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Arizona Colt
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« on: December 04, 2008, 02:11:26 AM »

TREASURE OF THE AZTECS 1965

Lex Barker (Dr. Karl Sternau), Rik Battaglia (Captain Verdona)

Directed by Robert Siodmak

Dr. Karl Sternau, a diplomatic courier, is given an important letter by President Lincoln to deliver to Mexican President Benito Juarez regarding assistance against the French occupation. With no money to fund retaliation, Sternau and Juarez seek the location of the legendary Aztecan treasure. The wealthy landowner, Count Don Fernando assists Sternau and his group in finding the fabled riches, the whereabouts of which are known by a beautiful Aztec princess.

An interesting German western film adapted from a novel by popular writer Karl May whose 'Winnetou' series was filmed as a long running series of pictures. Lex Barker starred in some of those and he stars in this movie and also the sequel, PYRAMID OF THE SUN GOD the same year. There's a character named Hasenfeffer (a traveling salesman of cuckoo clocks) that provides some humorous comedy relief. American actor, Jeff Corey plays Abraham Lincoln in a brief role.

This film has a certain sense of adventure about it that transcends the typical western style. This is most apparent once the Aztec temple is discovered which also houses a live volcano(!) replete with secret passages and traps. Battaglia, a familiar face from Euroaters and sword & sandal films, is the main villain here and he gets pretty sadistic past the mid point. He's discharged from Juarez's militia and seeks the treasure for himself. Some of the action scenes are stilted and have an air of the older serial westerns about them. Some of the fight scenes are better than others.

There's also a tribe of Indians that figures into the story and all participants converge on the temple during the final 20 minutes just in time for the explosive closing moments. The movie bogs down slightly towards the end, but picks up steam for the finale. The locations are gorgeous and seeing this movie in a restored widescreen version would enhance this. This dubbed version is woefully out of sync from time to time. The characters are likable and the women are very easy on the eyes. Some larger than life set pieces enhance the adventure and the score is decent for the most part, at times sounding quite boisterous. The dubber for Barker did the English voiceover work for Guiliano Gemma in a number of his movies. 106 minutes.

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Banjo
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2008, 05:17:06 AM »

I have this,plus 2 or 3 Winnetou none of which i've watched so far but i might start with this one! Afro

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Arizona Colt
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 10:30:09 AM »

I have this,plus 2 or 3 Winnetou none of which i've watched so far but i might start with this one! Afro

TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE is a good one to start with. I would imagine AZTECS would play even better if it was wide and restored. It apparently has been judging by this site here...

http://www.kinowelt-international.de/worldsales.php?&kategorie=Winnetou+-+Karl+May&seite=1

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Banjo
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 07:37:36 AM »

Thanks for that useful link to the Winnetou movies AC! Smiley

I watched TREASURE OF THE AZTECS this morning and can concur that this is a very involving and classy western,7/10.

 

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