Saturday, October 23, 2021

Week of October 23 - 29, 2021



To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Which American actor who made Italian Westerns played the brother on a TV series to Jerome Courtland?
George Grimes knew that it was Walter Barnes on Tales of the Vikings.

What was the original Italian title for the movie made in Spain based on THE BOUNTY KILLER by Marvin H. Albert?
Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was THE BOUNTY KILLER. It was later changed to LA MORTE TI SEQUE... MA NON HA FRETTA.

By what name was Richard Wyler known when he worked in Hollywood?
George Grimes, Rick Garibaldi, Angel Rivera and Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that it was Richard Stapley.

Why did Ella Karin stop making movies in 1976?
George Grimes, Angel Rivera and Bertrand van Wonterghem knew that she was killed in a fire.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which star of Italian Westerns had worked with New York lawyer Allen Klein before Klein became involved with The Rolling Stones?
Which "Italian Western" was actually intended to be a time travel adventure, but most audiences didn't understand that?
Which "Spaghetti Western expert" thought that the hero of UN DOLLARO TRA I DENTI was revealed as an "army spy" at the end of the film?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes, Rick Garibaldi and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Tomas Milian in TEPEPA.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Bertrand van Wonterghem, and Angel Rivera identified last week's frame grab from ROMOLO E REMO, aka DUEL OF THE TITANS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Angel Rivera, Charles Gilbert and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Steve Reeves and Genevieve Grad in SANDOKAN LA TIGRE DI MOMPRACEM, aka SANDOKAN THE GREAT.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes, Angel Rivera and Bertrand van Wonterghem identified last week's photo of Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock in YES MADAM.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:


Hacks season one (2021)

Mildly enjoyed:

PREPARATI LA BARA!, aka VIVA DJANGO (1968) - 1966 was a great year for Franco Nero. He made three Westerns which made him a star - DJANGO, LE COLT CANTARONO LA MORTE E FU... TEMPO DI MASSACRO and TEXAS ADDIO. Ferdinando Baldi directed in Nero in TEXAS ADDIO and wanted the actor to be in the new Django movie from B.R.C. Produzione Film, who had produced the original Sergio Corbucci film. Nero got a contract to make CAMELOT in Hollywood and turned down the offer. I'd like to think that he read and rejected Franco Rossetti's screenplay, which had a promising premise that wasn't developed very well. Mario Girotti had taken the name Terence Hill for his first Italian Western, DIO PERDONA... LO NO!, and he kind of looked like Nero, so B.R.C. hired him for the role. Interestingly, the original Italian release did not put Django in the title, but the rest of the world did. Enzo Barboni, who was the director of photography on DJANGO, gave the new film a terrific look while Gianfranco Reverberbi provided some memorable tunes. Baldi delivered some enjoyable action scenes, but he couldn't distract from some stupid plotting.

What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (2021) - I loved all of the archival material on Britney's life, but I hated the "true crime" approach to the story of her death. I am developing a prejudice against anything with the Blumhouse label.

Uncnsrd: Raven-Symone (2021)

