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The White Warrior (1959)
"Agi Murad il diavolo bianco" (original title)

5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

The story of Hadji Murad, a 19th-century Chechen chieftain who led his warriors in a fight against the invading forces of the Russian Czar.

Director:

(as Richard Freda)

Writers:

(novel), , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Agi / Hadji Murad, the White Warrior
...
Sultanet, Aslan Bey's Daughter
Scilla Gabel ...
Princess Maria Vorontsova
Renato Baldini ...
Ahmed Khan
Gérard Herter ...
Prince Sergei Vorontzov
Milivoje Zivanovic ...
Nikola Popovic ...
King Shamil
Jovan Gec ...
Aslan Bey
Niksa Stefanini ...
Goanzalo
Milivoje Popovic-Mavid ...
Doctor Eldar
Marija Tocinoski ...
(as MarijaTocinowki)
Pasquale Basile
Goffredo Unger ...
(as Goffredo Ungaro)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Antun Nalis ...
Melders, Murad's Lieutenant
Edit

Storyline

The story of Hadji Murad, a 19th-century Chechen chieftain who led his warriors in a fight against the invading forces of the Russian Czar.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At the Power Peak of the Universe... At the Fury Pinnacle of the World Stands... THE WHITE WARRIOR! See more »


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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El diablo blanco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa #29387 delivered on June 4, 1959. See more »

Quotes

Prince Sergei: [referring to Hadji Murad] There are many ways of making him give in. For example, crushing his fingers one by one, slowly, while he screams and screams, maddened with pain.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the U.S. English dubbed version, released through Warner Brothers, the name of director Riccardo Freda was listed in the credits as "Richard Freda." See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE WHITE WARRIOR (Riccardo Freda & Leopoldo Savona, 1959) **1/2
21 March 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another of those films that I was introduced to as a kid via a still in my Dad's scrapbook of movie posters which he collected during his own childhood; curiously enough, as far as I know, it was never broadcast on any of the basic Italian TV channels. In fact, I only came across a copy of it a few years ago by way of an Italian satellite TV screening that dates back from 2005; unfortunately, the channel's cumbersome announcement for the film we are presently watching goes on for its first 5 minutes and the print itself bore intermittent instances of jerkiness in the picture! At any rate, for being the only movie on which "Peplum" icon Steve Reeves was directed by the great Riccardo Freda, the end result was something of a letdown – frankly, it was one of the perennial "Euro-Cult" items of this year's Easter marathon I was looking forward to the most! In hindsight, the involvement of "directorial collaborator" Leopoldo Savona (a journeyman helmer of similar efforts) might have had something to do with that; for the record, Freda also helped out on the superior THE MONGOLS (1961), on which Savona handled the Italian side of a production that was officially credited to Hollywood director Andre' De Toth!

But let us get to the good stuff first: there are a couple of sequences or shots which do attest to Freda's directorial hand – the vividly depicted opening village raid by the Tsarist militia; the following sequence in which a steaming Tsar Nicholas I strips his generals of their medals for not having yet tamed a revolting band of Caucasian subjects (led by "The White Devil", Agi Murad), a cathartic ritual that is interrupted by his visiting future daughter-in-law (Scilla Gabel) to whom he professes and displays affections which go well beyond the paternal!; the Tsar's son (Gerard Herter) is memorably introduced via a low-angle shot while he is instructing his pet pooch in etiquette. The entire film also bears the unmistakable mark of its legendary cinematographer Mario Bava (still a year away from officially graduating to the director's chair) who bathes the proceedings in colourfully atmospheric hues. Roberto Nicolosi's musical accompaniment, then, is a decently rousing one as well.

This Italo-Yugoslavian co-production is marred by a clichéd script and an exceedingly low budget: Reeves is a widower in love with his son's governess (Giorgia Moll) who is also coveted by fellow rebel ring-leader Renato Baldini; this romantic rivalry augurs nothing but disaster for the Caucasian forces with Reeves' subsequent desertion (after the obligatory but totally gratuitous wrestling bout, of course) and apprehension by the enemy, Moll having to promise herself to Baldini in return for the life of Reeves' son; the death of their feeble and ineffectual figurehead; Reeves is tortured by Herter's men but a besotted Gabel intervenes, thus freeing him (Reeves rides a galloping horse all over the Tsarist palatial retreat) to reclaim his true love and pursue his real foe (the latter's death is particularly lame). For the record, Leonard Maltin's guide gives this a measly *1/2 rating and, while definitely not all that bad, I guess it should have alerted me not to raise my expectations too highly. Incidentally, I have also acquired a much earlier 1930 German film adaptation of the same Leo Tolstoy story co-starring Peter Lorre and I might get to give it a whirl presently, in the hope that it will be a more worthwhile rendition.


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