Western. A screen adaptation of several adventure novels by German writer Liselotte Welskopf-Heinrich, which I have not read and am not going to do. And, concurrently, the first serious role of the famous Yugoslav actor Gojko Mitic, which gave rise to a whole line of films, where he plays the role of a "noble savage", consisting of twelve pieces that I intend to watch (and revise), and write on each of them review, which I will do in the near future. The task will not be easy, but since I have mastered ten masterpieces of the great Chaplin, then Goiko Mitic is simply obliged, because I love westerns, and I already checked out the "dollar trilogy" of Sergio Leone with the magnificent Clint Eastwood more than a year ago, well and now it's the turn of westerns, which I myself really love, and they were loved and continue to be loved by all the inhabitants of the former Soviet Union, who were still children during the years when Goiko Mitic's paintings were released. And the first in turn, in chronological order, was the painting "Sons of the Big Dipper", which I had not seen in my time, but now I was able to appreciate, and here is my brief opinion - the first serious role. There are no drawbacks to the picture, but there are clarifications, which I will mention in a separate paragraph, but for now, let me focus your attention on the merits of this picture.
So, here they are:
1. The story told - the picture tells about the misadventures of the Indian Tokei-Ito, played by Goyko Mitich, and about his Dakota tribe, which greedy and insidious Americans drive from their native land to the reservation, where only pain, misfortune and death await them. Tokei-Ito as she can resist this, looking for allies in the face of neighboring tribes and among the pale-faced. He does not become a bloodthirsty fanatic, although his father died at the hands of the pale-faced, he is reasonable, uses force only if there is no other way out. The script of the picture did not go far from real historical events, in life it was much more terrible and bloodier. The Indians are shown here exclusively from the best side, although in life it was not so, but the pale-faced are both insidious and greedy villains, crooks and scoundrels, and honest and noble people who try to help the Indians. All the ingredients of a good western are here, and the script is well written. You will not find revelations here, especially those who understand this topic, but for an artistic picture it is quite good. The ending is predictable, although it does not evoke emotions.
2. Fights, chases, shootouts - Western as it is, and although there are quite a few shootings and chases here, they evoke emotions in the viewer, we all take the side of the brave Tokeyi-Ito, who is opposing many enemies and bravely fighting for his home. The only fights that turned out to be spectacular here were that they were well staged and filmed.
3. Landscapes - the picture was filmed in Yugoslavia, where nature is very similar to the Wild West, and this was the right decision, because I did not feel the substitution. Prairies, beautiful and alluring mountains, forests, streams, wigwams - everything is saturated with the spirit of the Wild West and Indians. The operator was good at choosing the best shots, for which special thanks to him!
4. Costumes, decorations - there are very few of them here, especially decorations, but my tongue will not turn to say that it strains or even hinders. The creators were able to fill this set with history and dynamics, thanks to which the viewer does not feel deceived. The costumes took much longer, especially the traditional Indian clothing, and in particular the headdress with many feathers.
A little about the main characters:
1.Tokei-Ito performed by Goiko Mitich is a warrior of the Dakota tribe, a noble, brave, honest leader, ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of his people. He shows himself as a skillful warrior who does not risk in vain both his life and the lives of his people. Goiko here practically does not express any emotions, and the type of the hero does not require this. He is always focused, because he is constantly waiting for a catch. Excellent performance of the role by the legendary Goiko Mitic. Bravo!
2. Tobias performed by Rolf Roemer is a tracker in the service of the American army, from the Delaware tribe, who were practically exterminated. Serves faithfully, but the internal throwing of the Indian is visible to the naked eye. As a result, he makes the only correct decision. Rolf managed to convey all the mood and the whole character of both the hero and the whole class of such "lost" Indians. Bravo!
3. Fred Clarke performed by Irji Vrstala - an insidious villain, hunting for gold, which is located on the land of the Dakota, intends to do away with Toki-Ito, whom he hates. Clever, cunning, but the ending of this individual is obvious and predictable. It should be admitted that the hero of Irdzhi does not arouse suspicion at first, but the deceit shown exposes him in all its glory. Irji played quite well. Well done.
Of course, today the picture cannot provide a spectacle, because technology has jumped far ahead, but at one time there was everything, and in my childhood I myself loved to enjoy this line of paintings. And one melody is clearly out of place here, and strongly affects the perception. But, even in spite of this, the picture still looks, although it did not make a strong impression on me, I remember "The Trail of the Falcon" more, but more on this later.
Well, next time we will see Goyko Mitich as Chingachgook the Big Snake in the film adaptation of Fenimore Cooper's novel "St. John's Wort", where the hero will again confront the pale-faced.
As a result, we have a good western about a brave and noble Indian, with a good script, excellent costumes and decorations, dynamic pursuits, fights, shootings and excellent acting.