Winnetou le mescalero, aka Mein Freund Winnetou (1980) - In 1976, Pierre Brice took over the role of Winnetou at the Karl May Festpiele, which began putting on live plays in 1952 in Elspe, Germany. Brice was with the festival until 1980 when he accepted to play the role for seven hour-long episodes of a French TV series shot in Mexico - though some countries got 14 half hour episodes. Just as with the German productions, the only wigs that looked good were those worn with a headband.
1) De sable et de sang, aka Of Sand and Blood - Obviously series writer Jean-Claude Deret, and ethnologist Mario Luraschi, felt they knew more about American Indians than Karl May and they reinvented the character of Winnetou. Now Winnetou was half white, had a saddle on his horse and was rather militant regarding relations with the whites. Plus he had a different costume and the Indians called guns "thundersticks". In this first episode, he joined an effort to rescue a kidnapped Indian boy named Little Bear from a gang led by Sammy Cook, played by Jose Antonio Marros. Both the boy and his grandfather, Old Bear, played by Vicente Lara, were gunned down and our hero badly wounded. While the Rialto Films often featured German immigrants in the Wild West, this show had a French photographer named Napoleon Charbonneau, played by writer Jean-Claude Deret, rescue our wounded hero. The photographer ran into a band of Paiutes who thought the man with a camera was responsible for Winnetou's injuries, but, luckily, Winnetou's white blood brother, Carstairs, played by Siegfried Rauch, happened by and he set things straight. Carstairs was taking Winnetou to seek medical attention when Marros' gang attacked, but El Brujo, a black man from Cuba, showed up to the rescue. El Brujo used a war cry to announce himself, which even the bad guys recognized as Sioux. The good guys make it to El Brujo's homestead, where El Brujo's Native American wife tended to our hero's wounds. Marros' gang laid siege to the house, but Carstairs' expert shooting finally chased them away. While recovering from his wounds, Winnetou explained to El Brujo that Old Bear, an Arapaho, led a long life of "blood and sand". Why sand? Because he survived Custer's massacre of a Cheyenne village at Sand Creek. (But Custer wasn't at the Sand Creek action!) Recovered, Winnetou went out to hunt some stock footage of a wild beast, when a Comanche youth, played by Eric Do, tried to steal his horse. Our hero decided to adopt the youth as his little brother, gave him the name Tashunko, and brought him back to introduce him to his friends. Getting an horse from El Brujo, Tashunko accompanied Winnetou when he left so that they both found the destroyed wagon. Beside the wagon was Ronald Vincent, played by Roger Cudney, of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and his Native American wife, played by Monica Miguel of BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA, and red-haired son. Peter. Vincent said that he knew that Winnetou was one of the Chiefs of the Mescalero Apaches. "Chief? The Apaches are free and equal. When they need to, they listen to who ever knows best what must be done. And it's never the same man for hunting buffalo and for making war. Chief? That's a white man's word. Indians follow only one Chief - the Great Spirit." At that moment, the TV series divorced itself from the eleven previous movies with Pierre Brice. Later, Winnetou complained, "First, they send us the bad whites to rob us. Then they send in the good ones to defend us from the bad ones. But who, except ourselves, will defend us against our defenders?" Vincent believed that the only reason Winnetou wanted to help him was because of his wife, which was tested when all of them were captured by Chirichau Apaches on the war path with Cochise. This band was led by Yaqui, played by Miguel Angel Fuentes, who had also captured the French photographer. Winnetou pleaded for all of their lives, but Yaqui refused to release Vincent as he was one of those trying to force his people onto a reservation. So, the first episode ended with a cliff hanger. Director Marcel Camus, best known as the maker of ORFEU NEGRO, aka BLACK ORPHEUS, doesn't seem to care at all about finding the spectacular scenery that made the feature films special, but he didn't need to plant any fake cacti. Composer Peter Thomas had done the music for WINNETOU UND SEIN FREUND OLD FIREHAND, but he still seemed an odd choice to work on this. His main theme sounded like it would work on an American Western TV show, which may have been what the producers wanted. The show was not picked up for broadcast in the U.S., though the Scandinavian countries got an English language version.
****My initial review of this episode was based on the English language version which someone put on YouTube. On checking the version sent to me by Mike Ferguson from an airing on French language TV in Canada, some interesting differences can be found. While the YouTube version is longer by a few minutes, the TV version has four scenes completely absent from the English language copy. Interestingly, Winnetou's dialogue denouncing Custer was missing. In French, Carstairs was called Old Shatterhand, though he used a conventional Winchester rifle. Why did the people putting together the English version decide that "Old Shatterhand" was not the proper name for this character?  We actually see the villain shoot Little Bear down and later the villains try to string the French photographer up, but Shatterhand shoots the rope. In French, El Brujo was called "un negro", and after Cook's gang left the siege of the house, his neighbor arrived to say that the bad guys had kidnapped the neighbor's wife. Around a campfire, Cook and his gang were getting drunk and manhandling Leeza when our heroes attack. Shatterhand killed Cook with a Bud Spencer-like bash on the top of his head. The Cook plot came to no conclusion in the English version. After Winnetou befriended the Comanche youth, the boy once again attacked our hero, but was stopped by seeing a cougar in a tree. Winnetou was injured by fighting the big cat in the river, and the boy decided to finally help our hero. In another scene missing from the English language version, the French photographer visits with El Brujo where he reported that Old Bear was not killed, but had been arrested by U.S. soldiers. The French version ended with Winnetou offering up a prayer. The sequence with the man from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and his family plus the capture by the Chirichau Apaches was not part of episode one of the French version.

