The Treasure of the Silver Lake

1962

Adventure / Western

0
IMDb Rating 6.9

Synopsis


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2.12G
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French
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111 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.34G
Normal
French
/
111 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 7

First off, I usually avoid commenting on the thoughts of other contributors to the IMDb, but since when does anyone evaluate a Western strictly on the basis of it&#39;s historical accuracy? Sounds about as logical as noting that Wile E. Coyote was working with materials purchased out of the ACME catalog that were not available in 1967 when a given cartoon was made. Like, whatever: Cowboys wear six-guns, ride horses, have mountains in the background of their locations, and don&#39;t look twice at supporting characters who are wearing baseball caps ... even though baseball had not yet been invented whenever TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE is supposed to be set.<br/><br/>Back to matters at hand, this was the first of a string of German made &quot;Schnitzel Westerns&quot; based on the books of Karl May, sort of a Teutonic version of Zane Gray who probably never got out to Dodge City either -- proof positive that anyone can write convincing fiction on any subject they choose so long as they are properly inspired &amp; enthusiastic about it. As one other contributor notes this film is actually more progressive than American made productions of the time in it&#39;s respectful (if somewhat childish) portrayal of Native American culture. The Germans may not have gotten the war paint right but they were in awe of the Indians and don&#39;t just regard them as pop-up targets to be shot at -- though the idea of having the good guys shoot only their horses as a way to show that they were &quot;friends&quot; is questionable &amp; unfortunate due to the wire tripped horse falls used to simulate it. But that&#39;s 1962 for you, and to impose modern day standards on the film is to condemn it to obscurity, which is sadly what has happened. It was wrong to trip the horsies in 1962 but even more wrong to condemn the film for being what it is, and it deserves to be seen.<br/><br/>Now with that said this is one of the most endearingly stupid Westerns I have ever encountered, infectiously likable from beginning to end. Euro Manbeef hero actor Lex Barker plays &quot;Old Shatterhand&quot;, Mr. May&#39;s version of Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett combined into one character. He wears a buckskin suit, fights Injun style and at the beginning of the film is wearing a beard for the sole purpose of shaving it off to look more &quot;civilized&quot;. Popular film villain Herbert Lom is on-hand to play the scheming, scowling, always cheezed-off villain, who wants to find a treasure of Injun gold and keep it all to himself. Villains are always more believable when they keep their motivations close to the wallet.<br/><br/>We also get the fetching 007 Bond Babe to be Karin Dor as the fresh-faced white woman who gets tied up to various posts no less than three times during the course of the movie and is not once felt-up by any of the bad guys. This was a more noble time in the west before Peckinpah when cowboys did each other the courtesy of fighting fair, washing regularly and wearing color coordinated costumes. There are mass horseback charges, duels to the death, a stockaded settlement to be defended, honor to be upheld, friends to be saved from doom, wise-spoken blue eyed Indian braves and doting womenfolk who dutifully stand by their men through thick &amp; thin.<br/><br/>The movie has a cast of hundreds, it&#39;s Yugoslavian location work is impressively authentic if yet refreshingly unfamiliar, and the good old poetic justice ending for the greedy villains straight out of TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE get the heroes out of having to actually kill anyone. It&#39;s sweeping theme music is quite enjoyable, the camera-work arty without being bogged down by distracting flourishes, and only some unnecessary comic relief in the form of a wayward butterfly collector come between the film and a masterpiece status. It is enjoyable if somewhat socially naive, wholesome and visually compelling entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together. A testimony to modern day man&#39;s unquenchable desire to play cowboys &amp; Indians, with even the Indians coming off as the good guys. It&#39;s stupid for sure, but aside from some wire-tripped tumbling horsies (and I pray that none were hurt), what about this movie isn&#39;t there to like? <br/><br/>7/10

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Reviewed by Jo_the_film_junkie 8

Having read some of the comments on this film I feel somehow compelled to defend one of my favourite childhood movies. First off, I find it very odd that accuracy in the depiction of Indian culture and the what kind of equipment was used in a film made in the 1960s, when with very few exceptions (such as Cheyenne Autumn and Broken Arrow) American Westerns only depicted Indians as villains. Moreover, in the 1960s cinematography was maybe a bit more boring by modern music-video style cutting standards. Also, the prop work (costumes, the kind of guns and knives used etc....excuse me?) was simply making do with what you could get. This was not a multi-million-dollar budget movie, it was produced for German TV in a coproduction with Yugoslavia and I think Italy. Of course the story is full of clichés, and that&#39;s not surprising since Karl May never even left Germany, he was writing escapist romanticised fantasies of noble savages and cowboys fighting against evil savages and cowboys, it&#39;s not an ethnographic study on mid-19th-century Native American war-painting styles. It is still a very good and entertaining movie with likable characters, including some for comic relief. It is still the best of all the Karl May films, even though it greatly deviates from the book. When you see these films as an adult and don&#39;t know them from childhood I can understand they don&#39;t really grip you or blow you away. But they are classics. Their clichés, great music, and scenery make them so popular and the films have, along with the books, had a great impact on popular culture in Germany, even having spawned their own spoofs and parodies. If you are looking for factual accuracy, don&#39;t watch Westerns at all, if you just like a good adventure story, watch it.

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Reviewed by grafxman 7

As a fan of western movies, I was astonished by this one. There was at least 300 or more extras in this film. There were bad guys, good guys, a whole lot of Indians, a secret tunnel, a cave with treasure, a beautiful girl, etc. The scenery was terrific. Apparently it was shot in southern or eastern Europe. All in all, a terrific film. I gave it a 10.

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