5.2/10
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7 user 3 critic

Romance of a Horsethief (1971)

Romansa konjokradice (original title)
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 would become the godfather to Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of co-stars Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. 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.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
At Least Eli Wallach Looks Like He's Having Fun
16 January 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Eli Wallach steals horses from the army's herds. The army steals horses from everyone else. David Opatoshu sells horses he knows he doesn't have so his sister can have a dowry and make a good marriage; and hot revolutionary Jane Birkin wears a white lace dress to a secret meeting in a muddy field -- I suppose the servants will clean it. This movie doesn't seem to me a story so much as a slice of life, and its contradictory absurdities less funny than the sort of disorganized thinking that comes with the Us-Against-Them mentality, reflected in the set design and trying to sneak a stolen horse out of a brothel by having Lainie Kazan expose her decolletage to Yul Brynner.

This absurd and old-fashioned comedy about Cossacks and Jews might have been a minor success played by the Yiddisher Bund in Warsaw in 1935 (my grandfather's second wife would have had fun in the Lainie Kazan role), or on 2nd Avenue in New York. By 1971, if the audience wanted to see something about Jews in Tsarist Russia, they could see FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, which was a lot more approachable.


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