The Horsemen

1971

The Horsemen (1971)

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Movie Info

Director John Frankenheimer, extrapolating from his earlier films The Gypsy Moths and Grand Prix, examines machismo and how men test themselves to the limits of endurance in The Horsemen. The film takes place in modern day Afghanistan. Uraz (Omar Sharif), the son of Tursen (Jack Palance), the stable master for a feudal lord, is a master horseman who lives by a primitive code of honor. Uruz's family honor is damaged when he breaks his leg playing the game which is the Afghani equivalent of polo. His father, who lost a lot of money betting on his son, will barely speak to him. To regain the family honor (and wealth) he must somehow re-learn how to ride -- after his injuries cost him his leg below the knee. In the face of great obstacles, and despite the derision and treachery of others, he gains the chance to play in the games given by the king of Afghanistan. The footage of the horsemanship in these dangerous and anarchic games is one of the real highlights of this film.

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Critic Reviews for The Horsemen

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Neither John Frankenheimer's spare, heroic direction nor Claude Renoir's spectacular photography can quite bring this horseman to life.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Director John Frankenheimer can't be faulted for a lack of serious purpose, just for a lack of material to fit his purpose.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

The location shots in Afghanistan (and some in Spain) are off-beat and stunning, and are the best reason to see this film.

Dec 29, 2014 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

There is little balance given to the Afghan people shown here.

Jul 7, 2004 | Rating: 62/100

The Horsemen takes its rightful place, if gawkily so, among Frankenheimer's best films

Apr 5, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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