Old Shatterhand (film)

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Old Shatterhand, Apaches' Last Battle (UK), Battaglia di Fort Apache (Italy), Cavaliers rouges, Les (France)
Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Produced by Artur Brauner
Written by Ladislas Fodor
Karl May (novel)
Starring Lex Barker
Guy Madison
Pierre Brice
Daliah Lavi
Ralf Wolter
Music by Riz Ortolani
Release date
  • 1964 (1964)
Running time
122 minutes
Country Germany
Language German

The film Old Shatterhand (known as Apaches' Last Battle in the UK) is a very successful Eurowestern based on the character Old Shatterhand invented by German novelist Karl May. It is a West German CCC Film production co-produced with French, Italian, and Yugoslav companies and filmed in 70mm. Financed with roughly 5,000,000 Deutsche Marks, the film was the most expensive Karl May western. Composer Riz Ortolani was allowed to use a chorus for his film score. Part of the set for this production was the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.

Plot summary[edit]

Killings of innocent ranchers indicate the Apaches have broken the peace treaty. Old Shatterhand, blood brother of the Apache chief Winnetou, finds out that ruthless land grabbers did the killings, hoping to start off a war between the Indians and the settlers, and follows the trail right back to the gates of the cavalry's fort.


After the success of director Harald Reinl's "Treasure of Silver Lake" (Der Schatz im Silbersee) in 1962 produced by Horst Wendlandt for the Rialto Film-Company, his rival Artur Brauner from the CCC-Film company also wanted to have his share in this looming series. Since Wendlandt got the rights for the original Karl May novels (although none of his films ever got too close to their respective plots), Brauner only had the chance of making a movie "inspired by" Karl May, using some of the already known personnel personated by American Lex Barker as "Old Shatterhand" and French Pierre Brice as "Winnetou".

American Guy Madison, who had starred in the TV series The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, played one of the bad guys and exotic Israeli Daliah Lavi was one of the "damsels in distress" before turning to a singing career, as did American Bill Ramsey, the comic part in this movie, already known in Germany for his Schlagers and later Jazzsongs.

One mystery remained from the movie: today no one remembers who the original singer of the song "Nothing To Say" („Die Stunde kam“) by saloon-singer Rosemarie (played by but not sung by Kitty Mattern) was.


  • Goldene Leinwand (Golden Screen) for over 3 million visitors within 12 months handed over on October 8, 1965 at Gloria-Palast cinema, Berlin.

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