5.3/10
188
17 user 7 critic

Agi Murad il diavolo bianco (1959)

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), (as Gino DeSanctis) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Agi / Hadji Murad, the White Warrior
...
Sultanet, Aslan Bey's Daughter
...
Princess Maria Vorontsova
...
Ahmed Khan
...
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
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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:

He slew the blackest evil that ever ravaged an age See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the 2001 video release by Platinum Disc Corporation, the box correctly lists Steve Reeves as the star. However, the photo on the box is of Gordon Scott. The photograph was from another movie, Sergio Corbucci's Duel of the Titans (1961), in which both Reeves and Scott appear. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Las gemelas (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

An inadvertently unique historical film
30 May 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Not the greatest film, but not as "tiresome" as Leonard Maltin claims in his review. (Leonard has seen so many films, he apparently gets tired easily -- See IMDB's sidebar link.) The wonderful thing about this film is its decision to cover a subject area that is largely unknown to Western audiences. Indeed, we Westerners didn't have any idea about this area of the world until the fall of the Soviet Union, where a lot of these mysterious countries emerged with an "an" at the end: Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and the like... largely Turkic regions and nations. Of course, Turks are almost always treated as villains in Western films (Another group that's usually villainous in cinema are the Arabs; however in a rare film where the Arabs were the heroes, "Lawrence of Arabia," the Turks were still the villains).

Now the Turks are not the heroes in this film, per se (not the Turks of today's Turkey, or the then-Ottoman Empire) but various Turkic tribes in the Caucasus (in the film, they're referred to as "tribesmen," "Caucasian," once as "Muslims," or -- derogatorily by the Russians --as "Savages." Probably using the word "Turk" would have been risky, as the Western audience might then lose its sympathy for the film's heroes). In the declining years of the Ottoman Empire, mighty Czarist Russia instigated many wars against the Ottomans, taking good advantage of their weakened state.

The thing I found interesting is that Czarist Russia is often depicted in American and other Western films as noble and heroic... I guess it's the Christian connection. In this film, based on a novel by Tolstoy, the Russians are hinted at as the bloodthirsty oppressors they were. I'm influenced by a rare book, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims" by Prof. Justin McCarthy, which showed the unbelievable magnitude of the evil and inhumanity displayed by the Russians, and others, including Bulgars and Armenians. Turkish or Muslim lives are not as important, and this part of history is very unknown to us Westerners. I doubt this subject matter would be chosen in an American film, and if it wasn't for Tolstoy's book, probably the Italians would have been unaware of the subject matter themselves, when they tried to choose an adventurous vehicle for Steve Reeves.

At the beginning of the film when Hadji Murad attacks Russian troops down a lonely road, Robin Hood-style, he meets with the "Maid Marian," Russian princess Maria. When she makes a statement regarding the superiority of Russian soldiers, Murad replies that his tribe kills only soldiers, whereas the Russians slaughter women and children. I'm reminded of the fighters in Chechnya following the same procedure (generally)... they wouldn't target innocent Russian civilians (other than terrorist attacks) during the first phase of their recent struggle, a few years ago. During the second phase, when the Russians invaded again, the Russians murder, rob and rape as indiscriminately as they have done in centuries past. Now that the Chechnyans (is it Chechens?) are no longer winning, there has been a general news black-out in the American media... but their struggle is still a continuation of freeing themselves from Russian domination in the Caucasus that "The White Warrior" is about.

I thought Steve Reeves had a surprising charisma... obviously, he was hired for these kinds of films for his spectacular build and not for his great acting ability, but he came across as a likable and believable hero in this one.


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