6 user 1 critic

Romansa konjokradice (1971)

In 1905, Polish horse thieves living near the Russian border find their livelihoods threatened by the new Russo-Japanese conflict because the Russian army requisitions all horses and forcibly conscripts all men for the war.



(screenplay), (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Catlow (1971)
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An outlaw tries to avoid interference as he journeys to Mexico to pull off a $2,000,000 gold robbery.

Director: Sam Wanamaker
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Crenna, Leonard Nimoy
Comrade X (1940)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American reporter smuggling news out of Soviet Moscow is blackmailed into helping a beautiful Communist leave the country.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oskar Homolka
Powder Town (1942)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An absent minded research scientist takes a job at a munitions factory

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Edmond O'Brien, June Havoc
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Spanish overlord controls 16th-century Tuscany. He plans to marry into a prominent Italian family and hires an Englishman to serve as bodyguard for his less-than-eager fiancee. The ... See full summary »

Directors: Baccio Bandini, Etienne Périer
Stars: Stewart Granger, Sylva Koscina, Christine Kaufmann
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Kitty Bellairs, a flirtatious young woman of 18th Century England, cuts a swath of broken hearts and romantic conquests as she visits a resort with her sister.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Claudia Dell, Ernest Torrence, Walter Pidgeon
The Journey (1959)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A British woman trying to escape Hungary with her freedom fighter lover finds herself the obsession of a Communist officer.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Jason Robards
Once a Thief (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A down-on-her-luck San Francisco woman, turning in desperation to jewel robbery, barely escapes getting nabbed in a heist and moves to Los Angeles where she gets an honest job as a waitress... See full summary »

Director: W. Lee Wilder
Stars: Cesar Romero, June Havoc, Marie McDonald
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Four struggling musicians lose their vocalist at the insistence of her gangster boyfriend. They find a replacement in an innocent young woman being courted by a cabbie pretending to be a king.

Director: Jack Hively
Stars: Ray Bolger, Anne Shirley, June Havoc
The Toy Wife (1938)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The beautiful and frivolous wife of a plantation owner in antebellum Louisiana, proves unsatisfactory at running the household, leading her serious-minded husband to enlist the help of her unmarried sister.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Luise Rainer, Melvyn Douglas, Robert Young
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Atomic holocaust is not the only plague that threatens our future. New York City, 2012 A.D.: In a plague devastated world, one tired man finds a reason to fight.

Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Yul Brynner, Max von Sydow, Joanna Miles
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This package for comedy and the musical numbers has Luke Brown being drugged by the gangster operators of the swank Boathouse Inn; most notably Roxie a sexy pickpocket. Brown has ... See full summary »

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Bert Lahr, June Havoc, Buddy Ebsen
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Drama based on Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky's homonymous novel about the proud Karamazov family in 1870s Russia.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Yul Brynner, Maria Schell, Claire Bloom


Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Stoloff
Schloime Kradnik
Henri Serre ...
Mendel (as Henri Sera)
Countess Grabowsky
Branko Plesa ...
Lt. Vishinsky
Vladimir Bacic ...
Branko Spoljar ...
Alenka Rancic ...
Dina Rutic ...
Eugen Verber ...
(as Eugen Werber)


Since time immemorial, the simple-minded boisterous people of Malava, a small Polish town near the border of imperial Russia, have lived on horse-stealing, horse-trading and horse-smuggling. Life changes abruptly when a Russian garrison, commanded by Captain Stoloff, occupies the town and, in the name of the Czar, requisitions all the horses for the Russian-Japanese War. With no more horses to steal, Kifke cannot afford to marry Estusha and all the young men in the village are likely to be incorporated into the Russian army. This state of affairs cannot continue and Zavill will take care of things. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Excitement and Romance of Old Russia! See more »


GP | See all certifications »



| | |


Release Date:

18 August 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Romance of a Horsethief  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Estusha: Kifke. Take a bath.
[Kifke smells himself]
Kifke: Why...? I was just in the river.
[He lifts his foot up to Estusha]
Kifke: Undress me.
[He looks at her seductively. They both laugh]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

ROMANCE OF A HORSETHIEF (Abraham Polonsky, 1971) **1/2
23 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

It's safe to assume that, even among casual film buffs, the fate of Abraham Polonsky is arguably better known than his actual cinematic works are since his is arguably the most notorious case of the impact that the Red Scare/HUAC hearings of the late 1940s had on a promising Hollywood career. After writing the seminal boxing drama BODY AND SOUL (1947), Polonsky stepped into the director's chair for the first (and, for the next 21 years, only) directorial effort with the marvelous noir FORCE OF EVIL (1948); incidentally, both these movies starred an even more fatal casualty of that Communist purge, John Garfield – who died a mere 4 years later at just 39 years of age. The political climate in Hollywood changed over the years and, by the end of the 1960s, Polonsky was able to officially work again, both as writer – on Don Siegel's MADIGAN (1968) – and, more importantly, as a director – on the acclaimed Revisionist Western TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE (1969) and the much lighter ROMANCE OF A HORSETHIEF. As it turned out, Polonsky's directorial stint still proved short-lived as he was advised, for medical reasons, not to undertake any more strenuous projects! Equally ironic is the fact that, while on the Italian-language TV print I watched the opening credits clearly state that one is about to see "an Abraham Polonsky film", the actual credited director has an unpronounceable Yugoslavian name!!

On original release, the film under review seems to have been quite well-received by critics but the public stayed away and, while this may have surprised Polonsky himself, in hindsight I'd say it was just too old-fashioned and inconsequential for its own good. Or perhaps it was simply overshadowed by Norman Jewison's 3-hour musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971) – which similarly deals with the trials and tribulations of Jewish Poles in a war-torn society in a light-hearted fashion. The cast list was certainly impressive: Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, David Opatoshu (who also penned the script based on his father's novel), Henri Serre, Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, Oliver Tobias (his first starring role) and Marilu' Tolo. But it's Lainie Kazan who steals the show as the lusty, busty brothel madam who seduces Russian Captain Brynner to keep him away from his duty of pursuing her intended, horsethief Wallach; the sequence where cross-dressed Wallach and Tobias attempt to spring three horses hidden inside the brothel unbeknownst to drunken Brynner is the film's comic highlight. Meanwhile, peasant Opatoshu's son Tobias romances wealthy liberal Birkin who, in turn, is engaged to clumsy French gentleman (Gainsbourg, who else?). This enjoyable but ultimately unsubstantial film also boasts a fine score by Mort Shuman and attractive cinematography by Piero Portalupi.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page