Riding through the plains, Apache chieftain Winnetou (Pierre Brice)
comes across an Indian girl attacked by a bear - and hero tht he is, he
saves her and kills the bear, only to then learn the girl is Ribanna
(Karin Dor), daughter of the Assiniboins' chieftain, whom Winnetou wanted
to pay a visit to persuade him to participate in a peace conference with
the white men in fort Niobara. At the Assiniboins' stakes though, Winnetou
finds 3 white soldiers, one of them bein Robert Merrill (a very young
Mario Girotti, before he turned into Terence Hill). Winnetou though can
not only persuade the Assiniboins chieftain to join in in the peace
conference, he also makes him set free the three men ... and furthermore,
he wins the heart of Ribanna.
On their way back to fort Niobara, our three soldiers witness a gang of
white men led by Luca (Klaus Kinski, great as usual) massacre a Ponkas'
camp, and when the three soldies try to stop then, Luca wants them killed
too, and they are only saved by Old Shatterhand.
Shatterhand then picks up the trail of Luca and his gang together with
his friend, the eccentric Lord Castlepool (Eddi Arent), and soon enough
they arrive at an oil camp ... where they are immediately made prisoner by
the camp's leader Bud Forrester (Anthony Steel), an unscrupulous
businessmen who tries to sabotage the peace between Native Americans and
white men every way possible to dig for oil on the red man's land. During
a revolt of the workers against Forreter and his hoodlums, which blows up
Forrester's whole camp, Shatterhand and Castlepool can escape.
At the peace conference, Winnetou finds it much harder to persuade his
brothers to keep peace than he has expected, most of them (understandably)
do not trust the white man one bit ... until Robert Merrill has an idea
that saves the day. He suggests that he himself is to marry Ribanna,
daughtetr of the Assiniboins' chieftain, as a symbol for the unity between
white and red men ... upon hearing that, Winnetou is devastated and wants
to protest, but when he sees that all the other chieftains agree to the
suggestion, he shuts up and puts everlasting (as if) peace above personal
The new-found peace puts a spanner into the works of Forrester's
organisation, so he has his men massacre a settlers' treck and send Luca
to Fort Niobara as the only survivor, so he can conveniently blame
everything on the Assiniboins ... and the plan seems to work, since
General Merrill (Renato Baldini) is more than eager to believe the Indians
are the first to break the peace. Only his son and Ribanna don't agree, so
they kidnaps Luca (whom Robert knows from earlier on) and take him to the
Assiniboins camp. Soon the Assiniboins decide to go on the warpath to hunt
down Forrester and gang, and take their women and children - and Robert -
to their secret cave in the mountains.
Meanwhile at the treck that was slaughtered by Forrester and his men,
Winnetou, Old Shatterhand and Castlepool show up, and soon get into a
massive shoot-out with Forrester's gang, but somehow our heroes, being
witnesses that the massacre was not done by the Assiniboins, can get away.
Luca meanwhile can escape the Assiniboins and catch up with his gang
... giving them valuable information about the Assiniboins' secret cave,
where they can take both Robert Merrill and Ribanna hostage to hold both
the army and the Assiniboins at bay ...
Of course, everything ends in another massive shootout, in the caves,
and all the baddies are killed or captured. Only Forrester gets away ...
or so it seems, he is merely lured into an ambush by the Assiniboins who
want to take their personal vendetta on him ...
What can I say ?
After Der Schatz im
Silbersee and Winnetou I,
Winnetou II is more of the same ... but I don't mean that in a bad
way. Again the film is beautifully directed, and again it transmits a
fairytale- or young boy's adventure-like atmosphere, thanks to its
romantic landscapes, cheesy but catchy music and clearly distinguishable
good and bad guys ... and somehow, this film succeeds in making one feel
nine years old again, when one was susceptible to such films (which not
all that many films succeed in once one is a bit older).