Sunday, March 22, 2015

Karl May Movies Coming

Over the last couple of days....RTL (our commercial TV network here in Germany) announced that they have signed up the crew and gotten the permission to film three of Karl May's German-style cowboy classics.....for the summer of 2016.

A big deal? Germany, Karl May's cowboy classic series are legendary stuff....used in the late 1950s and up until the mid-1960s....and often seen by Germans as great literature.

Karl was a guy who got himself into various problems....mostly with the authorities.  He spent a couple of years in debt prison (1865-1869).  He was a teacher by trade....up until this prison episode.  Something odd happened in prison though.....they gave him access to the library and he got addicted to cowboy westerns.  Eventually, he decided that he could write as well as these German western writers....but with a twist on his characters and script.

Karl had three basic themes in his cowboy stories.

First, the chief Indian character was Winnotou.  This character was a proud Indian who saved people and had a oath of ethics.

Second, Indians for the most part of his stories were always proud people and helped pioneers.  Generally, the bad guys were always white guys or Latinos.  It's hard to find any bad Indian characters in his books.

Third and final....there's always a cowboy in the midst of the story who is best friends with Winnotou.....with a couple of buddies who back him up and they always save the day in the end.

Karl write twenty-five-plus books in the 1890s and was a fairly prolific writer.  The stories turned into movies?  At least twenty of them were made into movies from the 1920s (silent movies originally) to full-up movies in the 1960s produced in Yugoslavia.

As for this current plan?  They've signed Wotan Wilke Mohring (a Tatort detective actor) for the cowboy role and hinted that it'll be an American who plays Winnotou.  Mario Adolph is slated to come back (he was in the early 60's movies).

A big deal?  I'd go ahead and predict that these three Geman made-for-TV movies will be among the top productions of the year.

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