If you ever spend any time with a European out West, they will inevitably get very excited at some point and begin saying things that you don't understand. They will talk about larger-than-life heroes with funny names you never heard before and they will be shocked with disbelief that you don't know who they are. Meet 'Winnetou' and 'Old Shatterhand', the great heroes of the American West. These are the characters of novels written by Karl May (1842-1912), the German author who never set foot in America.

Karl May

May's stories about Winnetou and Old Shatterhand were made widely popular through a series of twelve German movie productions shot in Croatia in the early 1960s. If Old Shatterhand looks familiar to you...

Old Shatterhand
...it is because he was played by Lex Barker. You remember Lex, he was the non-Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan.

Lex Barker as Tarzan
Barker was also Anita Ekberg's fiancé in La Dolce Vita.

Old Shatterhand was the great traveler from Germany who became blood brothers with Winnetou, the Apache hero played by French actor Pierre Brice. Shatterhand had a romantic link with Winnetou's sister, Nscho-tschi, played by French actress Marie Versini.

Winnetou and Nscho-tschi

Here are some trailers.

You might have noticed Klaus Kinski in one of the trailers.

Below are more photos of Winnetou, Old Shatterhand and friends.

Find more photos like this on Stuarto

For more about Karl May and Winnetou go here:

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