American West, the situation between the white men and the natives is
bordering between war and peace. Winnetou (Pierre Brice), an Apache, is
touring the countryside trying to talk peace and avoid war. He saves a
young woman from a bear, and earns the favour of her tribe - he
persuades them to release three American Cavalrymen who they are
holding. The Cavalrymen, lead by Lt. Robert Merill (Terence Hill)
return home, but are forced to watch, powerless, as a group of bandits,
lead by David Lucas (Klaus Kinski) destroy a native village and kill
all its people. Merill is saved when Old Shatterhand (Lex Barker)
arrives and scares off the bandits. Tracking them down, he discovers
that they are in the employ of Bud Forrester, an oil prospector who is
trying to clear the Natives off their land so that he can mine it.
Winnetou arranges a peace conference between the Cavalry and the
Natives, but the village massacre causes tension and Winnetou and
Shatterhand set out to track down the perpetrators...
is the third of the Karl May Westerns and follows along the same lines
as the previous entires - Winnetou and Shatterhand get into a series of
adventures and meet a variety of characters, good and evil. While Winnetou 1
was relatively close to Karl May's source novel, the writers have all
but invented their own story here (the original book is more of a
direct sequel to the first story involving Shatterhand chasing the
villian Santer to New Orleans and trying to persue him back to Europe),
only the theme of conflicted love remaining, in this case with Indian
girl Ribanna torn between her feelings for Winnetou, or the politically
important offer of marrage from US Cavalryman Robert Merill.
In keeping with the rest of the Karl May films, there are
plenty of good action sequences and gun battles giving the film a real epic feel. Meanwhile the plot remains
solid and has some interesting set-pieces, a peace conference between the
native tribes and the US Cavalry
has some nice details of native culture and a rather surprising
conclusion, while the film builds to an exciting and dramatic climax. As with many other films in the series, Winnetou 2
does suffer under a little outdated comic relief, in this case Lord
Castlepool, and eccentric English professor who teams up with
Shatterhand, although his scenes are mercifully brief and actually gel
with the plot better than those in the first two films.
Reinl's direction is strong, with good camera work - the Jugoslavian
locations look very colourful. The fiery night-time explosion of
an oil mine is a highlight and looks very impressive - fortunately it
is actually shot at night, rather than the blue-tinted day-for-night
scenes in the rest of the film. The native villages and costumes all
look strong and the production's budget can clearly be seen in the crowds of extras.
Lex Barker and Pierre Brice reprise their roles from the earlier films
and look as good as ever. Klaus Kinski, relatively unknown outside
Germany at the time, plays his normal 'strong, silent
type' villain quite well, although he gets a relatively limited part, while a
young looking Terence Hill, credited under his real name of Mario
Girotti looks good in his role as a Cavalryman - one of his first
appearances outside Italy.
the other early films in the series, this is a relatively unchallenging
adventure film (although the love triangle raises some interesting
questions), lacking in the cynicism or political themes that by
the late 1960s were dominating Westerns in America and Europe. With
less exciting set pieces than Winnetou 1 but a more interesting cast, Winnetou 2 is highly recommended to fans of the series.
Anyone famous in it?
Lex Barker - an American actor who made his name in Europe in adventure and horror pictures. Klaus Kinski - Soon to become one of the top euro-cult stars starring in dozens of Spaghetti Westerns. Terence Hill - Soon to become famous in the later comedy Spaghetti Westerns alongside Bud Spencer.
Directed by anyone interesting?
Harald Reinl - An Austrian director who shot a variety of films based on classic literature.
Quite a lot of gun, fist and knife fights, some blood.
A very fitting orchestral soundtrack.
Who is it for?
An exciting adventure film from a less cynical era. For newcomers Winnetou 1 is a better place to start.
Original Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1 anamorphic wide-screen. Colour. The
image is very good - some minor damage and heavy grain in some scenes,
but great colours and detail. Some scenes are occasionally in a
slightly lower quality, but mostly unnoticably.
German 5.1 and mono. Strong audio. The remix is quite good with use made of the surround channels. English mono. Sounds good, some slight hiss.
German HOH English
(this track translates the English soundtrack, so there are some
discrepancies when watching the German as the translations are