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Durchs Wilde Kurdistan

The Wild Men of Kurdistan
El Salvaje Kurdistán / Wild Kurdistan

West Germany / Spain 1965
produced by
Artur Brauner, Eberhard Meichsner (executive) for CCC Filmkunst, Blacázar Producciones Cinematográficas
directed by Franz Josef Gottlieb
starring Lex Barker, Ralf Wolter, Marie Versini, Dieter Borsche, Chris Howland, George Heston (= Djordje Nenadovic), Werner Peters, Wolfgang Lukschy, Gustavo Rojo, Charles Fawcett, Gloria Cámara, Fernando Sancho, Antonio Iranzo, José Nieto, Maite Matalonga, Kurt Waitzmann, Tito García, Juan Cazalilla, Pablito Alonso, Milo Quesada, Francisco Bravo, Antonio Casas, Soraya Hussein, José María Caffarel
screenplay by Franz Josef Gottlieb, based on the novel by Karl May, music by Gerard Muller, Raimund Rosenberger, Armand Seguin

Kara Ben Nemsi, Kara Ben Nemsi at CCC-Filmkunst, Karl May at CCC-Filmkunst

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The corrupt Machredsch of Mossul (George Heston) has taken Ahmed (Gustavo Rojo), son of sheik Mohammed (Charles Fawcett) his prisoner and threatens to execute him, which urges the sheik to ask German hero Kara Ben Nemsi (Lex Barker) and his native sidekick Hadschi Halef Omar (Ralf Wolter) for help. Soon, Kara, Halef and Mohammed team up with the Jessidi, exactly the people whom the Machredsch and his men plan to attack next - but the Jessidi are warned by British Sir David Lindsay (Dieter Borsche) and his servant Archibald (Chris Howland), who have just escaped the Machredsch's captivity, and so the Machredsch's attack backfires - but still, Kara decides to not have him killed but sends him and his men on their way through the desert unarmed.

Wanting revenge, the Machredsch soon almost captures Kara and his friends, but instead, our heroes manage to free Ahmed. Later though, Kara, Halef, Ahmed and sheik Mohammed get into an ambush and the sheik is killed, while the others are captured by the Machredsch, who has now teamed up with sheik Kadir Bei (Charles Fawcett again) and has denounced Kara and company as traitors - and soon, they are on their way to the gallows. But the Machredsch has made a fatal mistake: He has made Kadir Bei's daughter Ingdscha (Marie Versini) his prisoner, and Ingdscha not only knows that the almighty Padischah (Fernando Sancho) has relieved the Machredsch of his post and stripped him of all his powers, she also manages to escape with the help of Sir Lindsay and Archibald and make it to her father just in time to unmask the Machredsch as teh true villain of the story - and our heroes are not only saved from the gallows (quite literally), Kara is also allowed to hunt the Machredsch down - who only escapes captivity by throwing himself off a cliff - to his death, one wonders.

 

Other than its predecessor The Shoot, which was filmed in the Balkans, pretty much the actual location of the story, The Wild Men of Kurdistan was shot in Spain, but some beautiful landscapes and Mauretanian villages make for an impressive backdrop for the story - even if the film as a whole tries to be little more than a Winnetou-Western set in the Orient ... which was the main intention of the Kara Ben Nemsi-series as it is (note: both Winnetou and Kara Ben Nemsi are creations of popular German author Karl May).

Taken by its own merits, The Wild Men of Kurdistan is an exciting enough adventure movie that is incredibly thin on actual plot, but has plenty of action to make up for it. Nothing special, really, but an entertaining hour and a half nevertheless.

Filmed back to back with its sequel, Attack of the Kurds.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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