7.4/10
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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 ... 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:

You can escape from everything but justice. 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

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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

The fire commands and terminology used by the tank crew in combat are the same as used by U.S. Army tank crews. This was to add military flavor to the movie, and give it a very realistic feel. See more »

Goofs

Just after being wounded, uncle Akbar shoulders his weapons twice while talking to Taj. 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

Referenced in The Big Hit (1998) 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

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User Reviews

 
Moby Dick, with Ahab in the whale...
20 November 2000 | by hagerpSee all my reviews

This neglected and largely unknown anti-war film, ranks as one of the best of the genre. Since other posters have commented extensively on this movie, I'll limit myself to a few comments about those elements others have not addressed.

In it my understanding from material I read at the time the movie was in release (I saw it in Los Angeles when I was living there in the late 80s) that the actors who portrayed Afghanis learned and delivered their lines phonetically. The fact that the "Russians" sound like Americans, and the Afghans are speaking the language without subtitles is a brilliant dramatic device. Virtually no one is going to understand what the Afghanis are actually saying, but it is possible to get the gist from the context and from body language. This has the effect of alienating the viewer from the freedom fighters and making them tend to identify with the Russian tank crew. The movie then operates subversively against this natural tendency throughout the remainder of the story.

The hunting of the tank by the Mujahadeen has an almost mythic quality, except for the fact that the T-62 is real and it has a human crew. And leading that crew is the tank commander whose entire life was shaped by his experiences in "The Great Patriotic War" against the Nazis when, as an 8-year-old, he was used by Russian troops in Stalingrad to help kill German tanks. The commander is as monomaniacal as Ahab, but instead of pursuing the whale, he is it's animating spirit.

There are a lot of layers to this movie -- it will definitely repay repeat viewings.


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