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15 August 2015

Der Schut (1964)

Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) is the first film adaptation in the 1960s of the oriental novels by best-selling 19th century German writer Karl May. These adventure novels set in the Orient and Middle East and feature Kara Ben Nemsi who travels throughout the Ottoman empire, alongside his friend and servant Hadschi Halef Omar. In Der Schut, Lex Barker stars as Kara Ben Nemsi and Ralf Wolter plays Halef. German-born Hollywood director Robert Siodmak, famous for the Burt Lancaster classics The Killers (1946) and The Crimson Pirate (1952), directed the picture on location in Yugoslavia.

Marie Versini in Der Schut
German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 921. Retail price: 10 Pfg. Photo: Gloria / Schnelle. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Shoot (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Marie Versini as Tschita.

Der Schut  (1964) with Dieter Borsche, Chris Howland and Lex Barker
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 2. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Dieter Borsche, Chris Howland and Lex Barker. Caption: "Mister Kara, wie gut, dass ich Euch treffe. Euer Freund Galingré wurde von den Banditen des Schut überfallen und entführt. Ein gewisser Nirwan besuchte mich an Bord meiner Jacht und erzählte mir davon.'- 'Unter diesen Umständen kann ich natürlich nicht mit Euch nach Egypten reisen, Sir David, das werdet Ihr verstehen. Ich werde nach Ostromdscha reiten, wo die Frau meines entführten Freundes lebt... Ich muss den Schut finden!'- " (Mister Kara, so good that I meet you. Your friend Galingré was attacked and kidnapped by bandits of the Yellow One. A certain Nirwan visited me on board of my yacht and told me about it .'- 'In these circumstances, I can not travel with you to Egypt of course, Sir David, which will you understand. I will ride to Strumnitza where my kidnapped friend's wife lives ... I need to find the Yellow One'! -)

Der Schut (1964) with Lex Barker and Ralf Wolter
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 7. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964). Caption: "Keine Angst, guter Mann. Wir sind Freunde von Dir. Mein Sihdi, der berühmte Kara ben Nemsi und ich werden alles tun, um diesen Schurken, den Schut, zu fangen." (Do not worry, my good man. We are friends of yours. My Sidi, the famous Kara ben Nemsi and I will do everything possible to catch these rogues, the Schut.)

Der Schut (1964) with Renato Baldini
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 9. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Renato Baldini. Caption: "'Hier Barud, nimm mein Messer!' - 'Ja, so geht's besser! Sollte jetzt Jemand lust haben, uns zu verfolgen, dann braucht er nur über diese Brücke zu kommen!' - " (Barud, take my knife! '- 'Yes, now it gets better! If someone should like to persecute us, then he just needs to come across the bridge!)

Der Schut (1964) with Friedrich von Ledebur
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 13. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Friedrich von Ledebur. Caption: "Ich habe solche Angst vor dem Heiligen Mübarek, er wird zornig sein, weil ich mit euch spreche und seine Raben werden ihn sagen, was ich euch erzählt habe... Dass er die Leute vor euch gewarnt hat...!" (I am so afraid of the Holy Mübarek, he will be angry that I speak to you, and his ravens will tell him what I told you ... That he warned the people for you ...!)

Der Schut (1964) with Lex Barker and Ralf Wolter
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 15. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964). Caption: "Am Abend im Hause Galingré: 'Halef, ich werde dem Mübarek einen Streich spielen. Deshalb musstest du mir Wismut und Quecksilber besorgen. Daraus mache ich Kugeln, die genau aussehen wie Bleikugeln, aber beim Schiessen zerfallen. Nun lade ich das Gewehr immer abwechselnd mit einer Kugel aus Blei und mit einer falschen...'" (In the evening at home Galingré: "Halef, I will play a trick on the Mübarek. Therefore, you had to get me bismuth and mercury. From this I'll make bullets that look like lead bullets, but disintegrate during firing. Now I'll load the gun alternately with a bullet made of lead and a fake one ...")

Der Schut  (1964) with Lex Barker, Ralph Wolter and Friedrich von Ledebur
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 16. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Lex Barker, Ralf Wolter and Friedrich von Ledebur. Caption: "Der heilige Mübarek stellt sich seinem Gegner, Kara Ben Nemsi. "Dieser blonde Giaur soll dafür bestraft werden, dass er einen heiligen Raben erschossen hat. Es ist Allahs Wille!" - Ihr lügt, Mübarek. Es ist nicht Allah's sondern dein Wille. Du fürchtest dich von mir, weil ich ein grösserer Zauberer bin als du. Ich will es dir beweisen. Hier ist ein Gewehr, das genauer und besser schiesst als jedes andere. Wenn du mich mit einer einzigen Kugel treffen kannst, dann soll es dir gehören, Mübarek. Halef, zeig ihm das Gewehr und wie man damit feuert." (The Holy Mübarek faces his opponent, Kara Ben Nemsi. "This blonde Giaur will be punished because he shot a sacred raven. It is the will of Allah!" - You lie, Mübarek. It is not God's will but yours. You're afraid of me because I am a greater magician than you. I want to prove it to you. Here is a gun that shoots more accurate and better than any other. If you can meet with a single bullet, then it should belong to you, Mübarek. Halef, show him the rifle and how to fire it.)

