Shatterhand rides for military help against Forester's gang who captured their companions, he finds the tribe's friendly chief succeeded by his hostile Indians who prove to be a dangerous enemy . Later on , Winnetou attempts a treaty of peace and prepares a summit between the Indian tribes and the Northern Colonel (Renato Baldini). At the end , into a cave occurs a breathtaking epilogue by means of shootouts , explosions and fire .

    This Western|Adventure results to be an acceptable episode about one of the series of popular German made Western , featuring the duo formed by valiant ¨Old Shatterhand¨ who agrees to guide the motley group trough Indian territory and immortal ¨Winnetou¨ , both of them repeat their same notorious roles as dignified as always . This enjoyable saga benefits from sensational adventures , shootouts , explosions , exciting combats, larger-than-life characters and spectacular scenarios shot in Atelier, Spandau, Berlin, Germany (studio),Grobnicko Polje, Croatia ,Kredarica, Lukovo, Plitvice, Yugoslavia ,Postojna cave, Radmanove Linice valley,Stobrec quarry, Yugoslavia,cement factory, Solin, Split, Croatia

    Winnetou-Pierre Brice repeats , as usual, his excellent and immortal role to be continued in a TV series. Lex Barker scores especially high marks , though he plays as a serious and intelligent frontiersman . Enjoyable relationship between Old Shatterhand and Winnetou is quite match . Pierre Brice is sensational as Winnetou , he is descendant of old French nobility , after enlisting as volunteer to the French Army and fighting in Indochina, he attended acting lessons and got a first small role in some film . In 1962, a German producer searched for an actor who should play the Native American chief Winnetou on a Western movie adapted from novels by Karl May and got to know Brice at the Berlin Film Festival. He got the role and portrayed "Winnetou" in ten more movies with his co-star Lex Barker as "Old Shatterhand". These very successful productions made him a superstar in Germany, winning several awards such as Bambi or the Golden Otto of teenager magazine "Bravo". Furthermore , received Germany's Cross of Merit, First Class as one the most popular Frenchmen in Germany . Although appearing on countless other movies and TV shows, he will always be best remembered as "Winnetou", whom he also played at the Bad Segeberg open air theater.

