Gorbe is one of hundreds of outlaws and peasants rounded up by the Austrian army after an unsuccessful revolt during the mid-1800s. He is told that he will be freed if he gives the names of outlaws who have killed more than he. The first man he identifies escapes but is caught and
hanged. The second, on seeing his wife tortured, leaps with his two comrades to his death. The Austrian guards, satisfied with the information Gorbe has provided (and, therefore, no longer needing him), let the other prisoners kill him. The guards continue their reign of terror, this time choosing
as their pawns a father and son who must betray murderer Agardy in order to save each other from death. Agardy is then allowed to pick a cavalry squadron as a reward for defeating his betrayers in a match of horsemanship. The Austrians overhear his boast that the men he has picked belonged to the
band of a famous revolutionary, and they seize the group, which they have been trying to identify. A superb film from Hungarian director Jancso which brought him (and the entire Hungarian cinema) international attention. It is (as are all Jancso's pictures) a fine example of the creation of mood
through the use of expansive landscapes and austere horizons. The film takes a poignant, stark look at the insensitivity and fear that fester when people are imprisoned. Released in Hungary in 1966.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Gorbe is one of hundreds of outlaws and peasants rounded up by the Austrian army after an unsuccessful revolt during the mid-1800s. He is told that he will be freed if he gives the names of outlaws who have killed more than he. The first man he identifies… (more)