4 user 1 critic

Romance of a Horsethief (1971)

Romansa konjokradice (original title)
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 pull off a $2,000,000 gold robbery.

Director: Sam Wanamaker
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Crenna, Leonard Nimoy
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Policemen Novak & Thompson go undercover to infiltrate a gang of counterfeiters.

Director: Sam Wanamaker
Stars: Yul Brynner, Charles Gray, Edward Woodward
Certificate: GP Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Pirates take over a lighthouse on a rocky island. They then execute a devious plan to cause ships to run aground, pillaging their wrecks. A lone member of the lighthouse crew survives, and ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Billington
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner, Samantha Eggar
Adios Sabata (1970)
Certificate: GP Action | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Master gunslinger Sabata helps some Mexican revolutionaries steal a wagonload of gold.

Director: Gianfranco Parolini
Stars: Yul Brynner, Dean Reed, Ignazio Spalla
The Serpent (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A soviet diplomat hatches a complicated plan to enable him to defect to the West.

Director: Henri Verneuil
Stars: Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde
The Long Duel (1967)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

To protest against British oppression and tyranny a tribal leader becomes a bandit.

Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Yul Brynner, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A hunted revolutionary leads a rag tag group of individuals through the desert in an attempt to elude the security forces and escape the fictitious Arab country of Zahrain.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Yul Brynner, Sal Mineo, Jack Warden
Fuzz (1972)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Police in Boston search for a mad bomber trying to extort money from the city.

Director: Richard A. Colla
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Jack Weston
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
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In a complex piece of espionage the Russian secret service attempts to kidnap a high ranking officer in the CIA and replace him with a double of its own.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Yul Brynner, Britt Ekland, Clive Revill
Death Rage (1976)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A retired hit-man decides to take one last job to avenge the murder of his brother by a mafia gang. An eager would-be mobster helps him.

Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Yul Brynner, Massimo Ranieri, Barbara Bouchet
Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A helicopter rescue team tries to save the survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Japan during a raging typhoon.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Widmark, George Chakiris


Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Stoloff
Schloime Kradnik
Henri Serre ...
Mendel (as Henri Sera)
Countess Grabowsky
Marilù Tolo ...
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 detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Czar Needs Horses
19 May 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's hard to make a judgment on a film that you might want to say is far better than it appears. But the DVD I saw of Romance Of A Horsethief had the most horrible sound quality, one of the worst I ever heard with a film that had some justifiable reasons to consider it good. I must have missed any number of witticisms that came from Joseph and David Opatoshu, the father and son original creators of the work.

The same rueful acceptance, the same cynicism that characterized Fiddler On The Roof without the joyous music is found in Romance Of A Horsethief. It's 1904 and the Czarist armies are needing cavalry horses for the upcoming war with Japan which ironically enough turned out to be a naval war. So it's not like the American west where the cavalry actually bought and paid for mounts and cavalry horses became the fulcrum of many a western good and bad. No, in an absolute monarchy the Czar merely requisitions what he needs from the peasants be they Christian or Jew. Stealing from both you would think might get them to thinking we have a common enemy, but that fact takes a long time in realization.

Yul Brynner is the Cossack commander sent to the Russian part of occupied Poland whose job it is to run that part of Poland and get the Czar's horses. Eli Wallach is the amiable horse-thief whose profession has found a new status of honor he never expected in his life. He becomes a revolutionary in spite of himself.

Romance Of A Horsethief almost could have been a musical, there are places some numbers could have been dropped. Best in the cast is Lainie Kazan who makes quite the fool of Brynner the occupier. Who could resist Lainie's twin weapons of mass destruction?

A really bad sound quality keeps this last work of Abraham Polonsky from being a classic.

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

Message Boards

Discuss Romance of a Horsethief (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: