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Der Scout (1983)

The film is based on real events. At the end of the seventies of the previous century the fights against the Sioux were over, and the US-Army started putting the Indian tribes living to the... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
White Feather
Battsetseg Natsagdorj ...
Cayuse girl
Klaus Manchen ...
Sgt. Anderson
Milan Beli ...
Maj. Brannigan
Giso Weißbach ...
Lt. Brooks
Private Hicks
Uwe Jellinek ...
Private Hunter
Roland Seidler ...
Private McGoun
Hartmut Beer ...
Private Randall
Manfred Zetzsche ...
Col. Howard
Werner Kanitz ...
Staff Sergeant
Luwsan-Osorijin Njamsiire ...
Indian Chief
Zerendulamijn Rudna
Dalchsürengijn Gürsed ...
Leader of the warriors
Bobijn Rawdan ...
Young Warrior


The film is based on real events. At the end of the seventies of the previous century the fights against the Sioux were over, and the US-Army started putting the Indian tribes living to the West of the Rocky Mountains into reservations. Among those tribes was the peaceful hunter and fisher tribe of the Nez Perces. The cavalry under Colonel Howard takes the horses of the Nez Perces in order to prevent them from fleeing to Canada, which would be the tribe's only option to avoid their own decay on the reservation. The deputy chief White Feather takes over the seemingly impossible task of bringing back the herd of horses. His chances of succeeding improve when he finds out from scouts of the Cayuse that Fort Lapwai, the destination of the Americans, has been destroyed and that Howard's group is in trouble. The Cayuse pursue the cavalry and the dissolving groups arrive simultaneously at the debris of the fort. When the Cayuse attack again White Feather manages to the get control over the ... Written by Jens Wazel <jensw@speakeasy.org>

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Release Date:

27 May 1983 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Scout  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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15 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

In 1983, the western movie series with Gojko Mitic by East German DEFA, which had begun 1966 with "Die Söhne der großen Bärin", came to an end with "Der Scout". Oftentimes with the last part of a long series, you have an uninspired copy, a kind of last breath, but that is not the case here! "Der Scout" presents fresh locations in Mongolia (!) that look as lonely as the west must have been once, and the strengths of this movie are a careful characterization and that it doesn't show unnecessary violence; it even is recommended for children from the age of 6 by the German censorship institution FSK. Which doesn't mean it's sweet and simple.

"Der Scout" tells the story of the Nez Perce Indians whose horses are taken away by the US army, hoping the Indians will stay in a reservation once they can't move around so much anymore. White Feather (Gojko Mitic) pretends he wants to serve the soldiers as a scout, but he intends to bring the horses back to his people. Everything gets more complicated when a different tribe of Indians attacks, White Feather has to take care of a wounded girl (Nazagdorshijn Bazezeg, I found different spellings for the name of the actress which is hardly surprising) and the commanding officers begin to hate each other under the growing pressure.

Each of the seven soldiers whom the scout is leading has a different personality; we really have a good screenplay and a careful director here. The Mongolian extras with their high cheekbones remind me more of Eskimoes than Indians, but I leave that to the anthropologists. Bring some kind of insecticide if you ever go to Mongolia, there are swarms of flies there - in some close-ups, I pitied the actors. The production must have a been a huge logistic challenge, anyway, because throughout the movie, hundreds of horses (900, claims one of the soldiers in a dialog - 1000, said the advertising campaign) are roaming around. It was worth the effort, an interesting western from the east.

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