The Kaiser of California (German Der Kaiser von Kalifornien) is a 1936 film that has the unique distinction of being the only western film made in Nazi Germany. Almost all of the exterior scenes were even shot on location in California.
The film follows the life story of John Sutter, or Johann Suter, the owner of Sutter"s Mill, famous as the birthplace of the great California Gold Rush of 1848.
While the basic story of Sutter"s life is retained, the producers inserted some notable changes reflecting the political environment of the film"s creation: though Sutter was a Swiss-German, the film emphasizes his german ethnicity and though he changed his name to John Sutter when he came to the United States, throughout the film he retains the name Johann Suter. Besides that the film hardly stresses a völkisch concept, as Suter"s men are portrayed as immigrants from all over the world, not only Germany.
The film opposes the "easy" money of gold-digging with the wealth and values created by hard work, as the Gold Rush eventually destroys Suter"s fortunes and creates social disintegration and the loss of solidarity and companionship.