Tuesday, December 13, 2016

50th Anniversary of the Premier of Thunder at the Border

It was 50 years ago on December 13, 1966 that “Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand” (Thunder at the Border premiered at the Universe Theater in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany. Even though the film is vaguely based on the Karl May novels it only has in common with May’s other western adventures the names of the main characters. Another prairie scout is introducer Old Firehand played by veteran American western star Rod Cameron

After four Apaches have been killed by the henchmen of a man named Siler. Ntscho-Tschi who had been severely hurt, barely escapes the killers. Legendary Old Firehand asks his friend Winnetou for help as Siler's brother is locked up in the prison at Miramonte. If he isn’t released by a specific date, Siler threatens to transform the small border town into a sea of flames. Winnetou agrees to help his friend and they head off to Miramonte where Old Firehand meets an old flame and a surprise he was not expecting that will change his life.

Because of the Mexican border town where the action takes place, Mexican bandits and much more shooting in the burning town this is as close as the Winnetou films got to the feel of a Spaghetti western.

Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand – German title
Vinnetou a Old Firehand – Yugoslavian title
Trovões na fronteira – Brazilian title
Винету и Олд Файърхенд – Bulgarian title
Old Firehand – Czechoslovakian title
Vinnetou a Old Firehand - Czechoslovakian title
Gringo – hævneren – Danish title
Ukkosata rajalla – Finnish title
Tonnerre sur la frontière – French title
Masacre a la frontiere – French title
Ο κεραυνός με το χρυσό πιστόλι – Greek title
Winnetou és barátja, Old Firehand – Hungarian title
Tempesta all frontiera – Italian title
Winnetou i Old Firehand – Polish title
Tempestade na fronteira – Portuguese title
Trovoes na fronteira -
Hombres desperados – Spanish title
Tormenta en la frontera – Spanish title
Död åt gringos – Swedish title
Winnetou: Thunder at the Border – U.K. title
Thunder at the Border – U.S.A. title

A 196 West German, Yugoslavian co-production [Rialto Film, Preben-Philipsen (Berlin), JadranFilm (Zagreb)]
Producers: Horst Wendlandt, Preben Philipsen
Director: Alfred Vohrer
Story: Karl May
Screenplay: David De Reske, Harald G. Petersson, C.B. Taylor
Cinematography: Karl Löb [Technicolor, Ultrascope]
Music: Peter Thomas
Running time: 100 minutes

Old Firehand – Rod Cameron (Nathan Cox)
Winnetou – Pierre Brice (Pierre Baron de Bris)
Nscho-tschi – Marie Versini
Tom – Todd Armstrong (John Armstrong)
Silers – Harald Leipnitz
Robert Ravenhurst – Viktor de Kowa (Viktor Kowarzik)
Michele Mercier – Nadia Gray (Nadia Kujnir-Herescu)
Captain/Sergeant Mendoza – Rik Battaglia
Jace Mercier – Jörg Marquardt
Caleb – Vladimir Medar
Captain Luis Sanchez Quilvera – Miha Baloh (Mihail Baloh)
Derks – Aleksandar Gavric
Puglia – Emil Kutijaro
Moses – Ilija Ivezic
Leon Mercier – Dusan Antonijevic
Billy-Bob Silers – Walter Wilz
Vince – Milan Bosiljcic
German-Joe – Aleksandar Stojkovic
German Joanna – Tana Mascarelli (Tanja Ostojic)
Hernando – Aleksandar Belaric
German-Joanna – Maija Crnobori
Julia – Adela Podjed
Priest – Boris Dvornik
Callaghan – Dado Habazin (Marijan Habazin)
Wirz – Nikola Gec
Metz – Emil Mikuljan (Milan Mikuljan)
Wallace – Stjepan Spoljaric
Kaylurr – Ivo Kristof
Lem – Franc Ursic
Officers – Jovan Vukovic, Zvonko Dobrin (Zvonimir Dobrin)
Desperados – Sime Jagarinac (Simum Jagarinac), Stjepan Spoljaric, Josip Biščan
With: Valent Borovic, Valent Štefanko, Kreso Branković, Zvonimir Brcko, Antun Gorišek, Stjepan Hrgović, Esad Jujić, Zvonimir Kuzmić, Miroslav Šanić, Izidor Štefanko, Franjo Crnečki, Nikola Gec

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