Monday, 31 January 2011

Manitoba is hell in Die Hölle von Manitoba

In 1943 a pure and good Manitoba was invaded by the Germans in 49th Parallel. A decade later ... (cue movie trailer voice-over guy) ... Manitoba was just. Plain. Hell ....

Die Hölle von Manitoba (the Hell of Manitoba) was a 1953 West German Western. It wasn't shot here and not really set in Manitoba as we know it. It was a generic town in the generic American 'wild west'. Strangely, the title of the English release had the opposite meaning: A Place Called Glory where, it seems, that the town's name is Glory and Manitoba is relegated to some regional reference.

The story follows two gunfighters who meet in a neighbouring town and decide to team up to rid Manitoba / Glory of a particularly bad crime problem. Little do they know that by being the two fastest gunslingers in town they must face each other in a duel to the death at the town's annual celebration.

"Manitoba" was one of five West-German westerns by the same producer and starred former Tarzan actor Lex Barker. To see a video clip from Die Hölle von Manitoba.

It was Manitoba's second appearance in West German pop culture in two years. In 1951 West German tennis star-turned singer and actress Marika Kilius had a hit with Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg (Two Indians from Winnipeg). Here is the 1963 version - I couldn't find one from 1951 so I am not sure if the ditty got better or worse with age.

Why Manitoba / Winnipeg references ? I've blogged before about Europeans loving stuff called Winnipeg.


Brian said...

I assume there's some subtle joke I'm missing, since Manitoba was invaded by Germans in "49th Parallel" not Russians... in 1941.

Remember, in 1943, the Russians were our friends. ;-)

mrchristian said...

Thanks for the correction ! I had hockey on the brain ! Correction made !