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Saturday, September 18, 2010


On March 28 1964, the "Strudel"-western "Der Letzte Ritt nach Santa Cruz" had it's German premiere. The movie was a German take on making an "American" western in Europe. The outside scenes were shot on Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands in Spain, substituting for Mexico. The movie, directed by actor-writer-director Rolf Olsen, had as main cast Edmund Purdom, Klaus Kinski, Mario Adorf, Marianne Koch (who would become in the same year world famous alongside Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's opus "A Fistful of Dollars"), and Marisa Mell as Juanita. The story is a standard revenge story, so nothing special, but what makes this movie remarkable in her career is the fact that Marisa Mell rides a horse in several scenes, what she has never done again in any of her future movies.Not many people know that Marisa Mell was, not only classical theatre trained in Vienna's prestitious Max Reinhardt Seminar, but was also a quite good horse rider. So privately she often went horse riding whenever she got the opportunity, especially in the 60's.This is a rare picture of Marisa Mell horse riding during the production of the French movie "Objectif 500 millions" published in a Spanish newspaper on March 23rd 1966, a few days before the French premiere of the movie.

As told the movie was shot on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. So whenever Marisa Mell had some free time during the production of the movie, she went horse riding alongside the shores of the island. During one of those rides she encountered a car driving along the sea road. The horse startled by the roar of the engine. Marisa Mell was not able to keep the horse under control and she was thrown to the ground. A young man left the car and hurried to help her get up again when he noticed that she was bleeding out of her nose very badly. So the best thing he could do was take her to the nearby hospital on the island to check on her situation. Thankfully nothing was broken so Marisa Mell could leave the hospital the same day. After the ordeal Marisa Mell and the young man kept in touch and became even friends. One year later, Marisa Mell had the now famous auto accident and was hospitalised for several months. The young man heard of this ordeal and went to visit her with a large bouquet of flowers telling her that he would take care of her whatever the cost. According to the information at hand during her recovery they became lovers for a short while.

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