Heroic Kara Ben Nemsi


The secretive 'Schut' or 'The Yellow One' (Rik Battaglia) is a bandit king who terrorizes a whole region in the land of the Skipetars - modern Albanians, one of the few Balkan people who adopted the Turkish Muslim faith. He controls the land in the disguise of the wealthy Persian carpet merchant Nirwan.

The Schut holds an English aristocrat and a French merchant for a ransom, then he also abducts the beautiful Tschita (Marie Versini), Kara's friend Omar's fiancée. The corrupt police force does not take any action against him.

Heroic Kara Ben Nemsi (the Turkish-Arabic name means 'black(bearded) German') tries to find the Schut's hiding-place in the mountains and free the prisoners. But the Schut has many rogues and assassins under his command who make this search long and dangerous.

After unmasking the Mübarek, a local phony 'magician', and dealing with some other ruffians and corruption, Kara Ben Nemsi and Lord Lindsay (Dieter Borsche) with his butler Archie (Chris Howland) set out to finish The Schut off.

Der Schut (1964) with Friedrich von Ledebur
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 17. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964). Caption: "Seht ihr, was hinter der Maske dieses Heiligen steckt? Halif hat ihm den Mantel heruntergerissen und hervor kam das zerfetzte Kleid des angeblich lahmen und taubstummen Bettlers Busra. Er war stets überall und nirgends - trotz seiner kranken Beine. Nicht die Raben haben den Mübarek alles erzählt, sondern er selbst hörte was über ihn gesprochen wurde." (Do you see what's behind the mask of this saint? Halif has torn down his coat and forth came the tattered dress of the supposedly lame and deaf-mute beggar Busra. He was always everywhere and nowhere - despite his ill legs. Not the Ravens have told the Mübarek everything, but he could hear himself what was being said about him.)

Marianne Hold and Lex Barker in Der Schut (1964)
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 29. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Marianne Hold and Lex Barker. Caption: "Wie froh bin ich, dass Ihnen nichts passiert ist, Mister Kara. Ich hörte die Schüsse..." - "Wie Sie sehen, ist mit diesem Mübarek alles gut gegangen, Madame Galingré. Fein dass Sie die Pferde mitgebracht haben. Da können Omar, Halef und Ich gleich die Verfolgung des Schut aufnehmen." ("How glad I am that nothing happened to you, Mister Kara (Lex Barker). I heard the shots ...." - "As you can see, everything went well with this Mübarek, Madame Galingré (Marianne Hold). Fine that you brought the horses. Omar, Halef and I can immediately do on with the persecution of The Yellow One.")

Der Schut (1964) with Lex Barker, Ralf Wolter and Marianne Hold
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 31. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Lex Barker, Ralf Wolter and Marianne Hold. Caption: "Das vollbeladene Floss. Ein gutes Angriffsziel für die sich in den Felsen versteckt haltenden Banditen." (The fully loaded raft. A good target for the bandits, who are hiding between the rocks.)

Der Schut (1964) with Dusan Janicijevic
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 36. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Dusan Janicijevic. Caption: "Zum letzten Mal! Wo ist meine Braut Tschita? Wohin hast du sie geschleppt?" (For the last time! Where is my bride Tschita? Where did you drag her?)

Der Schut (1964) with Lex Barker and Marianne Hold
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 37. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Lex Barker and Marianne Hold. Caption: "Damit Madame Galingré sich von den Strapazen des Überfalls erholen kann, wird eine kurze Rast eingelegt. Erst am nächsten Morgen soll die Suche nach dem Schut fortgezetst werden." (A short break is inserted, so Madame Galingré can recover from the rigors of the raid. The next morning the search for the Yellow One will be continued.)

Der Schut (1964) with Ralf Wolter
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 39. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Ralf Wolter. Caption: "Man hat Halef in die Schluchthütte gerissen und ihn dort gefesselt. 'Wo halt sich Kara auf? Rede... oder!' - Aber Halef schweigt und widersteht alle Drohungen und Schlägen." (They have pulled Halef into the canyon lodge and tied him up there. 'Where is Kara holding on? Speak... or! '- But Halef remains silent and resists all threats and beatings.)

