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Winnetou and Old Firehand (1966)

Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand (original title)
Firehand and his Apache friend Winnetou are determined to get justice for the murder of four young braves. They set off to track down the gang responsible for the horrendous act.


Alfred Vohrer


Karl May (based on motifs by), David De Reszke (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre Brice ... Winnetou
Rod Cameron ... Old Firehand
Marie Versini ... Nscho-tschi
Todd Armstrong ... Tom
Harald Leipnitz ... Silers
Nadia Gray ... Michèle Mercier
Walter Wilz Walter Wilz ... Billy-Bob Silers
Jörg Marquardt Jörg Marquardt ... Jace Mercier (as Jörg Marquard)
Rik Battaglia ... Capt. Mendoza
Viktor de Kowa ... Robert Ravenhurst
Vladimir Medar Vladimir Medar ... Caleb
Miha Baloh ... Capt. Luis Sanchez Quilvera
Aleksandar Gavric Aleksandar Gavric ... Derks
Dusan Antonijevic Dusan Antonijevic ... Leon Mercier (as Dusko Antonijevic)
Ilija Ivezic Ilija Ivezic ... Moses (as Ilija Ivecic)


The Silers' gang is chasing Apache Chief Winnetou and his sister Nscho-chi, after having killed several Apaches to steal their horses. Winnetou and his sister run into a group of trappers led by Old Firehand. The trappers help Winnetou and his sister Nscho-chi evade the Silers' gang. Together, they head for the border town of Miramonte. In Miramonte, the Mexican Sergeant Mendozza and his men have captured and imprisoned Billy-Bob Silers, the young brother of the Silers' gang leader. The locals fear an attack by Silers' gang that wants to free Billy-Bob. But Sergeant Mendozza refuses to release the bandit's brother. Also in town are Old Firehand's former girlfriend Michèle Mercier and her son Jace Mercier. When they meet in town, they're surprised but happy to meet again. Old Firehand wants Michèle back in his life but she's reluctant to be involved with a trapper whose life-style is more wild than settled. When Michèle accidentally reveals that her son is also Old Firehand's son, they... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Thunder-Clap of Screen Excitement!


Western | Adventure


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German | English

Release Date:

November 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Winnetou: Thunder at the Border See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | DTS (2.0)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


alternate US title is "Thunder at the Border" See more »


Follows Winnetou (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

An odd German western, not without interest
1 July 2015 | by audiemurphSee all my reviews

There is no question that this film is a wreck. But, like a wreck, it is not without interest. For one thing, the pace is good, the dialogue sometimes odd and not any more clichéd than any other Western of the era, and, happily, unlike too many international Westerns, has an easy plot to follow.

And it has some interesting characters. Most unusual and self-contradictory is the English army man (played by Victor de Kowa), who acts like a highly affectatious Monty-Pythonesque old poof (and he walks really weird), but he wants to marry the boy Jace's mother; bragging like Baron Munchausen, he turns out to actually be a good shot. A difficult character to figure out.

Rod Cameron is not unappealing as the easily-smiling hero; the main attribute of the kid playing his son is that he looks like David Spade. Cameron's main side-kick is the amiably over-weight Vladimir Medov, anticipating Lee Van Cleef's amiable chubby side-kick in "Sabata" by three years.

But Pierre Brice's Winnetao, to me, seems completely out of place; I get that this actor and character starred in a series of films, but his role was a relatively unimportant one here, and it was hard for me to get over Winnatao and his sister romping through the west in leather jump suits and tennis shoes. Ridiculous, actually.

And there are too many flaws of logic to overlook as well. In the first 10 minutes, for example, we are treated to one of the worst cases of "how many bad guys do we have to kill before their number starts to decrease" that I have ever seen. Specifically, in the opening battle, I counted 13 of Silers' men attacking Cameron and the Indians. The good guys kill 9 of them off their horses. 8 of the bad guys ride up to the ledge for closer combat. Two more are shot to death, and 7 ride back after withdrawing. Yikes!

I also scratched my head in confusion in the later sequence in which Silers and Sanchez together first attack the town defended by Cameron. The defenders "trap" them in a ring of fire that looks to be no more than 8 inches high. Terrified, the bad guys retreat. Was the 8 inches of fire that great an obstacle?

On the other hand, the movie treats us to more religious imagery, treated with genuine reverence, than we are wont to see in typical spaghetti Westerns (or any Westerns, for that matter). The scene in which the priest holds up a gold crucifix in the face of the invading outlaws, momentarily stopping them in their tracks, is affecting and oddly pleasing. One image of him, shot from below and in front of him, is very well done, as his arms, holding the cross above his head, frame a perfect Byzantine-style halo around his head. A good moment for the camera-man.

A lost opportunity for a truly horrifying moment was the interesting scene in which a parade of dead peasants in their wagons slowly ride back into town. The director opted here for the suggestion of horror, when I think a more graphic display of the many murdered men sitting upright in the wagons would have been more effective.

This isn't the worst Western by any means, and is odd enough to just perhaps merit your attention for its long 98 minute run-time.

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