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Taras Bulba (1962)

In the 16th century Ukraine, the Polish overlords and the Cossacks fight for control of the land but frequent Turkish invasions force them to unite against the common Turkish foe.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prince Grigory
Ostap Bulba
Ilka Windish ...
Sofia Bulba
Old Stepan
Vladimir Irman ...
Grisha Kubenko
Daniel Ocko ...
Ivan Mykola
Capt. Alex


A "Romeo and Juliet" story that takes place in the late 16c. Ukraine. Taras has settled into comfortable farm life after years of adventures and swashbuckling with his cossack companions. Though not wealthy, he is able to send his son Andrei away to a Polish school. At this time the Poles are overlords of Ukraine and the origin of the cossacks is struggle of the Ukrainian serfs to free themselves and their land of Polish domination. Toward this end Taras hopes that his son will be educated in the ways of the enemy. Instead, Andrei falls in love with the daughter of a Polish nobleman, setting the stage for a clash between love, family honor, and a struggle for national identity. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cossack | battle | ukraine | russia | epic | See All (47) »


A Love Story of Flesh And Fire!


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Official Sites:





Release Date:

19 December 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Тарас Бульба  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

| (Westrex Recording System)


(Eastman Color Negative Film 5250)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Franz Waxman's Oscar-nominated score was regarded by fellow composer Bernard Herrmann as one of the finest film scores ever written. See more »


It is Ostap and not Andrei that warns Taras not to make fun of them and their clothes after they return home. Ostap is the more adventurous, whereas Andei's greatest characteristic is the deeply romantic feelings of an introvert. See more »


[to his turncoat son]
Taras Bulba: I gave you life. It is on ME to take it away.
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to the army of the Argentine Republic. See more »


Version of The Rebel Son (1938) See more »


The Wishing Star
Music by Franz Waxman
Lyrics by Mack David
See more »

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User Reviews

Yul Brynner - the definitive Cossack
22 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Taras Bulba is the story of the Cossack's fight for freedom, a fight to reclaim their beloved land from the Poles. It is also a story of a father's love and pride for his son. Yul Brynner is the definitive Cossack in this movie. His swagger and bigger than life persona is the perfect match for Taras. His portrayal is both powerful and moving. Added to that is the fantastic horseback battle scenes on the Steppes. The scenes where the Cossack regiments gather with a rallying cry are awesome. Those alone deserve a 10.

The story of Taras Bulba had the potential to be a great historical epic had it focused on Taras' struggle between his love for the Cossack way of life and that for his son. Unfortunately, given the box office requirements of the time, the studio execs decided to toss in a cheesy love story (complete with fuzzy close-ups) and Tony Curtis, with his matinée-idol hairdo untouched. That just jars you out of the period. According to his biography, Brynner worked long and hard to bring the rich character to life, but broke down when he saw the final cut. That said, this movie still deserves a watch if only to see the magnificent Yul Brynner and the wonderfully choreographed battle sequences.

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