2) Duels - I only had the version off Canadian French TV for this episode, and it began with a summary of events from the first episode followed by Winnetou remembering the shooting of Little Bear and Tashunko asking if he had a vision during his prayers. Tashunko tried to steal a black horse from some whites, but Winnetou arrived in time to help him escape. The young brave didn't want to accept Winnetou's advice, but our hero quieted him in time for the U.S. Cavalry patrol to pass them by. It was after this that the previously described scenes with the Vincent family occured followed by the capture by the Chirichaus. Winnetou tried to talk Yaqui out of violence and they finally agreed to decide the fate of the Vincent family with a combat between Tashunko and one of Yaqui's young braves. A length of rope tied around each of the combatants' left wrists and a blindfold to cover each man's eyes, the two were armed with clubs that had cacti mounted on them. As both fighters eventually collapsed in exhaustion, it was ruled that Winnetou could have the whites, and Yaqui gifted a white horse to Vincent's little boy. Vincent was impressed by the nobility of the Chirichaus, while Winnetou mourned that as they left to continue on the war path they faced annihilation.

3) Hawkins-City - At the U.S. Army fort, Captain Stone, played by Ramon Menendez, delighted in harassing the Indians forced to live nearby. Meanwhile, Major Turner, played by Gerard Buhr, humiliated some individual natives in his office by making them strip and plying them with whisky. Lt. Robert Merril, played by Arthur Brauss, was powerless to stop these abuses. However, he welcomed the arrival of Ronald Vincent of the Bureau of Indians Affairs. After delivering the Vincents to the fort, Winnetou left and didn't see the arrival of Old Bear in a prison wagon. Deciding to visit his old friend Sam Hawkins, again played by Rolf Walter, Winnetou was unhappy to find that Hawkins established a whisky making business called Hawkins City, population 23 - but that may soon change as one woman was pregnant. Hurt by his old friend's disapproval, Hawkins set fire to his business in the night. However, the news that four whites panning for gold had stolen their horses, prompted our heroes into action. Finding that the whites held two Cheyenne women as slaves, gave them further motivation. Rather than killing the villains, Winnetou had the four tied to a raft which he sent down the river leaving their fate to the Great Spirit. Because of their enslavement, the women, played by Rosenda Monteros of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and Hammer's SHE - and Elpidia Carrillo, who would go on to appear in PREDATOR, faced not being welcomed back into their tribe. After a scolding by Winnetou, they were welcomed and the tribe elders offer to smoke the peace pipe with our hero.

4) Fleur de prairie - "Winnetou Mescaleros" on YouTube proved to be a re-edit of the first and half of the second episodes of the series and was of interest because it was dubbed in English. "Winnetou Mescaleros 2" on YouTube proved to be the complete version of episode four in English. It was more complete than the copy that I had off French Canadian TV which was shortened in order to add commercials. Winnetou became a guest of the Cheyenne camp and so witnessed the effort of railroad agents to buy the land. Counciled by Winnetou, the men refused to sell. Meanwhile, Tashunko saw gorgeous Winona, played by Ana Laura Maldonado (who left show business shortly after this production), and was soon playing the courtship flute for her. Winnetou decided to go and visit Hawkins, so you knew something bad was going to happen while he was away. Evil Col. Stevens, played by Jacques Francois in a Confederate uniform, knew that when the men were away hunting, the women left in the camp could be tricked into signing a deed of sale. Alerted, the men returned to stop the swindle, so, naturally Stevens attacked the next day. Tashunko raced to get Winnetou and that was where the episode ended.

