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In 1962 the Berliner producer Horst Wendtlandt initiated the Karl-May wave with the movie "Der Schatz im Silbersee". The first film adaption based on a book by Karl May, which played in the Wild West, cost three million Deutschmark and turned out to be the most successful crowd-puller of the year.
In the following year "Winnetou I" had been realized, with a total budget of four million Deutschmark, the decoration and the rider scene cost swallowed up 600'000 Deutschmark.
The impressive landscapes had been shot in the former Yugoslavia and are also jointly responsible, that the viewer felt put himself into the Wild West scenery.
From the bases Sibenik, Zadar and Rijeka they visited different places for their shootings with more than 30 vehicles.
Together with the vast number of extras the sets and costumes were very impressive. For "Winnetou I", for example, they had laid more than 200m tracks, used 40 canoes and rounded off with an engine and several waggons.

Among producer Horst Wendtlandt the film composer Martin Böttcher and the director Harald Reinl belong to the doer of the Karl-May serial.

Once Winnetou, always Winnetou - so you can designate the professional background of the actor Pierre Brice.

He deserved his spores with engagements at theaters, with entrances as a dancer and as a model.
In 1945 he went to the military academy and had missions in Indochina for what he received three bravery medals as a parachutist and frogman. After his return to the civilization among other things he took part as an actor in photo novels together with the then unknown Brigitte Bardot.
His film career Pierre Brice started in 1954 with "Harte Fäuste, heisses Blut" where he played a small role with Eddie Constantine. After this a number of second-class movies followed before he slipped into the legendary part of Winnetou in "Der Schatz im Silbersee" (62). 
The screen adaptions of Karl May in the 60ies made him well-known for an international public. The casts of the individual characters in this movie were optimal. Together with Brice the actors Lex Barker as Old Shatterhand and the two comedians Eddie Arent and Ralf Wolter were well received by the public. Besides some youngster had their entrance as youthful heroes or bewitched beauties like Götz George, Uschi Glas and Terence Hill, at this time under his real name Mario Girotti.

(born on the 6th February 1929 in Brest, France, died in 2015)


Another not insignificant factor for the unexpected success of the Winnetou movies was the phantastic music by Martin Böttcher. He integrated his music nearly perfect into the action and had his biggest strength in the musical background for the impressive landscape, which was time and again caught by the camera with broad-minded pans.
A continuation of this subject matter wasn't a long time in coming, it followed "Old Shatterhand"  and "Winnetou I" (both in 1963), in all there were achieved eleven of such films. At the end of the 60ies the success was drawing to its close and got finished with the movies "Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand" (66) and "Winnetou und Old Shatterhand im Tal der Toten (68), what has to be designated as the low of this serial.

As a result of his great success Pierre Brice had been employed in many other parts which you cannot describe as film classicals (Zorro gegen Maciste (63) Die Hölle von Manitoba (65) Zärtliche Chaoten (87) and Der blaue Diamant (93).
Demanding parts he had especially in "Die Nacht gehört uns" (67) and "Die Puppe des Gangsters" (74).

Today Winnetou and Pierre Brice is a not separatable notion.


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