I came here today to look up Ferenc Zenthe (after I learned that the Actor of the Nation passed away earlier today) and his life. If we hear the name Zenthe usually two of his 'films' come to mind (though both of them were series): the "Szomszédok" (Neighbours) and the "A Tenkes kapitánya" (Captain Of The Tenkes) so I was greatly surprised to find no comment here.
This series is known by everyone in the country. You can hardly find a person in Hungary who doesn't know the music of the film. (I didn't write soundtrack, because it is more than that. When you hear it from the radio you think: "Ah, yes, the Captain of The Tenkes.")
When the series was first broadcast on TV it was so popular that it was introduced even in China (and it is a long way from Hungary) and became ever so popular there as well. After the series they made a shorter 2-hour version as well and both can be seen on TV quite often even nowadays.
One of the actors said that it is almost like a fairytale and it is watched best as that. There is no blood flowing, we can't see any murders committed with revenge or hate, sometimes it is slow, there is no slang and of course it is black and white. But if you actually sit down to watch it it will grab you and will never let you go. It is a tale where the good wins but the bad doesn't really suffer either. The performances are outstanding, from the youngest first-time-actors to the oldest experts.
It is about how Máté Eke (the 'Captain') and the people near the castle of Siklós try to rebel against the commander of the castle and make his days hell while awaiting the relieving troops of the kuruc's to finally free them from the rule of the foreign soldiers, set in the early 18th century.
It is a tale which can be watched even by children (not just over 12 or 13) and is constantly re-watched by adults.
It is one of those rare films which will be broadcast even in 20 years, for the 'Captain' and his whole bunch simply cannot be forgotten.
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