26 user 16 critic

Prisoner of the Mountains (1996)

Kavkazskiy plennik (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 31 January 1997 (USA)
Two Russian soldiers, one battle-seasoned and the other barely into his boots and uniform, are taken prisoner by an anxious Islamic father from a remote village hoping to trade them for his captured son.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Sacha Kostylin
Ivan (Vanya) Zhilin
Jemal Sikharulidze ...
Susanna Mekhraliyeva ...
Aleksandr Bureyev ...
Valentina Fedotova ...
Zhilin's Mother
Maslov, the Russian Commander
T. Kibyev
Valeri Kostrin
Pavel Lebeshev ...
(as P. Lebeshev)


Based upon a short story by Leo Tolstoy, two Russian soldiers, Sacha and Vania, are ambushed by Muslim rebels in the grandly forbidding Caucasus and taken prisoner. Although complete understanding never fully emerges, their bittersweet ordeal reveals the human soul of two vastly different cultures. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An extraordinary story of hope, courage and humanity.


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| | |

Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prisoner of the Mountains  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$89,992 (USA) (7 February 1997)


$661,361 (USA) (28 March 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dzhemal Sikharulidze, whose character Abdul-Murat abducts the two Russian soldiers, speaks Georgian in the film, not Chechen. See more »


After Sacha and Vanya escape and remove the shackles from their ankles, they begin running upstream. The scene cuts to a different angle, and they are running downstream. See more »


Sacha Kostylin: Did you shoot?
Ivan Zhilin: Did not get a chance.
Sacha Kostylin: What is your name, again?
Ivan Zhilin: Private Gilin.
Sacha Kostylin: You are a rotten soldier, Private Gilin.
See more »


Written and Performed by Radzhab Radzhabov
See more »

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User Reviews

Another reason to love Russian movies
5 September 2000 | by (Budapest,Hungary) – See all my reviews

In this film, I can find almost everything what I like in a movie. It presents the life of a small community, their thoughts, their feelings and their habits. It has a nice atmosphere, beautiful sights, good actors, and a strong story. What else do you want? Another reason to love Russian movies.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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