Old Shatterhand (film)

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 DM5,000,000, the film was the most expensive Karl May western. Composer Riz Ortolani used a chorus for his film score.

Old Shatterhand
Old Shatterhand (film).jpg
Directed byHugo Fregonese
Produced by
Written byLadislas Fodor
Based onWinnetou novels
by Karl May
Music byRiz Ortolani
CinematographySiegfried Hold
Edited byAlfred Srp
Distributed byConstantin Film
Release date
  • 30 April 1964 (1964-04-30)
Running time
122 minutes
  • West Germany
  • Yugoslavia

It was shot at the Spandau Studios in Berlin and on locationin Croatia including at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The film's sets were designed by the art director Otto Pischinger.

Plot summaryEdit

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 Rialto Film, his rival Artur Brauner from CCC Film also wanted to have his share in this upcoming 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 characters portrayed by American Lex Barker as "Old Shatterhand" and Frenchman Pierre Brice as "Winnetou".

American Guy Madison, who had starred in the television 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 Schlager music and later jazz songs.

One mystery remained from the movie: Today no one remembers who the original singer was of the song "Nothing To Say" (Die Stunde kam) by saloon singer Rosemarie, played by actress Kitty Mattern.


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

See alsoEdit


  • Bergfelder, Tim (2005). International Adventures: German Popular Cinema and European Co-productions in the 1960s. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-539-2.

External linksEdit