7.4/10
7,664
89 user 24 critic

The Beast of War (1988)

A Soviet tank and its warring crew become separated from their patrol and lost in an Afghan valley with a group of vengeance-seeking rebels on their tracks.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Daskal
...
Konstantin Koverchenko
...
Khan Taj
...
Anthony Golikov
...
Kaminski
...
Akbar
...
Samad
Chaim Jeraffi ...
Moustafa (as Haim Gerafi)
Shoshi Marciano ...
Sherina (as Shosh Marciano)
Yitzhak Ne'eman ...
Iskandar (as Itzhak Babi Ne'Eman)
...
Kovolov
Moshe Vapnik ...
Hasan
Claude Aviram ...
Sadioue
Victor Ken ...
Ali
Avi Keedar ...
Noor
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Storyline

During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique look at the Soviet 'Vietnam' experience sympathetically told for both sides. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no room in a tank for a conscience. See more »

Genres:

War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 September 1988 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Beast  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$161,004 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although in the original movie the actors use American military lingo and commands, which is quite out of place for Soviet soldiers, the Hungarian version of the movie corrected much of these errors and added authentic Warsaw Pact jargon and commands. Interestingly, the tank commander repeatedly calls a shrapnel shell "kartács" which is an outdated word for grapeshot. See more »

Goofs

The T-62 tank's crew is comprised of four men, not five as depicted in the movie. Indeed, it's impossible to accommodate five men in this kind of tank. See more »

Quotes

Taj: I will not fight alongside scavengers who pick gold from the teeth of dead Russians!
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Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, just after the Columbia Pictures logo the following quote is given: When you're wounded an' left on Afghanistan's plains. An' the women come out to cut up your remains, Just roll to your rifle an' blow out your brains, An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. - Rudyard Kipling See more »

Connections

Referenced in Syphon Filter 3 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

STREETCAR HEADED EAST
Written by VICTOR TSI
Performed by KINO
Produced by JOANNA STINGRAY
Courtesy of STINGRAY PRODUCTIONS
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Compelling and absorbing depiction of human struggles...
19 February 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A very enjoyable film! Reynolds captures the essence of man's struggle with right & wrong, good & evil, on several levels in this realistic depiction of the Soviet-Afghan conflict. It was both meaningful and entertaining. I gave it an 8.

The internal conflicts of the characters reflect the many ways that people reconcile and deal with their emotions and beliefs vis-à-vis the roles thrust upon them by war and duty- the soldier, the faithful, the victim, the oppressor, the revenge-seeker and the order-follower. Each main character struggles at some point with his or her decisions in the face of right and wrong, duty and morality. It is the results of these choices that guide the film to transcend the events of war, and delve into the universal questions of how and why man struggles with real and painful choices.

Although the film does prove to be quite predictable, the underlying messages are timeless and well depicted. A moving story with good character development artistically filmed and approached realistically. The brutality and violence of war is not gratuitous, and the anti-war message is delivered superbly.

I highly recommend this film to all audiences... not just war-film buffs. With the US presence in Afghanistan today, the film should serve to help understand that conflict and this one in regards to the human components that are so often overlooked.

A note regarding other user's comments: The film was subtitled. It seems that some saw it without the subtitles for some reason. If you are one of those people, you really must view it with them. Rent it. I cannot imagine truly understanding the full scope of the film without the benefit of the Afghan dialog. Also, the "Americanization" of the soviet dialog not only serves to draw parallels between that conflict and the Vietnam War, but it universalizes the struggles of war and allows the viewer to empathize on a human level- not just a political one. In our long human history, how often have these basic human conflicts occurred... particularly in times of war and oppression and injustice?


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