After Iron Guard member Paraipan discovers that commissioner Moldovan had staged his own death, he kidnaps Moldovan's son in order to draw him out. Tensions build up resulting in a final epic confrontation.
An epic fresco depicting the reign (1593-1601) of Mihai Pätrascu (better known as "Mihai Viteazul" / "Michael the Brave"), the famous prince who united the three provinces: Transalpine Vallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia, into the country of Romania, at the end of the 16th century (1599-1601) against the opposition of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires, this movie features large scale battle scenes mixed with political intrigues, murderous treachery, and family drama. Written by
Peter Reiher & Mihnea Columbeanu
In the film, Michael the Brave's son, Nicolae Patrascu, dies during the Battle of Miraslau (1600). In reality, he died in Vienna in 1627, many years after the death of his father. See more »
Mother of Mihai Viteazul:
Forgive me, son, for not trusting you. I'm sorry.
What did you think, mother? Is this what you think of me? That I can sell my country?
[to all present]
And you? What did you think? That I, voivode Michael, would drink this cup of shame to the last drop? From this day on, I free myself in front of God and you of any debt and submission. And I will free all those who are with me. We have our life and our honor. Wake up! We've been sleeping too long!
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It was a great idea that HBO Romania had to broadcast "Mihai Viteazul" on the Romania's National Day, that is the 1st of December. "Mihai Viteazul" successfully combines battle scenes and political intrigues and to show as realistic as possible the life and times of the great Romanian ruler. I'm not going to describe the film itself, it has to be seen by your own eyes to get the right image about a significant part of the Romanian film industry. Instead, I am going to speak a little about the director's visions about making this movie.
Right after HBO's playing the film on 1st December 2000, a Romanian broadcasting network invited director Sergiu Nicolaescu to make a comment on his masterpiece. Everybody must know this was the second motion picture made by Sergiu Nicolaescu for the silver screen. First, the film was meant to be a co-production with the USA, thus Nicolaescu managed to cast Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Orson Wells and other great actors at Hollywood. However, the Ministry of Culture under President Nicolae Ceausescu did not admit an American involvement in a production based on the glorious history of the Romanian people. So, director Nicolaescu and writer Titus Popovici had to renounce to the American partnership and made this film on their own, financed by the Romanian government. A small dispute started between Nicolaescu and Popovici regarding the actor to play the main character, Mihai Viteazul. A number of 128 Romanian actors were tested for this role and the probes were sent in America, so that some American producers to choose which one is the appropriate actor for the character. The result was Sergiu Nicolaescu and that was exactly what Titus Popovici had in mind. So they started shooting with Nicolaescu playing Mihai Viteazul. But, after a while, Sergiu Nicolaescu was not pleased with the role, he actually wanted to play Selim-Pasa and went to the Ministry saying he's not going to direct that movie anymore, unless he is allowed to do it in his manner. He got the approval, except, of course, any American involvement in it. He returned on the director's chair, but with Amza Pellea playing the main character. I have to admit he was right, because Amza Pellea was outstanding and Nicolaescu's "Selim-Pasa" was a better part, I think.
All the battle scenes were filmed by only three cameras, without zoom effects (the Romanian film industry wasn't working with such equipments in the seventies), so all camera movements were created by physicals efforts.
Battle scenes were filmed with the Army's support, for which the director thanks during the main titles.
Historical facts are precise, that is Nicolaescu's guarantee. More than anything else, Sergiu Nicolaescu loves history, the Romanian history, and all important moments and dialogues in his historical movies are covered by documents from those periods.
Nicolaescu says he was surprised to notice a TV sequence in Steven Spielberg's "E.T." showing images from his film "Mihai Viteazul". That's why he asked, when he had the opportunity, Steven Spielberg why he enclosed a sequence from his movie and not from another director's. And Spielberg replied he admired Nicolaescu's work, especially the battle scenes, which also inspired him for some of his future films.
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