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The Beast of War (1988)

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A Soviet tank and its warring crew become separated from their patrol and lost in an Afghan valley with a group of vengeance-seeking rebels on their tracks.

Director:

Kevin Reynolds

Writers:

William Mastrosimone (screenplay), William Mastrosimone (play)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Dzundza ... Daskal
Jason Patric ... Konstantin Koverchenko
Steven Bauer ... Khan Taj
Stephen Baldwin ... Anthony Golikov
Don Harvey ... Kaminski
Kabir Bedi ... Akbar
Erick Avari ... Samad
Chaim Jeraffi Chaim Jeraffi ... Moustafa (as Haim Gerafi)
Shoshi Marciano Shoshi Marciano ... Sherina (as Shosh Marciano)
Yitzhak Ne'eman Yitzhak Ne'eman ... Iskandar (as Itzhak Babi Ne'Eman)
David Sherrill ... Kovolov
Moshe Vapnik Moshe Vapnik ... Hasan
Claude Aviram Claude Aviram ... Sadioue
Victor Ken Victor Ken ... Ali
Avi Keedar Avi Keedar ... Noor
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Storyline

During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique look at the Soviet 'Vietnam' experience sympathetically told for both sides. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no room in a tank for a conscience. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Pushto

Release Date:

7 September 1988 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beast See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$161,004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Dale Dye, a retired US Marine Corps captain, served as the military/technical advisor and has an uncredited part as one of the helicopter crew. See more »

Goofs

The searchlight on the turret and the canvas around tank main gun change back and forth from damaged (from nighttime Molotov attack) to undamaged several times. See more »

Quotes

Taj: You said you could destroy the tank in one shot!
Moustafa: Maybe it was not the will of Allah.
Taj: Maybe you are just a bad shot!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the film, just after the Columbia Pictures logo the following quote is given: When you're wounded an' left on Afghanistan's plains. An' the women come out to cut up your remains, Just roll to your rifle an' blow out your brains, An' go to your Gawd like a soldier. - Rudyard Kipling See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two versions playing on American Premium (Subscription) Movie Channels. One has subtitles for the Mujahadeen and the other does not. Currently, on STARZ, the version with subtitles is playing. Last year, on A&E, was the version without subtitles. See more »

Connections

Featured in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

STREETCAR HEADED EAST
Written by VICTOR TSI
Performed by KINO
Produced by JOANNA STINGRAY
Courtesy of STINGRAY PRODUCTIONS
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Compelling and absorbing depiction of human struggles...
19 February 2002 | by xtropicalSee all my reviews

A very enjoyable film! Reynolds captures the essence of man's struggle with right & wrong, good & evil, on several levels in this realistic depiction of the Soviet-Afghan conflict. It was both meaningful and entertaining. I gave it an 8.

The internal conflicts of the characters reflect the many ways that people reconcile and deal with their emotions and beliefs vis-à-vis the roles thrust upon them by war and duty- the soldier, the faithful, the victim, the oppressor, the revenge-seeker and the order-follower. Each main character struggles at some point with his or her decisions in the face of right and wrong, duty and morality. It is the results of these choices that guide the film to transcend the events of war, and delve into the universal questions of how and why man struggles with real and painful choices.

Although the film does prove to be quite predictable, the underlying messages are timeless and well depicted. A moving story with good character development artistically filmed and approached realistically. The brutality and violence of war is not gratuitous, and the anti-war message is delivered superbly.

I highly recommend this film to all audiences... not just war-film buffs. With the US presence in Afghanistan today, the film should serve to help understand that conflict and this one in regards to the human components that are so often overlooked.

A note regarding other user's comments: The film was subtitled. It seems that some saw it without the subtitles for some reason. If you are one of those people, you really must view it with them. Rent it. I cannot imagine truly understanding the full scope of the film without the benefit of the Afghan dialog. Also, the "Americanization" of the soviet dialog not only serves to draw parallels between that conflict and the Vietnam War, but it universalizes the struggles of war and allows the viewer to empathize on a human level- not just a political one. In our long human history, how often have these basic human conflicts occurred... particularly in times of war and oppression and injustice?


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