5) Cheval Noir contre cheval de fer, aka Black Horse Against Iron Horse - When Tashunko and Winnetou returned to the Cheyenne village, it was mostly destroyed. Among the dead was Winona and the flute Tashunko gave her was missing. Winnetou sends out boys to get help from other tribes. Old Shatterhand, Hawkins and El Brujo quietly offer help, but Winnetou advised them that they wouldn't be welcomed at the village at this time. Among those responding to the call for help was Yaqui. After time in a sweat lodge, the warriors hold a council with Yaqui immediately calling for war. He also taunted our hero with the news that Old Bear was a prisoner of the whites who accused him of murder. Winnetou saw war as leading to the total destruction of the Red Man and advised against it. Tashunko stood praying under Winona's burial platform until he fainted. The boys rushed to him and he told of his vision of a black horse defeating the Iron Horse. When Winnetou came to find his little brother, the boys told him that he snuck out to Stevens' camp. Our hero followed to see Tashunko stealthy moving through the camp. When he heard one of Stevens' thugs playing Winona's flute, he quickly clobbered him with his tomahawk. This alerted the camp and the Comanche was captured. The next day, Stevens' advisor Fowler, played by Chad Hastings, rode into the Cheyenne camp offering to release Tashunko in exchange for the land. Even though the elder Cheyenne was in favor of the deal, Winnetou wasn't. Meanwhile, a Cheyenne widow conspired with the men who wanted revenge.

6) Les fruits de la haine, aka The Fruits of Hate - This episode was complete in English on YouTube as "Winnetou Mescaleros 3". As there was no other episode, YouTube viewers didn't get to see the series finale. The Cheyenne conspirators wait until after Winnetou had rescued Tashunko from Stevens' camp before they attacked. The militant widow shot an arrow into Stevens' chest before a brave sets a blanket on fire and then runs into the cabin filled with explosives. The explosion informed Winnetou of what he felt was an insane act. In the morning, the Cheyenne knew that they had to give up the land while our hero and his little brother set off to try and rescue Old Bear. At the fort, Major Turner ignored the counsel of Ronald Vincent and Lt. Merril and ordered a patrol to shoot on sight any Indian carrying a weapon. Meanwhile, Lt. Merril was ordered to escort Old Bear to town for trial. Knowing that the patrol might catch Winnetou heading for town, Old Shatterhand (Carstairs), Hawkins and El Brujo came up with an elaborate ruse to send the soldiers in the wrong direction. When Winnetou and Tashunko arrived in town, the saloon owner tried to pick a fight, but the Sheriff stopped the aggression by disarming both the whites and the reds. Fowler was in town and tried to accuse our heroes of being responsible for the destruction of Stevens' camp, but the Sheriff discounted the charge as he knew Fowler had no proof. At that point, Fowler asked when the next train out of town was scheduled. When the jail wagon with Old Bear arrived in town, Winnetou raced to it to tell his grandfather that he was there to testify for him. 

