Taras Bulba

  • 1962
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical, War

This is a poor adaptation of Gogol's classic novel, featuring Yul Brynner as the legendary cossack leader Taras Bulba. Betrayed by the Polish army circa 1550, Brynner and his men are forced to flee across the Russian steppes. Later, Brynner raises two sons who follow in their father's footsteps. Curtis, however, falls in love with Polish noblewoman Kaufmann,...read more

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This is a poor adaptation of Gogol's classic novel, featuring Yul Brynner as the legendary cossack leader Taras Bulba. Betrayed by the Polish army circa 1550, Brynner and his men are forced to flee across the Russian steppes. Later, Brynner raises two sons who follow in their father's

footsteps. Curtis, however, falls in love with Polish noblewoman Kaufmann, a romance that leads to a violent confrontation between father and son. TARAS BULBA seemed doomed to fail from the start. First, producer Harold Hecht wanted to cut costs, so he filmed this tale of 16th-century cossacks in

Argentina. The local gauchos, who played the hundreds of soldiers, did more fighting to get on camera than they did on-screen. Moreover, Curtis was again the victim of poor casting, his character becoming ludicrous due to his heavy Brooklyn accent. To make matters worse, the actor's personal life

went awry when he fell for his costar, 17-year-old Kaufmann, causing his wife, Janet Leigh, to go home--a repentant Curtis giving chase and causing some delays. Veteran hack director J. Lee Thompson brings his typically bland style to the affair; while the battle scenes are less than spectacular,

his handling of the actors is even worse. The only bright spot here is Franz Waxman's Oscar-nominated musical score, which builds up a thematic scheme as the various cossack tribes ride and come together for the climactic battle.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This is a poor adaptation of Gogol's classic novel, featuring Yul Brynner as the legendary cossack leader Taras Bulba. Betrayed by the Polish army circa 1550, Brynner and his men are forced to flee across the Russian steppes. Later, Brynner raises two sons… (more)

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