IMDb > The Cow (1969)

The Cow (1969) More at IMDbPro »Gaav (original title)

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The Cow -- Influenced by Italian Neorealism, The Cow has the beauty and simplicity associated with the great films of that movement. In a small village in Iran, Hassan cherishes his cow more than anything in the world.


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Release Date:
December 1974 (USA) See more »
An old villager deeply in love with his cow goes to the capital for a while. While he's there, the cow dies and now the villagers are afraid of his possible reaction to it when he returns. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The Cow See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)
Ezzatolah Entezami ... Masht Hassan
Mahin Shahabi ... Hassans wife
Ali Nassirian ... Islam
Jamshid Mashayekhi ... Abbas
Firouz Behjat-Mohamadi
Jafar Vali ... Kadkhoda
Khosrow Shojazadeh ... Boy
Ezatallah Ramezanifar ... Madman
Esmat Safavi ... Old woman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
Parviz Fanizadeh

Directed by
Dariush Mehrjui 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dariush Mehrjui  writer
Gholam-Hossein Saedi  play

Produced by
Dariush Mehrjui .... producer
Original Music by
Hormouz Farhat 
Cinematography by
Fereydon Ghovanlou 
Film Editing by
Dariush Mehrjui 
Sound Department
Hormouz Farhat .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gaav" - Iran (original title)
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105 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One person who reacted warmly to the film was the then Ayatollah Khomeini.See more »
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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
The Cow, 21 July 2007
Author: clevelandrachel from United States

The Cow, Gaav (1969) is the second feature film by director Dariush Mehrjui. It was the second film to be financed by the Shah of Iran but promptly banned after completion when the Shah felt its portrayal of simple village life in Iran gave the wrong impression to outsiders. The film was smuggled out of Iran in 1970, and subsequently won "critics choice" at the Venice Film Festival.

The Cow (originating from a novel by Iranian author Gholam-Hossein Saedi) portrays the obsession, loss of faith and demise of a poor rural village that loose their single salable commodity - a cow. Hassan, played by Ezatollah Entezami (who received best actor at the Chicago Film Festival), has a face that vividly captures his physical and emotional change after a breakdown when he becomes the cow. Mehrjui uses theater actors with "compelling faces" as key elements in the cinematography (Feridun Ghovanlu), as did the Italian Neo-realist.

The film explores the looming fear of a foreign invader as the villagers come to believe Hassan, in his cow-like state, will be captured in cross-border raids from rival tribes. Politically this is reminiscent of the Shah's constant allusions to the neighboring "Arab threat" over oil.

While set in traditional, rural Iran, Mehrjui shows an alternative view of Iran where collective fear and poverty can cycle in hopeless desperation. Viewers of The Cow are left to question the very root of human dignity.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How did they film the scene with the cow? *spoiler* Zepfanman
So... the cow is probably a metaphor for the Iranian cinema. wwolf-8
What struck you about 'The Cow' or 'Gaav'? rudradev64
UK DVD release? andynortonuk
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