When violent conflict breaks out between greedy railroaders and a tribe of Mescalero Apaches, only two men, destined to be blood brothers, can prevent all-out war: chief's son Winnetou and German engineer Old Shatterhand.
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The construction of the Great Western Railroad creates heavy conflict between the railway company and neighboring Indian tribes. Worse, criminal gang leader Santer sets his eyes on a gold mine located on holy Indian land and influences the construction supervisor to re-rout the planned railroad straight through Apache land. Old Shatterhand, who works as a measurement technician, discovers the evil plan and searches contact with the Apaches in an effort to avert war. Written by
"Winnetou 1" is packed with images not only I shall remember forever: the train crashing into the house, Nscho-tschi sitting on the edge of the canyon (shot in Yugoslavia as usual for the Karl May productions), Klekih Petra giving his life to save Winnetou, Old Shatterhand freeing Winnetou secretly, and much later becoming blood brothers. This is a myth larger than life, and it is admirable how well balanced it is with all its ingredients, Ralf Wolter playing the funny Sam Hawkens and Mario Adorf the intense villain Santer, while Marie Versini as Nscho-tschi adds a bit of romance. How often do you find a movie that has nothing to improve and you wish you just could see again and again? Yet I do understand people who think this is a naive or even lame flick
they just weren't at the cinema all those years ago, I suppose.
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