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Fatal Error (Tödlicher Irrtum)

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Fatal Error
(Tödlicher Irrtum)
Todlicher Irrtum Poster.jpg
Original Theatrical Poster
Country GDR.jpg East Germany
Directed by Konrad Petzold
Release Date 1970
Language German
Studio DEFA
Main Cast
Character Actor
Shave Head Gojko Mitic
Chris Howard Armin Mueller-Stahl
Caroline Annekathrin Bürger
Jessebee Krystyna Mikolajewska
White Leaf Kati Bus
Allison Rolf Hoppe
Lee Garrett Hannjo Hasse
Hank Jackson Bruno O'Ya

Fatal Error (Tödlicher Irrtum) is a 1970 East German Western ("Red Western") movie directed by Konrad Petzold. In late 19th century in Wyoming an oil company pumps oil on the territory of Shoshone tribe. A chain of murders of Shoshone chiefs with shares in the oil business follows. The young chief Shave Head (Gojko Mitic) and his half-blooded brother Chris Howard (Armin Mueller-Stahl) who is local deputy sheriff start investigation.

The following weapons were used in the film Fatal Error (Tödlicher Irrtum):


Single Action Army

Single Action Army revolvers are widely seen in the movie, used by deputy sheriff Chris Howard (Armin Mueller-Stahl), Allison's henchmen Parker (Hartmut Beer) and Kid Kearny (Rolf Ludwig) and townsman Ben (Gerry Wolff). Revolvers have different barrel length but not all of them closely match original Civilian, Artillery and Cavalry models. All SAA revolvers, seen close enough, seem to lack spring-loaded ejector rods, and rod housings are empty.

Note: see additional images on talk page.

Colt Single Action Army with 4.75" barrel, case colored and blued, referred to as "Quick-Draw" or "Civilian" model - .45 Long Colt
Colt Single Action Army with 5.5" barrel known as the "Artillery" model - .45 Long Colt
Colt Single Action Army with 7.5" barrel known as the "Cavalry" model - .45 Long Colt
Todlicher Irrtum-SAA-1.jpg
Parker kills a Shoshone chief at the gaming table. The length of the ejector rod housing is equal to barrel length, like on Civilian model, but the revolver lacks front sight, so it is likely Cavalry model with shortened barrel.
Parker carries two revolvers in holsters. Left revolver is longer that the right one.
A local kid steals a revolver from sleeping Old Ben. The revolver appears to be the same gold-plated Cavalry model that is seen in Osceola.
Kid Kearny takes Elmar Guiness' (Werner Röwekamp) revolver. It also appears to be a gold-plated Cavalry model but not the same that Ben owns (Ben's revolver has darker grip) but the second piece of a pair of revolvers.
Chris Howard loads Artillery model revolver. In most other scenes he is seen with a Reichsrevolver M1879.
Chris' Single Action Army revolver is seen on a stone at the left.
Todlicher Irrtum-SAA-15A.jpg
One of Lee Garret's assistants fires at Allison's henchmen during the attack on oil rig. His revolver matches Cavalry model except for (again!) absent front sight.

Colt 1851 Navy Cartridge

One of Parker's (Hartmut Beer) revolvers appear to be a cartridge version of Colt 1851 Navy with brass frame and barrel and white cylinder. Same looking revolver is also seen in hands of Lee Garret's assistant. Such props are seen in many DEFA Western movies.

For comparison: Colt 1851 Navy with a cartridge conversion. This is a reproduction of the gun used by Eli Wallach in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and imported by Cimmaron Arms.
A closer view of one of Parker's revolvers reveals it as Colt 1851 Navy.
Todlicher Irrtum-Colt1851Navy-1.jpg
Lee Garret's assistant (at the right) holds a Colt 1851 Navy. In next moment the revolver of this character switches to a Single Action Army (see above).

Reichsrevolver M1879

Out of place (but widely available for filming) Reichsrevolver M1879 revolvers are seen in hands of Chris Howard (Armin Mueller-Stahl), corrupt town Sheriff Hank Jackson (Bruno O'Ya), Indian agent McLaurin (Bruno Carstens), Allison's henchmen Kid Kearny (Rolf Ludwig) and Ten Eyck (Stefan Lisewski), and Lee Garrett's girlfriend Caroline (Annekathrin Bürger).

