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Michael the Brave (1971)

Mihai Viteazul (original title)
At the end of the 16th century Wallachian ruler Prince Michael the Brave overcame the adversity of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires to unite Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania into one country.


Sergiu Nicolaescu


Titus Popovici
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Amza Pellea Amza Pellea ... Mihai Viteazul / Michael the Brave
Ion Besoiu Ion Besoiu ... Prince Sigismund Báthory of Transylvania
Olga Tudorache Olga Tudorache ... Mother of Mihai Viteazul
Irina Gardescu Irina Gardescu ... Countess Rossanna Viventini
György Kovács György Kovács ... Cardinal Andrew Báthory
Sergiu Nicolaescu ... Ottoman Vizier Selim Pasha
Nicolae Secareanu Nicolae Secareanu ... Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha
Ilarion Ciobanu Ilarion Ciobanu ... Stroe Buzescu
Aurel Rogalschi Aurel Rogalschi ... Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II
Ioana Bulca Ioana Bulca ... Doamna Stanca / Princess Stanca
Septimiu Sever Septimiu Sever ... Radu Buzescu
Florin Piersic ... Preda Buzescu
Klára Sebök Klára Sebök ... Maria Cristina de Graz (as Maria Clara Sebok)
Mircea Albulescu ... Popa Stoica
Emmerich Schäffer ... General Giorgio Basta
Learn more

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An epic fresco depicting the reign (1593-1601) of Mihai Pätrascu (better known as "Mihai Viteazul" / "Michael the Brave"), the famous prince who united the three provinces: Transalpine Vallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia, into the country of Romania, at the end of the 16th century (1599-1601) against the opposition of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires, this movie features large scale battle scenes mixed with political intrigues, murderous treachery, and family drama. Written by Peter Reiher & Mihnea Columbeanu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Michael the Brave would liberate his people ... if it took a thousand battles!


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Did You Know?


Michael the Brave (1971) was Romania's entry as 'Best Foreign-Language Film' for the Academy Awards in 1972. See more »


In the film, Michael the Brave's son, Nicolae Patrascu, dies during the Battle of Miraslau (1600). In reality, he died in Vienna in 1627, many years after the death of his father. See more »


Sultan Murat III: I like you. Here, all you see is crawling backs, even those who have the hoofs of their horses full of Europe's and Asia's dust. But I could've not liked you. How could you dare?
Mihai Viteazul: We only have one life, almighty sultan!
Sultan Murat III: Indeed... Too bad!
See more »


Featured in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

User Reviews

A larger than life epic movie
15 August 2002 | by alexdiaconuSee all my reviews

The historical facts:

Mihai Viteazul was a Romanian ruler that reigned in the small principality of Wallachia between 1593 and 1601. In 1600 he bedazzled Europe by uniting Wallachia with Romanian-speaking Moldavia and Transylvania, for which he is hailed as Romania's national hero. It all sounds ferry tale-ish, but it isn't. Mihai was too ahead of his time. He had the guts to go to war with three empires (Turkish, Austrian and Polish) and found his death when he trusted one of them. But his accomplishment forged a landmark in Romanian history.

The movie:

First, it's the battle scenes. They don't come bigger than these and nobody can't take that away from Nicolaescu. He is THE master! Back then, when a movie of such girth was made in Romania, everybody got into it, from the head of state to the Army, so sky was the limit.

I think the grandest scene of the movie is the one depicting the Turkish army in the marshes of Calugareni on August 13 1595. On that day, the all-mighty Ottoman Empire, in its heyday at that time, poured 120,000 soldiers into Wallachia to conquer it. Imagine filming that! Nicoleascu shot from a helicopter. It started from the back, with the scattered extras forming the rear guard and gradually progressing towards the front. The scale is huge and mind you, he actually used that amount of people, not the CGI tricks of "Gladiator". Just think of the props and coordinating those guys on a hot day of summer in the middle of a swamp.

On the other side, as in every portrayal of a legendary figure, the hero hasn't the least of flaws: he is always brave (actually Mihai Viteazul means Michael the Brave), honest, nothing gets by him, always gives a moralizing speech before the battle yada yada. Man, didn't guys like Mihai or William Wallace ever had the slightest trace of egocentrism ? In that respect, there is another movie about Mihai Viteazul, called Buzduganul Cu Trei Peceti (The Mace With Three Seals), in which the hero actually has feelings, flaws and fears. Of course, it's directed by someone else.

At times, the acting is childish, especially in face-offs, like badly rehearsed lines of a play. When it involves a third party, e.g. a soldier telling Mihai that one of his subordinates has just arrived, I can't help myself laughing at the poor timing of the actors. Oh, and it's always the same thing with Romanian scripts: no matter whether the character is a farmer or the Austrian Emperor, he always uses the same old precious and dusty lingo, something like saying "It gives me great pleasure to gaze upon your look" instead of plain "Oh I'm so happy to see you".

All in all, I think 'Mihai Viteazul' is a good movie by most standards. It's the Romanian movie most seen outside its borders and a must-see within.

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Romania | France | Italy



Release Date:

1 February 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Michael the Brave See more »

Filming Locations:

Transylvania, Romania See more »


Box Office


ROL33,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby SR (re-release)


Color (Eastman Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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