7.0/10
965
16 user 12 critic

The Horse Thief (1986)

Dao ma zei (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 6 January 1988 (USA)
A Tibetan man struggles to provide for his family.

Directors:

Zhuangzhuang Tian, Peicheng Pan (co-director)

Writer:

Rui Zhang
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Autobiographical story about the life of a poor family in the Taiwanese countryside during the 1940s and 1950s as the Japanese rule of the island ends and nationalist forces of Kwomintang arrive when the Communists take the mainland.

Director: Nien-Jen Wu
Stars: Akio Chen, Shu-Fang Chen, Jun Fu
Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh, Cherie Chung
The Blue Kite (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The lives of a Beijing family throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as they experience the impact of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution.

Director: Zhuangzhuang Tian
Stars: Tian Yi, Wenyao Zhang, Xiaoman Chen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An elderly, asthmatic filmmaker travels to China, hoping to film the wind.

Director: Joris Ivens
Stars: Joris Ivens, Henxiang Han, Zhuang Liu
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Take a walk into the dreamlike world of filmmaker Raul Ruiz as he takes us to Paris for a twisting ride. Four strangely symmetrical stories unfold involving love, lust, crime, and time.

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Galiena, Marisa Paredes
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dah and Jocelyn come from Benin, Africa, to coach their rooster, "S'en fout la mort", for an illicit cock-fight in the basement of a restaurant.

Director: Claire Denis
Stars: Isaach De Bankolé, Alex Descas, Solveig Dommartin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Three women, all strangers to each other, meet in a dress boutique. One of the three is approached by the male proprietor as she is shoplifting a garment. When he approaches her the other ... See full summary »

Director: Marleen Gorris
Stars: Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Henriëtte Tol
Brightness (1987)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man with magical powers journeys to his uncle to request help in fighting his sorcerer father.

Director: Souleymane Cissé
Stars: Issiaka Kane, Aoua Sangare, Niamanto Sanogo
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »

Director: Shirley Clarke
Stars: Rony Clanton, Carl Lee, Yolanda Rodríguez
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the old days it was called hypochrondria, or black melancholia. Now, apparently, it's termed the Asthenic Syndrome. Whatever it is, Nikolai, a teacher of epicly indifferent pupils, has ... See full summary »

Director: Kira Muratova
Stars: Olga Antonova, Sergei Popov, Galina Zakhurdaeva
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Zhaoren Yang
Stars: Gang Wu, Lijie Wu
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Daiba Daiba ... Granny
Jiji Dan Jiji Dan ... Dolma, wife
Drashi Drashi ... Grandfather
Gaoba Gaoba ... Nowre
Jamco Jayang Jamco Jayang ... Tashi, son
Rigzin Tseshang Rigzin Tseshang ... Norbu
Edit

Storyline

The story of Norbu, a horse thief, who is thrown out of his tribe in an effort to purge it of evil. Norbu repents after the birth of his son, but he is forced to steal again after the birth of a second son. Written by International Film Circuit <ifcplanet@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

International Film Circuit

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin | Tibetan

Release Date:

6 January 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Horse Thief See more »

Filming Locations:

Xian Province, China

Company Credits

Production Co:

Xi'an Film Studio See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(after the censorship)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Number 1 on Martin Scorsese's top 10 movies of the 90s list, which he presented on a special episode of At the Movies with Roger Ebert. Even though the movie was made and released in the 80s, it gain traction in the US during the 90s. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lean Outleaned
21 December 2010 | by smrana9377-831-371630See all my reviews

This is a movie about human beings living in the stark and pitiless land of Tibet. Tibetans have a clear if not too numerous a presence in North India and I always felt deeply curious about these strangers from a land not too distant yet strange and mysterious. My first memories of these people are of tattered nomads moving in groups. Today they are educated, vocal and have prospered economically on Indian soil.The present film is like a response to an inborn craving to visit this land.

It is set in 1923, thus steering clear of political controversies in China, of which Tibet is now a part. Tibet is the highest plateau in the world, with an average altitude of 16,000 feet. Going by this film, it also seems the most wind blown place. The mists are always floating swiftly away and the pennants planted near temples fluttering noisily like an array of weathercocks. I cannot remember any movie with such splendor of cinematography, not even David Lean at his best. It is a world of transcendent beauty. There is nothing of the picture postcard tailor's dummy prettiness. The azure mountains, snow deserts and water bodies live and breathe as though with the presence of stern deities. The musical score , comprising natural sounds, muffled incantations and a continuous drone punctuated with funereal beats of percussion unspoken script or reverent commentary on this extra terrestrial world.

Norbu is a poor member of a nomadic tribe. He has a wife and small boy to support. Though devout he is forced into stealing horses for survival. He is expelled from his group under sentence of amputation if he should return. The film follows his journey through different regions in the course of which he loses his son to disease and sires another one. Religion and ceremonies dominate the life of these simple minded and plainspoken folk. Probably they need this belief as a necessity in their lives with death and starvation constantly dangling over them. Norbu is a god fearing person and it is only to save his offspring from the jaws of starvation that he is driven to stealing. He contributes a good part of his "earnings" to the temple.

Both the mood and the score is reminiscent of Tarkovsky's Stalker. These snow blown mountains and deserts are also inhabited by a mysterious presence hinting at realities other than the familiar. The word mesmeric applied to this film is not a cliché but an accurate description of it's power.

At the end of the day, people are the same--in Tibet, Calcutta or in the US.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed