5.3/10
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7 user 3 critic

Romansa konjokradice (1971)

In 1905, Polish horse thieves living near the Russian border find their livelihoods threatened by the new Russo-Japanese conflict because the Russian army requisitions all horses and forcibly conscripts all men for the war.

Director:

Abraham Polonsky

Writers:

David Opatoshu (screenplay), Joseph Opatoshu (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yul Brynner ... Captain Stoloff
Eli Wallach ... Kifke
Jane Birkin ... Naomi
Lainie Kazan ... Estusha
David Opatoshu ... Schloime Kradnik
Serge Gainsbourg ... Sigmund
Henri Serre ... Mendel (as Henri Sera)
Linda Veras ... Countess Grabowsky
Marilù Tolo ... Manka
Branko Plesa ... Lt. Vishinsky
Vladimir Bacic Vladimir Bacic ... Gruber
Branko Spoljar Branko Spoljar ... Strugatch
Alenka Rancic Alenka Rancic ... Sura
Dina Rutic Dina Rutic ... Cheitche
Eugen Verber Eugen Verber ... (as Eugen Werber)
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Storyline

Since time immemorial, the simple-minded boisterous people of Malava, a small Polish town near the border of imperial Russia, have lived on horse-stealing, horse-trading and horse-smuggling. Life changes abruptly when a Russian garrison, commanded by Captain Stoloff, occupies the town and, in the name of the Czar, requisitions all the horses for the Russian-Japanese War. With no more horses to steal, Kifke cannot afford to marry Estusha and all the young men in the village are likely to be incorporated into the Russian army. This state of affairs cannot continue and Zavill will take care of things. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Excitement and Romance of Old Russia! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Yugoslavia | Italy | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 August 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Romance of a Horsethief See more »

Filming Locations:

Vukovar, Yugoslavia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yul Brynner sings "Soft as the Evening" on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Kifke: I taught you about horses, I taught you about women, I taught you about drinking... now, I'll teach you about Cossacks.
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User Reviews

 
Romance of a Horsethief a forgotten gem
11 September 2016 | by burgephotoSee all my reviews

"Romance of a Horsethief" is a marvelous, little-known gem that, unfortunately, appears to have been transferred to DVD from a badly degraded VHS recording. The sound especially is terrible, sounding like static when the volume passes even a moderate level. What a shame. I would like to think somewhere there is a quality studio transfer that could do this movie justice. The video also suffers. It isn't the worst I have ever seen, but "Horsethief" deserves better.

Obviously the reviewers here who say that Lainie Kazan stole the movie are men (one even noting her "twin weapons of mass destruction", etc.) She was good, an asset to the film, but it's obvious these men are ogling at a beautiful sexy body and their minds say, "She's the best thing in it!" :-D The scene stealers, if you ask me, a woman, are Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach, and my opinion is not influenced by their masculine assets! They were simply two excellent veteran actors chewing up the scenery as they usually did. This 1971 movie was not the first time Brynner and Wallach starred together; the first was the excellent 1960 Western "The Magnificent Seven". And of course, they were the standouts in that one as well.

I agree with a couple of reviewers who noted "Romance of a Horsethief" would have made a good musical, ala "Fiddler on the Roof". As a matter of fact, I thought of "Fiddler" as I watched "Horsethief". The setting and the mood, atmosphere, etc., even the title, would lend itself to musical numbers well.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this movie, you won't be sorry as far as the movie itself is concerned, if you can manage to look past the bad audio and middling video quality.


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