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The Horsemen (1971)

GP  -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  11 August 1971 (France)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 637 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 11 critic

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 »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Uraz
...
Zareh
...
Tursen
David de Keyser ...
Mukhi
Peter Jeffrey ...
Hayatal
Mohammad Shamsi ...
Osman Bey
George Murcell ...
Mizrar
...
Merchant in Kandahar
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ishaq Bux ...
Amjad Kahn
Carlos Casaravilla ...
Messenger
José Luis Chinchilla ...
Head Syce
Mark Colleano
P. De Quevedo ...
King
Srinanda De
Despo Diamantidou ...
Uljan (as Despo)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Horse Worth Killing For. A Dream Worth Dying For.


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Cavalieri selvaggi  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two/three weeks into shooting, cinematographer James Wong Howe left the project. Due to disagreement with director John Frankenheimer over use of lens. See more »

Quotes

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

 
Not A Book That Lends Itself To Cinema
30 August 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is an example of taking a book and adapting it to the large screen and realising with hindsight that it works better as a book . I'm not familiar with Joseph Kessel's original novel but the comments on this page state that the film is very faithful to the book and that might be the problem . It's a story that concentrates on obsession at winning at all costs and Uraz the protagonist is a universal metaphor for all mankind that when you want to win something it can cost you very dearly

You can perhaps see why the producers thought this would make a great film with its exotic locations and the fact it was st in Afghanistan before the land reforms the mid 1970s that led to civil war and the subsequent Soviet intervention is what made me seek out the film if only to understand Afghan culture better and the film does contain an intelligent opening when the audience are led to believe they're watching a scene from the 17th Century only to the Afghan rug pulled from under their feet as a jet plane screams over head . Likewise there's some spectacular scenes involving the sport of buzkashi where horsemen literally fight over the carcass of a dead goat and there's some impressive cinematography featuring the Afghan landscape but the inherent problem with the film is the character driven narrative which doesn't kindly lend itself to the medium of cinema


0 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Horsemen, The (1971) sbenton78
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