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The Round-Up (1966)

Szegénylegények (original title)
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, ... See full summary »



2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gajdar János
Zoltán Latinovits ... Veszelka Imre
Tibor Molnár ... Kabai
Gábor Agárdi ... Torma (as Agárdy Gábor)
András Kozák ... Ifj. Kabai
Béla Barsi ... Foglár
József Madaras ... Magyardolmányos
János Koltai ... Varjú Béla
István Avar ... Vallató I
Lajos Öze ... Vallató II
Rudolf Somogyvári
Attila Nagy
Zoltán Basilides
György Bárdy ... (as Bárdi György)
Zsigmond Fülöp


In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, the army rounds up suspects and jails them in an isolated fort. The authorities do not have the identity of the guerilla leaders, who are supposed to be present among the prisoners. However, they know enough about some of the suspects to apply perfidious forms of coercion effectively. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

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Drama | History | War


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Release Date:

6 January 1966 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

The Round-Up  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Voted as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films 1948-1968" by Hungarian filmmakers and critics ("Budapest 12") in 1968 and then again as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films" ("New Budapest 12") in 2000. See more »


Featured in Sodankylä ikuisesti: Elokuvan vuosisata (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

The cosmic round
12 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Jancso does it. When Jancso does it, it's a mixture of getting it right and perceptibly missing, both at the same time. He is not perfect, nor seems to strive for it. But he surely has some of the best ideas about films in all of cinema. In the actual films, it seems as if you are watching pure intuition, the sketch rather than the finished film. I am saying this as a good thing. He sculpts in air, most do in marble.

He gets just the last note off here, so you leave this thinking of the ways you would do it - a good thing again. It is the scene of betrayal of the whole rebel troop (until then in disguise), which he does in a rather awkward manner.

But what powerful devices before that!

The main setting is a forced labor camp in the middle of nowhere. We start with a 'real place', the white stucco on adobe walls reflecting barren sunlight. This is gradually abstracted into something else, by repetition and time. It is done so well, it deserves to be studied.

The place as the totality of existence: there is no way out, people languish in mindless work and routine, having to please a higher moral authority that decides life and death. Love is always kept at arm's reach. They are all sinners in that place, most of them murderers. It is a bleak view of life, very Hungarian, but you can work with it.

A man who must find another prisoner to take his place in the executioner's scaffold, someone worse than him. Someone who has killed more. He does the rounds of the place pleading with officers, cajoling, betraying, a spineless coward despised by everyone.

A second man who in order to be set free, has to convince he is not someone else and is betrayed by the first as that person.

A father and son playing a game of storytelling chess with the prison warden.

So much is handled in just the right way here, I had to hold my breath. The point is that there is no way out of life, except dead. And there are different ways to go, some of them more dignified. The only certain thing is that we all have to go, and you get to see the pain and humiliation of clinging to life that is transient. There is no glory to this, just the way it has to be. Everything else are games that pass the time, storytelling, fiction, deceit and ritual - see if the same invented rituals and thrills do not resurface across poker tables and the films we see.

We are eventually unsure if the scoundrel really was guilty, or merely framed. We are unsure if the other man is not who he says. Whether father or son strangled him. Whether or not the rebel leader was among the group.

We are in the dark about pretty damn near everything - except that games have been played, with the losers removed from the cosmic round.

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