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The Round-Up (1966)

Szegénylegények (original title)
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, ... See full summary »

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gajdar János
Zoltán Latinovits ...
Veszelka Imre
Tibor Molnár ...
Kabai
Gábor Agárdi ...
Torma (as Agárdy Gábor)
András Kozák ...
Ifj. Kabai
Béla Barsi ...
Foglár
József Madaras ...
Magyardolmányos
János Koltai ...
Varjú Béla
István Avar ...
Vallató I
Lajos Öze ...
Vallató II
Rudolf Somogyvári
Attila Nagy
Zoltán Basilides
György Bárdy ...
(as Bárdi György)
Zsigmond Fülöp
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Storyline

In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, the army rounds up suspects and jails them in an isolated fort. The authorities do not have the identity of the guerilla leaders, who are supposed to be present among the prisoners. However, they know enough about some of the suspects to apply perfidious forms of coercion effectively. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

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Drama | History | War

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Release Date:

6 January 1966 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

The Round-Up  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Voted as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films 1948-1968" by Hungarian filmmakers and critics ("Budapest 12") in 1968 and then again as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films" ("New Budapest 12") in 2000. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hungarian rebels are manipulated in a heartless, soulless stockade
11 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story on "The Round-Up" is very simple. In 1868, Hungarian rebels against Austrian rule have been rounded up and placed in a stockade, but they are mixed in with ordinary peasants and farmers. The Austrian military runs the place, and they are using every trick in the book to interrogate the men and create informants in order to separate the rebels from the others. They especially want the leader who may or may not be among them.

The stockade, the military, and their location are separate "characters". The location is a vast plain. There is no escape. Even if one runs away, horseman quickly follow. The military are all neatly uniformed, wear hats with feathers and are, with the exceptions of the interrogators and caped higher-ups, almost interchangeable. The stockade is clean, whitewashed and desolate looking. The cells are dark and small with wooden doors. The men have a large open area to get their sunshine.

The camera's compositions are highly geometric. They enclose the men in a constrained world, like sheep. For the most part, these prisoners are cowed and act like sheep. They do not rebel. They really cannot, unless they are willing to die. Even then, the military is too strong for them. Their food is gruel, supplemented by food brought in by black-garbed peasant women out on the plain.

The script portrays the coldly sadistic games played by the jailers to obtain the information they seek. An unstated oppression fills the air. No visible torture is shown, but we are aware that it is used and that instruments of killing are there. Psychological oppression is clear. The film shows the heartless and soulless oppressions of the state, carried out by the Austrian jail keepers to whom petty psychological cruelties of an arbitrary and humiliating nature are second nature.

We see the tricks and inducements the jailers used to find out what they want to know. They have the upper hand. This is an environment lacking in hope. Man's inhumanity is on display. The grace of God is absent. The utter blackness of it all is shown in the brightness of sunshine and without overt anger, punishment or high emotion.

At the outset, the military element is subdued. As the film proceeds, it grows and grows. We see more horseman, a military band, and many more soldiers. The imprisoned rebels act like human beings. They even vent their emotion by suicide. Given a chance, a few display cavalry skills. The jailers and soldiers act more like preening robots, while showing a kind of pleasure in their cold and cunning cruelty. Soldiers obey, lacking humanity.

The film becomes a metaphor for communism and communist rule. It becomes an anti-state commentary, showing how inhumane men become when uniformed by the state. The film becomes an abstract commentary on what makes men tick and what potential cruelties lie within. The world shown has little or no hope in its time and place, no love. Only beyond its time and place might there be such hope and love, but this is never even hinted at in this bleak portrayal of life.


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