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The Horsemen (1971)

In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions), the status of the proud men and their ... See full summary »

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Joseph Kessel (based upon the novel 'The Horsemen' by)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Omar Sharif ... Uraz
Leigh Taylor-Young ... Zareh
Jack Palance ... Tursen
Peter Jeffrey ... Hayatal
Srinanda De Srinanda De
George Murcell ... Mizrar
Eric Pohlmann ... Merchant in Kandahar
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Zam Hajji
Saeed Jaffrey ... District Chief
John Ruddock John Ruddock ... Scribe
Mark Colleano
Salmaan Peerzada ... Salih (as Salmaan Peer)
Aziz Resham Aziz Resham ... Bacha to Ghulam (as Aziz Resh)
Leon Lissek ... Chikana Proprietor
Vida St. Romaine Vida St. Romaine ... Gypsy Woman (as Vida St Romaine)
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Storyline

In the poor, desolate northern provinces of the mountainous feudal Sunni kingdom of Afghanistan (before the Soviet-engineered republican revolutions), the status of the proud men and their clans is determined less by wealth or even military power (both rare) then by victories in the ancient, though game of buskashi, a vicious form of polo dating back to Genghis Khan, in which the chapendaz (participating horsemen) use their horse-whips on both mounts and rivals in a ruthless fight for a heavy 'ball', a dead calf, which must be carried a long way, almost impossible with all the others mercilessly assailing. Tursen, a former champion, now holds the status of village notable thanks to his position as stable-keeper of the regional lord Osman Bey, and has finally bred a horse without equal, the white stallion Jahil, in time for the royal tournament on the plain of Bagrami, just outside the capital Kabul. As Tursen is too old and has a crooked leg, his son Uraz, even prouder and with a ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Horse Worth Killing For. A Dream Worth Dying For. See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 July 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Orgullo de estirpe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Langella was offered a part by John Frankenheimer, but Columbia insisted on a screen test before signing any contract. The screen test was a success, but in the meantime Mel Brooks had offered Langella the second lead in The Twelve Chairs (1970) and he chose that instead. A furious Frankenheimer told him he would never work in this town again. See more »

Goofs

When Tursen (Jack Palance) has a flashback to one of his past victories, one can tell that he is swinging a phony, lightweight, stuffed goat carcass around when his horse jumps up on the mud hut. See more »

Quotes

District Chief: What demon has possessed you to mock these good people with that piece of dog-bait?
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User Reviews

 
Better-- much better than average
30 April 2006 | by artzauSee all my reviews

Omar Sharif and Jack Palance may be the only names in this cast that most will recognize but the story based on an Afghan tale, set in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion, is a classic tale which lays out a great deal of Afghan culture during the period before the great disruption by the West. Afghanistan returned to the public eye after the post-911 invasion to depose the Taliban but the state of knowledge about these marvelous independent people who fought the British Empire to a standstill, still remains obscure. The game of buzgashi, a kind of polo for Weidman, was the core for many of the tribesmen. Its importance as an institution marking the status of tribes and individuals has no real counterpart in Western culture, and this is a tale of intrigue and self-learning, framed in a cultural setting we still have yet to understand.


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