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The Treasure of the Silver Lake (1962)

Der Schatz im Silbersee (original title)
3:44 | Trailer
In their first cinematic adventure, Apache chief Winnetou and mountain man Old Shatterhand pursue a gang of murderous outlaws who will stop at nothing to find the legendary treasure of Silver Lake.


Harald Reinl


Karl May (novel), Harald G. Petersson (screenplay) (as H.G. Petersson)
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On her b-day, settler's daughter Apanatschi receives her father's secret gold mine but greedy neighboring prospectors resort to murder and kidnapping in order to get the gold, forcing the girl and her brother to seek Winnetou's protection.

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Apache Chief Winnetou and scout Old Surehand team-up to assist a wagon-train of settlers who are threatened by the machinations of an unscrupulous crook known as the Oil Prince.

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When a villain named "the Shoot" terrorizes the constituents of Albanian country, which he rules. Heroic Kara Ben Nemsi (Lex Barker), and his sidekick are the only ones who can stop him

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After dealing with the Shut in the Balkans, Kara Ben-Nemsi ('Karl the German') receives a firman (precious passport) from the padishah (Ottoman sultan) before he continues his travels ... See full summary »

Director: Franz Josef Gottlieb
Stars: Lex Barker, Marie Versini, Ralf Wolter


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lex Barker ... Old Shatterhand
Herbert Lom ... Colonel Brinkley
Götz George ... Fred Engel
Karin Dor ... Ellen Patterson
Marianne Hoppe ... Mrs. Butler
Eddi Arent ... Lord Castlepool
Ralf Wolter Ralf Wolter ... Sam Hawkens
Sima Janicijevic Sima Janicijevic ... Patterson (as Jan Sid)
Ilija Ivezic Ilija Ivezic ... Hilton
Mirko Boman Mirko Boman ... Gunstick Uncle
Branko Spoljar Branko Spoljar ... Doc Jefferson Hartley
Milivoj Stojanovic Milivoj Stojanovic ... Knox
Slobodan Dimitrijevic Slobodan Dimitrijevic ... Rollender Donner
Jozo Kovacevic ... Grosser Wolf
Velimir Chytil Velimir Chytil ... Woodward (as Velimir Hitil)


In Arkansas, a stagecoach is robbed by Colonel Brinkley's gang. What the gang is really after is a treasure map one of the stagecoach passengers carries. However, Mr. Engel only has half the map. The other half of the treasure map is held by Engel's partner, a Mr. Patterson. Even so, the gang kills Engel and steal his half a map. Later, Fred Engel, the son of the murdered stagecoach passenger, seeks help to find his father's killers and retrieve the map. He contacts famous frontier scout Old Shatterhand and his Apache blood brother Winnetou. The three men set out to catch the killers. Fred Engel reveals to his two friends that his father's missing map pinpoints the location of a gold treasure at Silver Lake. They head toward the farm owned by Mr. Patterson, Engel's business partner. Patterson has the other half of the map and a daughter, Ellen, whom Fred is in-love with. Unfortunately, Colonel Brinkley's gang has the same idea of retrieving the other half of the treasure map, since ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Lake Of Terror! Battle Of Vengeance! See more »


Western | Adventure


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Release Date:

1 November 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Treasure of the Silver Lake See more »

Filming Locations:

Croatia See more »


Box Office


DEM2,900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Albert Lieven was considered for the part of Patterson. See more »


The mentioned butterfly Papilio polymnestor parinda is from Sri Lanka and not from North America. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was submitted to the FSK, they offered the distributor the choice of either a "Not under 12" rating for the uncut version or a "Not under 6" rating if some fight scenes were removed. Distributor Constantin decided to release the uncut version. However, for the re-release in 1964, some scenes were removed and the film was released with a "Not under 6" rating. Unfortunately, these cuts were done to the original negative and the removed parts were destroyed. See more »


Featured in Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Fabuous Early Period Karl May Schnitzel Western
16 November 2006 | by SquonkamaticSee all my reviews

First off, I usually avoid commenting on the thoughts of other contributors to the IMDb, but since when does anyone evaluate a Western strictly on the basis of it's historical accuracy? Sounds about as logical as noting that Wile E. Coyote was working with materials purchased out of the ACME catalog that were not available in 1967 when a given cartoon was made. Like, whatever: Cowboys wear six-guns, ride horses, have mountains in the background of their locations, and don't look twice at supporting characters who are wearing baseball caps ... even though baseball had not yet been invented whenever TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE is supposed to be set.

Back to matters at hand, this was the first of a string of German made "Schnitzel Westerns" based on the books of Karl May, sort of a Teutonic version of Zane Gray who probably never got out to Dodge City either -- proof positive that anyone can write convincing fiction on any subject they choose so long as they are properly inspired & enthusiastic about it. As one other contributor notes this film is actually more progressive than American made productions of the time in it's respectful (if somewhat childish) portrayal of Native American culture. The Germans may not have gotten the war paint right but they were in awe of the Indians and don't just regard them as pop-up targets to be shot at -- though the idea of having the good guys shoot only their horses as a way to show that they were "friends" is questionable & unfortunate due to the wire tripped horse falls used to simulate it. But that's 1962 for you, and to impose modern day standards on the film is to condemn it to obscurity, which is sadly what has happened. It was wrong to trip the horsies in 1962 but even more wrong to condemn the film for being what it is, and it deserves to be seen.

Now with that said this is one of the most endearingly stupid Westerns I have ever encountered, infectiously likable from beginning to end. Euro Manbeef hero actor Lex Barker plays "Old Shatterhand", Mr. May's version of Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett combined into one character. He wears a buckskin suit, fights Injun style and at the beginning of the film is wearing a beard for the sole purpose of shaving it off to look more "civilized". Popular film villain Herbert Lom is on-hand to play the scheming, scowling, always cheezed-off villain, who wants to find a treasure of Injun gold and keep it all to himself. Villains are always more believable when they keep their motivations close to the wallet.

We also get the fetching 007 Bond Babe to be Karin Dor as the fresh-faced white woman who gets tied up to various posts no less than three times during the course of the movie and is not once felt-up by any of the bad guys. This was a more noble time in the west before Peckinpah when cowboys did each other the courtesy of fighting fair, washing regularly and wearing color coordinated costumes. There are mass horseback charges, duels to the death, a stockaded settlement to be defended, honor to be upheld, friends to be saved from doom, wise-spoken blue eyed Indian braves and doting womenfolk who dutifully stand by their men through thick & thin.

The movie has a cast of hundreds, it's Yugoslavian location work is impressively authentic if yet refreshingly unfamiliar, and the good old poetic justice ending for the greedy villains straight out of TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE get the heroes out of having to actually kill anyone. It's sweeping theme music is quite enjoyable, the camera-work arty without being bogged down by distracting flourishes, and only some unnecessary comic relief in the form of a wayward butterfly collector come between the film and a masterpiece status. It is enjoyable if somewhat socially naive, wholesome and visually compelling entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together. A testimony to modern day man's unquenchable desire to play cowboys & Indians, with even the Indians coming off as the good guys. It's stupid for sure, but aside from some wire-tripped tumbling horsies (and I pray that none were hurt), what about this movie isn't there to like?


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