This is another wonderful piece of Eastern, a Eastern-German sub-genre of Western. The fast paced and action packed Gojko Mitic vehicle is rather enjoyable watching. It has its flaws, but it also has a charm. The cinematography is almost fantastic, and the use of Georgian (that was part of the USSR at that time) mountains give some authentic Western feel. Although it was weird to see the town built in the pine forest. Mitic again stars as Native-American hero fighting against white man's injustice. An evil Tycoon Snaky-Joe (Hannjo Hasse who has uncanny resemblance of Hollywood's evil guy legend John Carradine) is trying every possible sneaky ways to force Indians out of their land. Chief Farsighted Falcon sees through the plans to deceit the Indians, and starts fighting back. As these Red-Westerns were kind of part of Communistic propaganda machine, the Indians (Reds) were depicted flawless and Whites were all merciless and greedy (with few exceptions like Sam Blake and Emmersons, but they were sort of cowards). Like I said, the film has its charm, and I would dare to recommend it to any serious Western fans, and to people who are just into peculiar obscure movies.
Trail of the Falcon
Drama / Western
Trail of the Falcon
Drama / Western
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In the latter half of the 19th century, gold is discovered in the Black Hills, an area which has already been allocated to the Dakota Indians as a winter reservation in a treaty. Nevertheless, gold diggers, profiteers and adventurers flock to the region. Among them is the hard-hearted land speculator Bludgeon, who tries to expel the Indians using brutal methods like slaughtering entire herds of buffalo. The Dakotas take their revenge by attacking a Union Pacific train. While Chief Farsighted Falcon and his men are out hunting, Bludgeon and his gang massacre the Indian village. The Dakota warriors retaliate and soon the gold diggers' town becomes the scene of a giant battle. Only the advancing cavalry manage to head off certain defeat for the Whites. Farsighted Falcon conquers Bludgeon in single combat, however. Gathering up the remaining members of his tribe, he leads them to safety elsewhere.
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Red vs white
This sure is a fascinating piece - an East German Western (they made a series of 14 films, this is the second). Partly filmed in Brandenburg (round Berlin),mostly in (European) Georgia. The "reds" (American Indians) are depicted without flaws (though they have some collaborators with the white),the "whites" less so. There's good ones (Sam Blake, the Emmersons),pure evils (Snakey Joe Bludgeon and his guys),and the US cavalry is initially shown as somehow neutral - later they side with Bludgeon and get totally defeated.
The steam locomotive was rebuilt from a Reichsbahn one, and pretty convincingly. But the coaches of the train are plain ridiculous - four-wheelers, with four windows per side.. that may be classic Prussian, but surely not American, where bogeys were used very early on, in order to deal better with uneven track. Painting them yellow and lettering them UNION PACIFIC doesn't help.
But such niggles aside, the story is certainly gripping. In Dakota territory, there's settlers, gold-diggers, and of course the cavalry. Many moves appear like in chess... kill buffaloes, raid train, burn Indian village, burn western town, send the cavalry, final showdown.
In the end, the Dakotas win the day. (But there were other days to come...) I liked most the wordless date between hero (Far-looking Falcon) and heroine... throwing pebbles, throwing broken arrows, swapping amulets, the hands game.
For Europeans, Western movies have some kind of slightly exotic touch. But this European production might feel exotic to Americans too - but in any case, I found it really interesting. Recommended for the curious.
The black hills of... Georgia
From the dancing native Americans, a sudden cut to a locomotive rushing threateningly towards the camera, puffing clouds of dirty black smoke. Inside the wagons, a discussion about the Indians takes place. Many whites want their land at the Black Hills. "Kill'em all!", someone demands unscrupulously. Bludgeon (Hannjo Hasse) wears black because he is the leader of the bad guys and replies: "That's not a bad thought...". It seems even better, though still inhuman, after gold is discovered in the hills! The barren mountains of Georgia (belonging to the Soviet Union at that time) provide an impressive location. "Spur des Falken" is one of the westerns from behind the iron curtain, an uncanny sub-genre regularly starring Yugoslavian actor Gojko Mitic who had experience from the West German Karl May films. "Spur des Falken" knows how to keep the action moving and its photography is lively and colorful - good craftsmanship, all in all. Its well deserved success led to a sequel: "Weisse Wölfe".