In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions), the status of the proud men and their ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based upon the novel 'The Horsemen' by)

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Cast overview:
Peter Jeffrey ...
Srinanda De
Merchant in Kandahar
Zam Hajji
District Chief
John Ruddock ...
Mark Colleano
Salih (as Salmaan Peer)
Aziz Resham ...
Bacha to Ghulam (as Aziz Resh)
Chikana Proprietor
Vida St. Romaine ...
Gypsy Woman (as Vida St Romaine)


In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions), the status of the proud men and their clans is determined less by wealth or even military power (both rare) then by victories in the ancient, though game of buskashi, a vicious form of polo dating back to Genghis Khan, in which the chapendaz (participating horsemen) use their horse-whips on both mounts and rivals in a ruthless fight for a heavy 'ball', a dead calf, which must be carried a long way, almost impossible with all the others mercilessly assailing. Tursen, a former champion, now holds the status of village notable thanks to his position as stable-keeper of the regional lord Osman Bey, and has finally bred a horse without equal, the white stallion Jahil, in time for the royal tournament on the plain of Bagrami, just outside the capital Kabul. As Tursen is too old and has a crooked leg, his son Uraz, even prouder and with a ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Horse Worth Killing For. A Dream Worth Dying For. See more »


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 August 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cavalieri selvaggi  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Frank Langella was offered a part by John Frankenheimer, but Columbia insisted on a screen test before signing any contract. The screen test was a success, but in the meantime Mel Brooks had offered Lanella the second lead in The Twelve Chairs (1970) and he chose that instead. A furious Frankenheimer told him he would never work in this town again. See more »


When Tursen (Jack Palance) has a flashback to one of his past victories, one can tell that he is swinging a phony, lightweight, stuffed goat carcass around when his horse jumps up on the mud hut. See more »


District Chief: What demon has possessed you to mock these good people with that piece of dog-bait?
See more »

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User Reviews

A film to be enjoyed on big screen
13 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of the handful or so films directed by John Frankenheimer that I have seen on big screen some 40 years ago, two of them had stuck in my mind. Grand Prix was, in my opinion, by far the best, and The Horsemen was a very close second.

Both of these films can only be fully appreciated on BIG screen. It was so long ago, I don't remember all the details; but starting with the opening credits and the aerial shots, it was a captivating film. I remember recognizing Frankenheimer's name the very first time - I wasn't that much into the names of directors when I saw Grand Prix.

The film had a raw, animalistic, beauty. The ethnicity and culture of the people reminded me of Taras Bulba. I would love to experience this film on big screen again.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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