Karl May's Oriental Cycle


Der Schut was not the first adaptation of the Oriental novels with Kara Ben Nemsi by Karl May. In 1920, May's friends Marie Luise Droop and her husband Adolf Droop among others founded in cooperation with the Karl May Press the production company Ustad-Film.

They produced three silent films: Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses/On the Brink of Paradise (Josef Stein, 1920), Die Todeskarawane/Caravan of Death (Josef Stein, 1920) and Die Teufelsanbeter/The Devil Worshippers (Marie Luise Droop, 1920), all starring Carl de Vogt as Kara Ben Nemsi. These three films are believed to be lost. Due to the low success Ustad-Film went bankrupt in the following year.

The first sound film was Durch die Wüste/Through the Desert (J.A. Hübler-Kahla, 1936). Kara Ben Nemsi was played by Fred Raupach.

The German-Spanish Die Sklavenkarawane/Caravan of Slaves (Georg Marischka, Ramón Torrado, 1958) and its sequel Der Löwe von Babylon/The Lion of Babylon (Johannes Kai, Ramón Torrado, 1959) were the first colour films. In the first film, Kara Ben Nemsi was played by Viktor Staal and in the second by Helmuth Schneider. In both films Halef was played by Georg Thomalla and Sir David Lindsay by Theo Lingen.

Famous is the Karl May film wave from 1962–1968, which was one of the most successful German film series ever. Most of these films were made separately by the two competitors Horst Wendlandt and Artur Brauner.

Most of the 17 films of this series were Westerns starring Pierre Brice as Winnetou, beginning with Der Schatz im Silbersee/The Treasure of the Silver Lake (Harald Reinl, 1962).

Three of the films were based on the Orient cycle. After Der Schut followed Durchs wilde Kurdistan/Wild Kurdistan (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1965) and Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen/Kingdom of the Silver Lion (Franz Josef Gottlieb, 1965). In all three films Lex Barker starred as Kara Ben Nemsi.

Der Schut (1964) with Lex Barker and Ralf Wolter
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 40. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Lex Barker and Ralf Wolter. Caption: "Kara der seinen treuen Diener plötzlich vermisste, ist seinen Spuren nachgegangen und konnte ihn noch rechtzeitig aus den Klauen der Banditen befreien. Jeder einzelner wird jetzt von Kara mit seinem gefürchteten Bärentöter aufs Korn genommen." (Kara, who suddenly missed his faithful servant, has followed in his footsteps, and could free him in time from the clutches of the bandits. Kara now takes each bandit on the grain with his dreaded bear hunter.)

Der Schut, Dieter Borsche, Chris Howland
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 43. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Dieter Borsche and Chris Howland. Caption: "'Well, Archibald, was nun?' fragt Sir Lindsay seinen Butler, als sie der Schut unversehends in einer Felsenhöhle, die sich unter seinem Palast befindet, gefangensetzt." ('Archibald now what?', Sir Lindsay (Dieter Borsche) asks his butler (Chris Howland), when The Shoot enexpectedly captures them in a cave, which is located beneath his palace." )

Der Schut  (1964) with Dieter Borsche and Chris Howland
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 44. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Dieter Borsche and Chris Howland. Caption: "Der Lord sowie sein Diener lassen sich durch die Situation nicht erschüttern. Archie halt in seinem Wunderkoffer alles bereit, um seinem Lord den Aufenthalt in der Felsenhöhle so angenehm wie möglich zu machen." (The Lord and his servant won't be shaken by the situation. Archie has in his magical suitcase everything ready to make his Lord's stay in the cave as pleasant as possible.)

Der Schut (1964) with Ralf Wolter and Marianne Hold
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 46. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964) with Ralf Wolter and Marianne Hold. Caption: "Durch eine List gelingt es dem treuen Diener Halef mit Hilfe von türkischen Soldaten seinen geliebten Herrn, Kara Ben Nemsi, aus den Händen des Schut zu befreien, der ihn gefangenhält." (By a ruse and with the help of Turkish soldiers, the faithful servant Halef can free his beloved Lord, Kara Ben Nemsi, from the hands of the Yellow One, who has imprisoned him.)

Lex Barker and Ralf Wolter in Der Schut (1964)
German postcard by Heinerle Karl-May-Postkarten, no. 48. Photo: CCC / Gloria. Publicity still for Der Schut/The Yellow One (Robert Siodmak, 1964). Caption: "Die Abschiedsstunde schlägt. Kara will in seine Heimat zurückkehren. Traurig sagt Halef seinem beliebten Herrn 'Good-bye'. 'Sihdi, wir werden uns wiedersehen, wenn der Sohn von Rih das Licht der Welt erblickt hat!'" (The Farewell Bell Tolls. Kara wants to return to his homeland. Sad Halef says his beloved Lord "Good-bye". "Sidi, we 'll meet again, when the son of Rih has seen the light of day!")

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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