7) Le temps du remords, aka The Time of Remorse - The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 played a big part in this story though it was not shown. President Abraham Lincoln wasn't assassinated until 1865, so having his picture on the courtroom wall wasn't impossible, but the Winchester rifle wasn't available until 1866 so when the hell was this story supposed to have happened? Cochise began his uprising in 1861 and ended it in 1872 which didn't narrow the time frame. Oh, well, authenticity in Westerns was kind of a "fool's game". Awaiting the result of the trial of Old Bear, the white townsmen entertained themselves by hanging a cigar store Indian statue. It turned out that Old Bear was accused of killing Little Bear because Sammy Cook was his father. Cook kidnapped the child from the Indian woman he had raped, and the whites believed that the old Indian killed the child rather than let his father raise him. Winnetou testified that version of the action was a lie because he was there. So, the whites accused our hero of being an accomplice to the murder of Little Bear and probably murdered Cook. With the photograph that Napoleon Charbonneau took of him as he lay wounded after the attack, Winnetou showed that he couldn't have killed Cook with a Tomahawk. Sam Hawkins showed up to say that Old Shatterhand will testify about the death of Cook. Meanwhile the wicked saloon owner and some other thugs captured Tashunko, cut his hair and tortured him. The owner then tried to assassinate Hawkins as he rode out of town to get Old Shatterhand. The white thugs threw the unconscious Tashunko into Charbonneau's store window. As the battered Comanche became awake, he showed the French photographer the torn off part of a photograph given to him by Vincent's son. Charbonneau finally did what seemed to me to be the obvious action a while ago, he went to the man from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Old Shatterhand testified that it was a lie that Cook was killed with a tomahawk, and illustrated how he did it with a single blow from his hand by shattering a podium. Winnetou gave a speech about how Old Bear survived the Sand Creek Massacre, to which the soldiers reacted by saying that it never happened. Charbonneau stepped forward with the photos he took of the aftermath. When the prosecution tried to discredit the photographs, Vincent stepped forward to read the official report from Washington which confirmed that the massacre had occurred. While awaiting the jury to return with the verdict, Old Bear began his death chant with Winnetou joining him. As the jury came in with the verdict, Old Bear continued the chant. As the jury was about to deliver the verdict, Old Bear fell down dead. Over the dead body, Winnetou lectured the audience in the courtroom that while the whites succeeded in destroying the red man, they will never be free of the guilt they earned with their evil deeds. As the sheriff returned our hero's weapons, Winnetou guessed that the lawman was part Cherokee. As usual, the story ended with Winnetou saying farewell to Old Shatterhand and Hawkins, but he rode away with Tashunko. 

Trying to ground the German fantasy of Winnetou in historical reality seemed like a very French thing to do as was shooting it in Mexico. The result wasn't very satisfying, but it was always nice to watch Pierre Brice at work. The IMDb page for this show had a number of glaring mistakes. It listed Tashunko twice - once played by Eric Ho and the other by Eric Do. Eric Do was the name listed on the show. Also, George Segal did not appear in the series.
From 1982 until 1986, Brice returned to performing at the Elspe Festival. In 1988, Brice switched over to the rival Karl May Festival in Bad Segeberg, which had also started putting on plays in 1952. Brice stopped playing the role in 1991, but continued to work at the theater as a director. 
In 1997, Brice played Winnetou again in the two part German TV movie Winnetous Ruckkehr.
On June 6, 2015, Pierre Brice died at the age of 86.

Did not enjoy:

LOVE WITCH (2016) - Writer, editor, director and producer Anna Biller was obsessed with capturing the glamour look of old technicolor movies. She was also determined to make a film featuring elements which would appeal to women. I guess I've never felt more masculine, because I found this movie very uninteresting and rather ugly to watch. For a movie about a woman using "sex magic" to find her Prince Charming, the movie was very unsexy. The "keep your panties on for sex" and "keep your long hair over your nipples" gave the film an early sixties look, which didn't match the full frontal nudity of the ritual sequences. Some felt the film made a "serious inquiry into contemporary gender roles", which I didn't see in this tale of a woman who turned to magic in an attempt to find perfect love and then killed the men when it didn't work out. Whatever else, Anna Biller seemed to have made the movie that she wanted to make, so that should be applauded. And filling her soundtrack with needle drops from Ennio Morricone, Robby Poitevan, Luis Enriques Bacalov, Giovanni Fusco and Piero Piccioni soundtracks didn't hurt. By the way, don't think the acting was bad - it was done in a "classical presentational acting style". So it was deliberately phony. 


