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The Sons of Great Bear (1966)

Die Söhne der großen Bärin (original title)
Although the Indians were assured their lands adjacent to the Black Hills by contract, the Whites want to expel them. Meanwhile, gold has been discovered there and the unscrupulous settler,... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gojko Mitic ...
Tokei-Ihto
Jirí Vrstála ...
Red Fox
Rolf Römer ...
Tobias
Hans Hardt-Hardtloff ...
Major Smith
Gerhard Rachold ...
Leutnant Roach
Horst Jonischkan ...
Adams
Jozef Majercík ...
Tschetansapa
Jozef Adamovic ...
Tschapa
...
Donner vom Berge
Hannjo Hasse ...
Pitt
Helmut Schreiber ...
Ben
Jozo Lepetic ...
Bill (as José Lepetic)
Rolf Ripperger ...
Jok
Brigitte Krause ...
Jenny
Karin Beewen ...
Cate
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Storyline

Although the Indians were assured their lands adjacent to the Black Hills by contract, the Whites want to expel them. Meanwhile, gold has been discovered there and the unscrupulous settler, Red Fox, demands of Mattotaupa, chief of the Bears Clan belonging to the Dakota tribe, to reveal to him the location of a cave with gold deposits. Mattotaupa refuses and is stabbed to death by Red Fox in the presence of his son Tokei-ihto. Lieutenant Roach orders Tokei-ihto to Fort Smith in order to negotiate. The son of the slain chief suspects that the Whites are planning an ambush, a fear that is confirmed when he encounters Red Fox there. Tokei-ihto refuses to move to a reservation in an infertile area with his tribe and is incarcerated. When the Dakota Indians have been defeated and resettled, he is released. Tokei-ihto learns of the murder of the senior chief Tashunka-witko. Tokei-ihto now wants to fulfill his legacy, escaping with the subgroup of his tribe to the fertile areas beyond the ... Written by DEFA Film Library

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Genres:

Western

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18 February 1966 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Nagy Medve fiai  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Eastern Bloc western
12 January 2013 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

The western genre had made its way to Europe in the '60s, as seen in the spaghetti westerns. Lesser known are the westerns that came from the Soviet bloc, sometimes called easterns (or Ostern). One of the most famous examples is Josef Mach's East German movie "Die Söhne der großen Bärin" ("The Sons of Great Bear" in English). We in the United States are used to seeing everyone in westerns speak English, even in the Italian westerns. Mach's movie turns the genre on its head, with every character speaking German, including the Indians. Picture it: American Indians, living in a village of tepees, all sound more like professors in a Berlin university.

The movie was no doubt intended as a sort of propaganda piece. The positive depiction of American Indians was in stark contrast to the John Wayne movies, and so the movie was indirectly denouncing the US. Star Gojko Mitić played Indians in a number of other DEFA movies, and became known as the most famous Indian in Eastern Europe, and even received an honorary title from the Ojibwa.

Anyway, it's a pretty impressive movie. A little bit laughable, but pretty fun.


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