Note: see additional images on talk page.

Reichsrevolver M1879 - 10.6x25R
McLaurin holds a Reichsrevolver.
Chris Howard draws his revolver when Jackson wants to see the marksmanship of new deputy.
Todlicher Irrtum-Reichsrevolver-6A.jpg
Jackson draws his revolver (he carries two Reichsrevolvers).
Chris holds a Reichsrevoler. A Single Action Army revolver is seen at the left together with Winchester Model 1892.
Kid Kearny with a Reichsrevolver.
One of Allison's henchmen fires at Lee Garret and his workers.
Fire breaks out from the base of the barrel that can be seen on a blank agapted gun.
Caroline with a Reichsrevolver.
Todlicher Irrtum-Reichsrevolver-17.jpg
Ten Eyck fires. Again a gout of flame from the base of the barrel is seen.


Winchester Model 1892 Carbine

Winchester Model 1892 Carbines are used by both main characters - Shave Head (Gojko Mitic) and Chris Howard (Armin Mueller-Stahl), and also by Parker (Hartmut Beer) and several other Allison's henchmen, engineer Lee Garrett (Hannjo Hasse) and Shoshone chief Black Tomahawk (Slobodan Velimirovic). Chris Howard's Winchester has buttstock of black wood with inlay; it is fitted with a sling swivel on the underbarrel magazine, so this carbine is not a Saddle Ring version. Lee Garrett's Winchester looks alike Howard's one, only the buttstock is not black but reddish. Shave Head uses likely same Winchester that is seen in hands of Gojko Mitic's characters in other DEFA Westerns; its distinctive feature is a sling swivel without ring.

Note: see additional images on talk page.

Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine - .32WCF/.38-40/.44-40/.25-20. Note that unlike this sample, screen Model 92s lacks saddle rings and have sling swivels.
Shave Head with a Winchester 92. The front sling swivel is seen.
The black buttstock with inlay of Chris' Winchester is seen.
Chris with a Winchester 92.
Black Tomahawk with a Winchester 92. This gun appears to be the same prop, used by Shave Head.
A sling swivel with ring is seen on Chris' carbine.
Shave Head with a Winchester 92.
A closeup of Shave Head's Winchester.
Lee Garret fires his rifle during the attack on oil rig. Front sling swivel with ring is seen.
Chris holds his own Winchester 92 and a Winchester Model 1873, taken from one of Allison's men.

Winchester Model 1873 Carbine

Several Winchester Model 1873 carbines are seen in Sheriff Jackson's office. Shoshone warriors also use Winchester 73s. Old Ben (Gerry Wolff) disarms one of Allison's men of a Winchester 73 during the shootout.

Winchester Model 1873 carbine (1st generation) - 44-40 Winchester
Todlicher Irrtum-Winchester73-1.jpg
Rifles in gun rack in Sheriff's office. Second and fourth from the left appear to be Winchester 73, first, third and fifth are Winchester 92, and the rifle at the right appears to be a Schuetzen rifle.
Parker holds a Winchester 73. In this scene his rifle is described as Henry 1860.
Todlicher Irrtum-Winchester73-3.jpg
A Winchester 73 in hands of Shoshone warrior.
Another Shoshone with a Winchester 73.
Old Ben gets a Winchester, pulling it through the window.

Martini Action Schuetzen Rifle

Some Shoshone warriors and Lee Garrett's workers are armed with single shot Martini action Schuetzen rifles, popular German target and hunting guns.

German manufactured Martini Action Schuetzen Rifle
Martini-Stahl system Schuetzen Rifle - 8.15x46mm R
Several rifles are seen in Shoshones cache; a Winchester is in center, while other guns are Schuetzen rifles.
Another view of the guns.
A typical lever of Martini-Stahl system (less fanciful shape than on most Martini system Schuetzen rifles) is seen.
One of Lee Garret's men holds a Schuetzen rifle at the background.
A rifle in hands of a Shoshone warrior.

Kessler Schuetzen Rifle

At least one Kessler Schuetzen rifle (an improved version of Martini system) is seen.

German Kessler Schuetzen rifle
A rifle in hands of a Shoshone warrior. Note a one-piece wooden stock, a typical feature of Kessler rifles.

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