IMDb > The Horsemen (1971)
The Horsemen
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The Horsemen (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Release Date:
11 August 1971 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A Horse Worth Killing For. A Dream Worth Dying For.
Plot:
In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions)... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
An underrated Masterpiece - entertaining AND Educational. See more (12 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Omar Sharif ... Uraz

Leigh Taylor-Young ... Zareh

Jack Palance ... Tursen
David de Keyser ... Mukhi
Peter Jeffrey ... Hayatal
Mohammad Shamsi ... Osman Bey
George Murcell ... Mizrar

Eric Pohlmann ... 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)

Vernon Dobtcheff ... Zam Hajji

Saeed Jaffrey ... District Chief
Leon Lissek ... Chikana Proprietor
Ricardo Palacios ... Ghulam
Salmaan Peerzada ... Salih (as Salmaan Peer)

Milton Reid ... Aqqul
Aziz Resham ... Bacha to Ghulam
John Ruddock ... Scribe
Vida St. Romaine ... Gypsy Woman
Sy Temple ... Quadir
Jesús Tordesillas ... Little Governor

Tom Tryon
Barbara Wain ... Nurse
Alan Webb ... Gardi Gay
Florencio Amarilla ... Arabian Man (uncredited)

Directed by
John Frankenheimer 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Joseph Kessel  novel
Dalton Trumbo 

Produced by
John Frankenheimer .... producer
Edward Lewis .... producer
 
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
 
Cinematography by
André Domage 
James Wong Howe 
Claude Renoir 
 
Film Editing by
Harold F. Kress 
 
Production Design by
Pierre-Louis Thévenet  (as Pierre Thévenet)
 
Art Direction by
Gil Parrondo 
 
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Moreau 
 
Makeup Department
Giuliano Laurenti .... makeup artist
 
Special Effects by
Alex Weldon .... special effects
 
Stunts
Chuck Hayward .... stunt coordinator
Pierre Pakamoff .... stunts
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunt performer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Wladimir Ivanov .... assistant camera
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer
 
Casting Department
Selway Baker .... casting assistant
 
Other crew
Corky Randall .... animal trainer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film began shooting using 65mm negative (Super Panavision), but during production, Columbia went through a change in management. The budgets for this and another 65mm production, "MacKenna's Gold," were cut, and both films were forced to switch over to 35mm anamorphic Panavision. However, both were released in 70mm, with the later-shot sections blown up. In later years, the mix-and-match formats made restoration of the films more time-consuming and expensive than if they'd been shot entirely in 65mm, and they were preserved in 35mm only.See more »
Quotes:
District Chief:What demon has possessed you to mock these good people with that piece of dog-bait?See more »

FAQ

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14 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
An underrated Masterpiece - entertaining AND Educational., 11 May 2003
Author: (john-1141) from Lancashire, UK.

There is so much of interest in this compelling film, set in Afghanistan. Based on the book by Joseph Kessells, a writer of rare insight.

Centered around the ancient game of Buzkashi, played on horseback, and only in the three northern provinces of Mazar-i-Sharif, Maimana and Kataghan. [The game had it's origin in a training routine instituted by Ghengiz Khan, which both conditioned his men for warfare and provided a means of feeding his army. A very large circle was formed by his warriors and as the circle closed no animal was permitted to escape.]

There are some terrific scenes of the first "Royal Buzkashi" played on Bagrami Plain, just outside Kabul, which had been decreed by the king. Also some great footage of the country, depicting the beautiful and varied terrain encountered as Uroz makes the self-imposed and dangerous journey back to his home province in the North.

The interplay of all the characters is an education in understanding the powerful role human emotion and upbringing play in all our lives, as both Tursen(the father) and Uroz(the son) attempt to come to terms with their own harsh anger and pride. The consequences spill over and embroil other individuals in the story. The story also gives some insight into the different way of thinking engendered by the cultural mix of religion,relatively isolated living, and living in a harsh environment where survival can be pretty raw.

Contrast is drawn by the mix of ancient and modern. One such scene has Tursen (Jack Palance),who as Head of Osman Bey's stable is addressing the chopendoz,(players of Buzkashi), pauses to look upwards at a jetliner passing overhead whilst he stands on "The Roof of the World". Another takes place in the modern hospital in Kabul.

Both Palance & Sharif give of their finest, very well supported by a great character cast.

A dramatic part of the story unfolds in the Bamian Valley, where Uroz gambles & loses the very thing he later realise he loves and wants back. Historically this part of the film contains important footage of the giant Budhas that were carved into the cliffside, until deliberately destroyed by Talliban militia.

All in all, an excellent and enjoyable film and I am surprised it has not been shown on Television or re-issued on disc, as the world focussed on that area just a short time ago.

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