    The highbrow Lex Barker who like his co-star and good friend Pierre Brice started a singing career and released several records and played the most part of series : ¨Apache gold(1963)¨ by Harald Reinl, ¨Apaches last Battle(1964)¨ by Hugo Fregonese, ¨Last of renegades(1964)¨, ¨The desperate trail¨, ¨Old Surehand¨ (1965) directed by Alfred Vohrer, ¨Old Shatterland(1966)¨ by Harald Philipp, ¨In the valley of death(1968)¨ by Harald Reinl . Stewart Granger took the role in two occasions ,he starred a diverse character but the role is pretty similar to Old Shatterland , he plays with mirth and liking manner as ¨Among vultures¨ and ¨Winnetou and Surehand¨ .Besides Rod Cameron starred only one : ¨Old Firehand¨ in which chemistry between stuffy Cameron and Brice is inexistent . The film displays a colorful cinematography and a catching , sensible musical score ,though with excessive use of synthesizer by Martin Bottcher , series' ordinary , being eventually replaced in some episode by Peter Thomas . The motion picture produced by Rialto Productions is professionally directed by Harald Reinl who realized various Karl May titles , besides he was a German thriller expert called Krimi - Edward Wallace adaptation- and filmed other Western as ¨The last Mohican¨ and a epic rendition , ¨Nibelungen ¨ also with Terence Hill and his wife Karin Dor ; unfortunately Harald Reinl died a few years ago , he committed suicide in Santa Cruz De Tenerife , Islas Canarias . Rating : 6 , acceptable and passable . Worthwhile seeing for marvelous landscapes and breathtaking outdoors from Yugoslavia and Croatia.
  • comment
    • Author: Heri
    This is an epic western-adventure-movie. It is highly entertaining and has in fact the potential of being a lot better than it is. Dances with Wolves reminds me a lot of this movie. And with a better script and stronger directing Winnetou II could have been a timeless piece of art like the Costner movie. The yugoslavian landscape seems a bit out of place sometimes, but the movie has a lot of the "Karl May - feeling".
  • comment
    • Author: Irostamore
    This one is regarded as one of the best "Karl-May-Movies" and is my personal favorite too. Lex Barker and Pierre Brice as the famous friends Winnetou and Old Shatterhand - as dignified as always. Supported by young Terence Hill in an early important part and the best cast ever seen in a May-Movie: Klaus Kinski, Anthony Steel, Karin Dor and the gorgeous yugoslavian actors Mirko Boman and Gojko Mitic. There is an emotional and thrilling story about Winnetou and his love Ribanna. Director Reinl - husband of Ribanna-performer Karin Dor - did an excellent job: There are great shootings of the landscape and the romantic May-feeling is stronger than ever before or after this little masterpiece.
  • comment
    • Author: Dishadel
    "Winnetou 2" is the lucky one of the Winnetou trilogy, because in between the tragic events of part 1 and 3, none of the central characters needs to die. So it's a somewhat easier going show with a lot of great actors: a very young Terence Hill (then still Mario Girotti), Klaus Kinski, and notably Karin Dor ("The Green Archer", "You Only Live Twice") as Ribanna who falls in love with Winnetou but is expected to marry Lt.Merril for the sake of peace. Very impressive are the scene with countless extras (i.e. the meeting of the Indian chieftains) and in the cave when Winnetou comes to the rescue of Ribanna - and Merril whom he doesn't bear a grudge, that's noble Apaches for you. Director Reinl would take Lex Barker and Karin Dor into an even scarier place later with "Castle of the Walking Dead" ("Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel"). To sum it up: "Winnetou 2" was a good sequel that disappointed none of the audience, therefore part 3 was immediately on the schedule.
  • comment
    • Author: Small Black
    "Winnetou - 2. Teil" is a West German co-production with several other countries from over 50 years ago. It is directed by Harald Reinl and is based on the Winnetou works of author Karl May. There have been actually several other Winnetou films before this one, but still it is among the most known the series has to offer. But hopefully not among the best as this was a fairly disappointing watch for the most part. It began bearable, but the longer it went, the less interesting it became. I have seen some of these films and I must say the biggest problem here is that in terms of the main characters, there is only 100% good or 100% evil. There are absolutely no shades in there and when we finally find people who have shades (such as Terence Hill's character's dad), then the roles are either too small that it does not make a difference in the grand scheme of things or the characters are just written in a way that has only one intention: make the main characters even more "shadeless". Apart from Mabuse (Barker shows up there too) and Edgar Wallace (some films with Dor), these European westerns were among the most popular the craft had to offer back around that era. So it should be no surprise that this film here also won a Golden Screen. But quantity is no guarantee for quality here I must say and I also personally do not see Pierre Brice as a particularly gifted actor. He lives more through the never-ending goodness and understanding of his character that comes with the most pretentious quotes you could imagine. I don't think this film would be received well if it was made today. So yeah, it may have been famous back then, but it has not aged well at all. Noweher near in terms of quality compared to what Italy and the United States produced at this point and I am writing this as a great Terence Hill (and Bud Spencer fan). Thumbs down and I am glad this was not too long of a film, only slightly over 90 minutes.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Lex Barker Lex Barker - Old Shatterhand
    Pierre Brice Pierre Brice - Winnetou
    Anthony Steel Anthony Steel - Bud Forrester
    Karin Dor Karin Dor - Ribanna
    Klaus Kinski Klaus Kinski - David 'Luke' Lucas
    Renato Baldini Renato Baldini - Col. J.F. Merril
    Terence Hill Terence Hill - Lt. Robert Merril (as Mario Girotti)
    Marie-Noëlle Barre Marie-Noëlle Barre - Susan Merril (as Marie Noëlle)
    Ilija Ivezic Ilija Ivezic - Red (as Elija Ivejic)
    Velimir Chytil Velimir Chytil - Carter (as Velemir Hitil)
    Stojan 'Stole' Arandjelovic Stojan 'Stole' Arandjelovic - Caesar (as Stole Arandjelovic)
    Djordje Nenadovic Djordje Nenadovic - Capt. Bruce
    Mirko Boman Mirko Boman - Gunstick Uncle
    Rikard Brzeska Rikard Brzeska - Tah-Sha-Tunga
    Eddi Arent Eddi Arent - Lord Castlepool
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