Charles Gilbert watched:

COLOSSUS OF RHODES (1961) Sergio Leone's inaugural project is quite lengthy at almost two and a half hours. Special effects are top notch especially with the collapse of the city brick structures. The interior of the statue is depicted as harboring torture mechanisms. Notable A. F. Lavagnino leit motif later used in SPARTACUS AND THE TEN GLADIATORS.

SANDOKAN THE GREAT (1963) Reeves and his men take refuge from the imperialist British in the swamps of Ceylon and there run into native headhunters. He gets to shoot a machine gun in both Sandokan films he made. Villain Leo Anchoriz is spared in the finale so he can return in the next Sandokan film. I wonder if any of the actors came down with dysentery wading through those murky swamps.

Walker Texas Ranger episodes 'Innocent Man' and 'Night of the Gladiator'. Heroes and Icons (H and I) channel began airing the series this week


David Deal enjoyed:

MY HEART CAN'T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO (20) - A couple cares for the wife's brother who is sickly, burns in the sunlight, and exists on the blood of homeless people the husband kills.  You know this can't end well.  Low budget, slow burn indie horror is thoughtful (and occasionally ponderous), unfolds nicely, and doesn't collapse in the end.  I liked it.







Mildly Enjoyed



Bertrand van Wonterghem Highly enjoyed: 

The late of George Apley (1947, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)


Red sundown (1956, Jack Arnold)

Houdini and Doyle (2016) - episodes 4 to 7

The lone gunmen (2001) – episodes 1 to 5

Voyage the bottom of the sea – episode « the X factor » (1965, Leonard Horn)

Mildly enjoyed:

Boku dake ga inai machi / Erased (2017) – season 1 – episode 1

Hometown cha-cha-cha – season 1 – episodes 3 & 4

Second chance (2016) – episodes 1 & 2

The saga of Hemp Brown (1958, Richard Carlson)

The yakuza (1974, Sydney Pollack)


Angel Rivera wrote:

I have mostly watched my weekly shows which are: "Stargirl"; Supergirl"; "The Neighborhood"; Home Economics" ( anew sitcom); Grey's Anatomy"; "Young Sheldon": "The US of Al"; Be Postive" among others. (I like silly sitcoms.)

Two movies I did watch were suggested by your questions. I pulled out my DVD copy of the Wild East Productions' dual movie set of "Goliath and the Barbarians with Steve Reeves and on the flip side Gordon Scott in "Goliath and the Vampires". I did not see Scott's film in theaters nor on TV, so when I watched the video I was very impressed. This is the kind of movie worthy of the matinee circuit. It has a good hero up against an evil supernatural villain and two beautiful women; one a good girl (Leonora Ruffo) and the other a very bad (and really sexy) girl (Gianna Maria Canale). It made me wish I had seen it in the movies. (No matter how big your screen is it does not compare with the big screen of a theater. )

The other movie was "The Ugly Ones". I unfortunately was not impressed. Maybe because I had already read the plot, so this movie held no surprises for me. It had all the trappings of the "Spaghetti" westerns. The extreme close-ups. A soundtrack which reminded of Morricone's soundtracks. The only thing I found most interesting were the close-ups of Ella Karin. So the ending held no surprise  and the film did not make me care about any of the characters, and some of the action I have seen better done in other movies.

I guess my memory failed when I was remembering seeing "Flaming Frontier!" I haven't seen it in a long while and I remember mostly the The two being shown communicating from great distances. The memory of reading in my research about the "Winnetou" movies that the two did not get along  clouded my memory as I should of said they "practically do not appear in any scenes together." Any way while looking up Granger's Wikipedia page, another of his costars, is quoted as not getting along with him. Eleanor Parker who co-starred with him in the MGM remake of "Scaramouche" is quoted as saying Granger was the only actor she did not get along with during her entire career.


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