The Germans have long loved Westerns, and they made their own; this East German production from 1967 is based on James Fenimore Cooper's The Deerslayer, set among warring Hurons, Delawares, British redcoats, and a few French in the Lake Ontario region. It has its charms, including some beautiful natural settings, but it's of interest mostly as a curiosity. The Indians (you get a feeling many of them are blonds wearing black wigs and bronzer) perform campy ceremonial dances and apparently lift weights (a lot); as the Last of the Mohicans, Yugo actor Gojko Mitic is quite the hunk. The action and fight scenes are very mild (clearly intended for a 1960s kiddie audience). Sometimes the music (including some jazz) seems wildly inappropriate. The best thing this movie might do is make you question the assumptions implicit in US Westerns, and whether they were any more accurate about Native Americans and American history.
A word about the DVD released in the US in 2006: although the color is good, the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio is cropped to 1.66:1, losing any sense of widescreen spectacle (and sometimes obscuring characters or action); also, the English subtitles are poorly placed and may run off the bottom of the screen on some TVs. Even a movie that is little more than a curiosity deserves better presentation than this.
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