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Michael the Brave (1970)

Mihai Viteazul (original title)
At the end of the 16th century Wallachian ruler Prince Michael the Brave overcame the adversity of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires to unite Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania into one country.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amza Pellea ...
Mihai Viteazul / Michael the Brave
Ion Besoiu ...
Prince Sigismund Báthory of Transylvania
Olga Tudorache ...
Mother of Mihai Viteazul
Irina Gardescu ...
Countess Rossanna Viventini
György Kovács ...
Cardinal Andrew Báthory
...
Ottoman Vizier Selim Pasha
Nicolae Secareanu ...
Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha
Ilarion Ciobanu ...
Stroe Buzescu
Aurel Rogalschi ...
Ioana Bulca ...
Doamna Stanca / Princess Stanca
Septimiu Sever ...
Radu Buzescu
Florin Piersic ...
Preda Buzescu
Klára Sebök ...
Maria Cristina de Graz (as Maria Clara Sebok)
...
Popa Stoica
Emmerich Schäffer ...
General Giorgio Basta
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Michael the Brave would liberate his people ... if it took a thousand battles!


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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

1970 (Romania)  »

Also Known As:

Michael the Brave  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

ROL 33,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

| (re-release)

Color:

(Eastman Color)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Columbia Studios first wanted to produce Sergiu Nicolaescu's historical epic with Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Charlton Heston in the role of Michael the Brave, but Communist authorities in Romania decided, that the cast had to be exclusively Romanian. Actor Amza Pellea was cast in the lead, the film was shot in Romania, Czechoslovakia and Turkey and was financed by the Romanian government. Director Nicolaescu had the full support of the Romanian army - provided by the former Romanian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, and tens of thousands of people were used as extras. See more »

Goofs

There's many anachronisms in scenes from Prague in 1600. Facade of St. Vitus Cathedral is from 19. century, statues on Charles Bridge are from 18. century, many buildings in Mala Strana and Prague Castle are baroque or even modern. See more »

Quotes

Sultan Murat III: I like you. Here, all you see is crawling backs, even those who have the hoofs of their horses full of Europe's and Asia's dust. But I could've not liked you. How could you dare?
Mihai Viteazul: We only have one life, almighty sultan!
Sultan Murat III: Indeed... Too bad!
See more »

Connections

Featured in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A larger than life epic movie
15 August 2002 | by (Buftea, Romania) – See all my reviews

The historical facts:

Mihai Viteazul was a Romanian ruler that reigned in the small principality of Wallachia between 1593 and 1601. In 1600 he bedazzled Europe by uniting Wallachia with Romanian-speaking Moldavia and Transylvania, for which he is hailed as Romania's national hero. It all sounds ferry tale-ish, but it isn't. Mihai was too ahead of his time. He had the guts to go to war with three empires (Turkish, Austrian and Polish) and found his death when he trusted one of them. But his accomplishment forged a landmark in Romanian history.

The movie:

First, it's the battle scenes. They don't come bigger than these and nobody can't take that away from Nicolaescu. He is THE master! Back then, when a movie of such girth was made in Romania, everybody got into it, from the head of state to the Army, so sky was the limit.

I think the grandest scene of the movie is the one depicting the Turkish army in the marshes of Calugareni on August 13 1595. On that day, the all-mighty Ottoman Empire, in its heyday at that time, poured 120,000 soldiers into Wallachia to conquer it. Imagine filming that! Nicoleascu shot from a helicopter. It started from the back, with the scattered extras forming the rear guard and gradually progressing towards the front. The scale is huge and mind you, he actually used that amount of people, not the CGI tricks of "Gladiator". Just think of the props and coordinating those guys on a hot day of summer in the middle of a swamp.

On the other side, as in every portrayal of a legendary figure, the hero hasn't the least of flaws: he is always brave (actually Mihai Viteazul means Michael the Brave), honest, nothing gets by him, always gives a moralizing speech before the battle yada yada. Man, didn't guys like Mihai or William Wallace ever had the slightest trace of egocentrism ? In that respect, there is another movie about Mihai Viteazul, called Buzduganul Cu Trei Peceti (The Mace With Three Seals), in which the hero actually has feelings, flaws and fears. Of course, it's directed by someone else.

At times, the acting is childish, especially in face-offs, like badly rehearsed lines of a play. When it involves a third party, e.g. a soldier telling Mihai that one of his subordinates has just arrived, I can't help myself laughing at the poor timing of the actors. Oh, and it's always the same thing with Romanian scripts: no matter whether the character is a farmer or the Austrian Emperor, he always uses the same old precious and dusty lingo, something like saying "It gives me great pleasure to gaze upon your look" instead of plain "Oh I'm so happy to see you".

All in all, I think 'Mihai Viteazul' is a good movie by most standards. It's the Romanian movie most seen outside its borders and a must-see within.


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