In 1918 a defeated Austro-Hungarian Baron Colonel Von Görtz returns home to Transylvania which has just been lost to Romania. A vengeful Von Görtz punishes the nearby villagers but Romanian Major Tudor Andrei aids them.
The movie is based on a true story from the end of WWI, in Transylvania. A nobleman who owned some land in Transylvania returns home to find a part of his fortune burned to ashes during late 1918 when power was trasfered from AustroHungary to Romania. Looking for revenge, he ordered the killing of innocent Romanian peasants from a neighbouring village, which he suspected to be guilty for the losses he suffered. A Romanian officer from Romanian Transylvanian Volunteers Corp, decides to help the villagers to face the menace of the nobleman.Written by
The grenade duel idea belonged to Romanian Director Sergiu Nicolaescu. Small explosive devices were set up in the areas where the grenades would fall. One pyrotechnics engineer got seriously hurt when the explosive device he was setting up prematurely blew up. See more »
There couldn't have been 44 dead. There were 50 homes, and 6 of the mercenaries did not obey the order to shoot one villager in each household. However, one of the houses (the one that turned out to be Luca's, actually) was empty. So there should be 43 bodies. See more »
Here, the story is still told almost well, and the direction is decent enough. One of the best scenes is the drinking roulette in the end, where the mercenaries are paired two by two, to drink themselves stupid, so that the oe keeping longer of each couple shoots the other. Of course, Amza Pella and Cornel Girbea offer the most interesting confrontation and outcome.
But, all in all, the movie doesn't bring anything new. It's just an adventure film on historical background.
I also remember that when I saw it people were commenting that the censorship had insisted to delete certain scenes, because they were too cruel, and Nicolaescu was able to keep them. For that period, it was interesting enough, but they can't compare with what one can see now as cruelty.
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