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The Red and the White (1967)

Csillagosok, katonák (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 20 September 1968 (USA)
In 1919, Hungarian Communists aid the Bolsheviks' defeat of Czarists, the Whites. Near the Volga, a monastery and a field hospital are held by one side then the other. Captives are executed... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
József Madaras ...
Hungarian Commander
Tibor Molnár ...
Andras
András Kozák ...
Jácint Juhász ...
Istvan
Anatoli Yabbarov ...
Captain Chelpanov
Sergey Nikonenko ...
Cossack Officer
...
Nestor
...
Chingiz
...
Yelizaveta the Matron (as Tatiana Koniukova)
...
Olga
Viktor Avdyushko ...
Sailor
Gleb Strizhenov ...
Colonel
...
White Officer
Vladimir Prokofyev
Valentin Bryleev
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Storyline

In 1919, Hungarian Communists aid the Bolsheviks' defeat of Czarists, the Whites. Near the Volga, a monastery and a field hospital are held by one side then the other. Captives are executed or sent running naked into the woods. Neither side has a plan, and characters the camera picks out soon die. A White Cossack officer kills a Hungarian and is executed by his own superiors when he tries to rape a milkmaid. At the hospital, White officers order nurses into the woods, dressed in finery, to waltz. A nurse aids the Reds, then they accuse her of treason for following White orders. Red soldiers walk willingly, singing, into an overwhelming force. War seems chaotic and arbitrary. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Red and the White  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

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User Reviews

 
stunning and disturbing
16 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

Miklós Jancsó reduces war to its ignoble essence. Combatants swagger then cower. There are long periods when nothing very much happens, then a life is lost on a whim. Pettiness and officiousness abound. No transcendent causes, no rousing speeches, just ebb and tide, advantage then defeat. There are two sides, they fight. What more do you need to know?

The sweep of the camera is majestic, taking in panoramic vistas filled with struggle and slaughter. Thematically, this is the cinematic embodiment of the final lines from Matthew Arnold's poem Dover Beach:

And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night

Breathtaking in its conception and philosophical premise, this is an anti-war film that appeals directly to our current war-torn times. A masterpiece.


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