By: Big Chief
Do you mean the first films of the Oriental series of the 1950s?
Yes. We then decided to wait a bit until the negative wave subsided. There really was such a situation. It was then that Wendlandt received an offer from Preben Philipsen from Konstantin Film. Horst accepted and took the idea with him. After all, the ideas were not protected. Then it was the same with the films on Edgar Wallace - I never had rights to his works. Wendlandt made three films a year in our pavilions. I thought, since he makes part of his films in our studio - and then it could cost between 1.5 and 2 million Deutschmarks - then why don't we still agree on a price. As a result, a dispute came out, after which he stopped coming to the studio. Then I did not give comments, but later, when he left the studio, I explained how it really was. It is clear that after six or seven years of work, when I changed my company, he simply had to bring some ideas with them - for example, Siemens’s manager, when switching to another company, does this today. Everywhere, waiting for ideas and innovation.
Did you somehow feel that Horst Wendlandt was going to leave?
No, he was not going to leave. I will never forget how he announced that he was offered not only more money, but also a share! I think that in fact, Philipsen offered him the same salary as mine, but about his share in the firm ... yes, he could not get this from us. Only this was the only reason. Otherwise he would have remained, because he was the head of the entire production department. At that time in Germany, he had already become a major figure. I was 100% satisfied and I entrusted everything to him without interfering with any material issues, because I knew that I could rely on him. With Karl May, he had to act differently, he had to ask: chief, - and he always called me chief, - let's find some agreement for me to take Maya with me to Philipsen? But he did not. Vanity plays a big role in human life!
Didn’t he say that he didn’t learn how to avoid Brauner?
Nonsense. My entire archive is stored in Frankfurt - there are all negotiations with him, as well as records, if I am not mistaken. Nothing is lost. He even signed many contracts himself, he had everything in his hands. How could he say that? Anyway.
Herr Brauner, how did you notice Lex Barker? After all, you invited him to Germany?
Yes. By the way, Pierre Brice was also here before he became Winnetou. He sat on the sofa in this room with Linda Christian, his girlfriend, and asked if there was a job for him. With Lex Barker, we made 12 films. He also came here with Tita, his wife.
After Lex Barker arrived in Germany, you shot him in two films about Dr. Mabuse with Karin Dor. Did you offer him a long-term contract?
We were bound by friendship, no additional contracts. Only once a problem arose when his manager demanded money for two films that were originally conceived as one. It turned out too much film material.
Do you mean “In Wild Kurdistan” and “In the Empire of the Silver Lion”?
But Pierre Brice had a contract with Horst Wendland since 1962, and you started shooting Old Shetterhand a year later.” You turned to Wendlandt about Brice, and then there was an exchange: Elke Sommer took part in the movie “Among the Kites,” and you got Pierre Briece for the Old Shetterhand ...
For the past ten years, as Wendlandt is no more ... At first, he was undoubtedly a great success. But he wanted fame more and more, until he began to feel like an angel or a demigod. It was impossible to even talk to him, as well as to his employees. Until he suffered four setbacks in a row. It was awful for him ...
The film “Old Shetterhand” went to the cinema in 1964 and became the most expensive of all “about Winnetu” ...
I can only say that "Good Soldier Schweik" and "Old Shetterhand" were the most successful. Schweik was a success from both an artistic and a commercial point of view. "Old Shetterhand" - with a commercial.
The music was written by Ritz Ortolani, and why not Martin Bötther?
Hugo Fregonaise wanted it so - the film was immediately intended for international distribution.
But it was you who once concluded the first contract with Martin Bötther?
Yes, I worked with him with pleasure. He is a very nice, sincere person.
Doesn't Bötcher's fanfare sound when showing the emblem of your studio with a moving globe during a movie screensaver?
You know more than me (laughs).