Der Schuh des Manitu

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Der Schuh des Manitu
Directed by Michael Herbig
Produced by Michael Herbig
Written by Michael Herbig
Starring Michael Herbig
Christian Tramitz
Rick Kavanian
Sky du Mont
Marie Bäumer
Hilmi Sözer
Music by Ralf Wengenmayr
Edited by Alexander Dittner
Distributed by Constantin Film
Release dates
  • 2001 (2001)
Running time
82 minutes (original edition), 88 minutes (extended edition)
Language German
Budget 4,500,000€
Box office $64,300,000

Der Schuh des Manitu (English: Manitou's Shoe) is a 2001 German parody of western films. Directed by Michael Herbig, it is a film adaptation of the Winnetou sketches from his ProSieben television show Bullyparade.


Abahachi (Michael Herbig), chief of the Apache, and his blood brother Ranger (Christian Tramitz) are an inseparable pair since Ranger saved Abahachi from a speeding train on an unguarded railroad crossing. When they aim to buy a pub with the monetary help of Shoshone chief Stinking Lizard ("Listiger Lurch" in the German original - "Astute Lurch") through real estate agent Santa Maria (Sky du Mont), the deal (and pub) collapse, and Stinking Lizard's son, who has delivered the loan, is killed by Santa himself. Upon their return to the Shoshone tribe, they find themselves set up by Santa Maria and are unjustly charged with murder.

Once they free themselves, they set about to recover a secret treasure kept inside a large, shoe-shaped rock called Manitou's Shoe (a reference to Treasure of the Silver Lake), in order to reimburse Stinking Lizard. Finding the treasure map includes finding Abahachi's effeminate gay twin brother Winnetouch (also Michael Herbig), Abahachi's Greek friend Dimitri (Rick Kavanian), and Abahachi's former "hough school" honey - and Ranger's fledging love interest - Ursula (Uschi) (a reference to Uschi Glas who played in "Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi" - Half-Breed).

Unfortunately, Santa and his right hand Hombre have overheard the blood brothers' plans and decide to get the treasure for themselves. In their quest, Abahachi and Ranger are pursued by Stinking Lizard and his braves, but are eventually captured by Santa who retrieves the treasure, a golden necklace with a giant blue diamond.

Abahachi, Winnetouch & Co. win back the necklace, only to lose it again in subsequent mishaps. Hombre, however, who has in the meantime bonded with Winnetouch, returns the embezzled gold to Stinking Lizard, ending the hostilities, and Santa ends his life in a mudtrap. Uschi, while pregnant by Ranger, urges him to set off with Abahachi, and both heroes ride into the sunset for new adventures.


Uncredited Actors


The film borrows from the parodies of Mel Brooks like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Blazing Saddles, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Its humor consists largely of blatant anachronisms, scenes such as the character Ranger getting stopped by a sheriff for "fast riding" and being asked for his "riding license", or Santa Maria connecting the dots on a map by using a feather with a marker-tip. Greek character Dimitri owns a mule named Apollo 13 (his twelve brothers—and subsequently, he as well—were killed by speeding trains), and for lack of a hatchet the Shoshones, a Native American tribe, dig out a folding-chair they had buried.

The film has several references to the Karl May films of the 1960s and to Herbig's own TV show. It features many puns that are difficult to translate into English. In the German version, Abahachi, Ranger and Winnetouch all speak with a light Bavarian accent that is predominant in the Bullyparade-Show, which is mentioned by the barkeeper at the saloon by "You must be Ranger, the man with the Southern States accent".

Many scenes have been shot in Almería, Spain, at the same places that can be seen in many movies of Sergio Leone. Most of the Indians in the movie are actually Spanish. The Shoshone chief is played by an East Indian, for humorous effect, and his two advisors are Native Americans. According to Herbig's comments, some Spanish can be heard on the DVD, and he was never entirely sure if the Spanish actors really knew what kind of movie they were participating in. The Mexican Hombre is played by Hilmi Sözer, a Turkish-German actor.

Michael Herbig's following movie, the science fiction parody Traumschiff Surprise – Periode 1, features a prequel scene to Der Schuh des Manitou due to time travel.

Winnetou novels[edit]

“Der Schuh des Manitu” parodies a series of wild west adventure novels of the 19th century German author Karl May.

The main topic of these novels is the deep friendship of a fictional Apache chief (Winnetou) and his white settler companion and blood-brother, (Old Shatterhand), who are both exemplary virtuous and stand together to keep the peace between Indians and immigrating White settlers. Der Schuh des Manitu spoofs the friendship motif in the Winnetou novels and in their 1960s film adaptations (Karl May films) which has largely led to high, but sometimes idealised and cliché ridden admiration of Native Americans in Germany. Many shots of the original Winnetou movies feature Old Shatterhand and Winnetou riding side by side, accompanied by romantic orchestral music (which is also happening in the parody).

Winnetou’s main objection against European settlers is their "greed". He dislikes that they want to take all the land for themselves and cannot share with the natives. A recurring opponent is the bandit Santer who kills Winnetou's father and sister, probably the namesake of Santa Maria in the parody.

There is also a movie called "Winnetou and the Half-Blood Apanatschi" based not on a May novel but using his characters - the name of the movie's main character is probably based on this. So is the name of Uschi, Abahachis's old love, hinting to the name of actress Uschi Glas who used to play Apanatschi.

External links[edit]