Thursday, January 23, 2020


For me, tee-vee westerns from the late-fifties until the early (mid at latest)-sixties are the best because they're as copasetic with the general tee-vee and social atmosphere of those oft-berated days that I so adore. As far as moom pitchers go well---I've seen more'n a few good feature western films from back then, but I prefer watching the tee-vee shows to sitting through features. I mean, I find it amazing that the guys who created these programs could whip out a wild story within the span of thirty minutes to an hour without getting into a whole lotta extraneous things like dragged out romantic sub-plots that always bored the bejabbers outta twelve-year-old suburban slobs like us who tuned in for the action.

But hey, this furrin' import really packs the punch as far as westerns go, and without letting you down with a slew of romantic garble either! Stewart Granger washes away years of bad high class entertainment (he's one Scaramouche that I 'll bet couldn't do the fandango!) in his role as the tough guy cowboy the movie is named after, and to make that ol' long story short while on the hunt for the guy who murdered his brother Surehand also gets involved not only with finding out who stabbed one of those typical old moom pitcher grizzled prospectors who struck it big, but trying to stop a war between the Comanche and the townsfolk after the son of a chief is shot by some creepazoid known as "The General" (actually a court marshaled Confederate Lieutenant), the exact same guy who also shot Surehand's brother. Wotta koinky-dink!

Along the way Granger meets up with the Mammy Yokum-strong yet titty-esque niece of the prospector and her sissy boyfriend (played by Eurostar Terrence Hill under his dago name Mario Girotti!) as well as a friend who was originally suspected of murdering Surehand's brother, some guy named Milan Srdoc as Old Wabble who does a pretty good job emulating the shabby western sidekicks of yore to the point where you really do wanna hug 'n kiss him he's so luv-bul 'n CUTE! Just like that guy wanted to do with Sgt. Schlitz in that famous HOGAN'S HEROES spoof in MAD that everybody thought was so bad taste way back when!

But as far as adrenaline-pumping energy goes this film never lets ya down. Even the slower gotta explain what may be coming up scenes are kept to a minimum and the story flows well enough to the point where you don't have that excuse to leave the room to relieve yourself or fill up on goodies like you would with many of those slobberin' pictures you've had the misfortune to sit through. It's all done in a way which only a few really could succeed at, and for bein' a German/Yugoslavian production be thankful they didn't get the cultures mixed up and stick a beergarten right in the middle of town serving up knockwurst und sauerkraut!

Western haters like Brad Kohler would do well to stay away, but for those of us red-blooded types who grew up with mooms like these epitomizing exactly what we all wanted to be when we grew up (and it wasn't the bad guys no matter how some may disagree!) you couldn't do much better'n to seek this dubbed up wonder out!


Bill S. said...

Under its American release title of FLAMING FRONTIER, this was a staple on the afternoon movie on Denver TV in the early 70's, hosted by local sports-weather guy Starr Yelland.
"The General" was played by Larry Pennell, best known for playing Dash Riprock on the Beverly Hillbillies. He also made a great Eurospy film called OUR MAN IN JAMAICA with Brad Harris.
Most of the 1960's German "Winnetou" films starred Lex Barker as Old Shatterhand, with French actor as Apache hero "Winnetou." Rod Cameron played Old Firehand in another one, and Stewart Granger played Old Surehand in a few. I really like Granger in anything, but supposedly he and Brice did not get along at all (Barker and Brice were the best of friends), and as I remember Winnetou is not featured as much in this one as in the others (I notice you didn't mention him, proof of his reduced status!).
Everyone should see at least one of these German "Winnetou" westerns. They are nothing like Italian or Spanish westerns in tone or appearance, and the location photography in Yugoslavia (in what's now Croatia) is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

lol racist much? lol