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The Conqueror (Taras Bulba) (2010)

Bogdan Stupka , Igor Petrenko , Vladimir Bortko  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bogdan Stupka, Igor Petrenko, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Magdalena Mielcarz, Mikhail Boyarskiy
  • Directors: Vladimir Bortko
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, Polish, Russian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XC5LRI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,145 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In the midst of a brutal war, Taras Bulba learns his farm has been destroyed, his eldest son captured and his wife murdered. Seeking vengeance, the fierce warrior sets off on an epic mission for retribution.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
2009's "Taras Bulba" (renamed for U.S. DVD distribution to the more generic The Conqueror) is a film that has engendered quite a bit of controversy and has made its mark as a love it or hate it proposition. In truth, it's not so surprising given the nature of the film. Taking Nikolai Gogol's rousing adventure of a Ukrainian Cossack and the betrayal of his son, the movie focuses most intently on being a chest thumping paean to Mother Russia. Thus, the film comes across as unadulterated and unapologetic propaganda. An opportunity is never missed to sing the praises of Russia (although the tale is inherently Ukrainian). As this philosophy is espoused so explicitly and so repeatedly--I can see why some would be put-off by the one sided presentation and shift of historical perspective. Those that enjoy the film will no doubt gravitate to the epic nature of the story and a dynamic lead performance by Bogdan Stupka. To be honest, there are hundreds of films that employ this fervent national point-of-view from countries around the globe. It is unusual, however, for a modern film to be quite so in-your-face.

If you are looking for in-depth historical analysis, this is not the piece for you! Set in the mid 16th century, the tyrannical Polish state seeks to subjugate the noble Ukrainian country. That's as complex as the narrative delves into this particular conflict--Poland bad, Ukraine (and by extension Russia) good. I guess it works out well, as the Cossacks are depicted early in the film as spoiling for a fight. They are only looking for a worthy opponent! A full scale war in enacted, even as Taras Bulba's younger son is enchanted by a Polish princess. The movie is set mainly upon the battlefield with lots of bravado, camaraderie, and enthusiastic (and vocal) patriotism.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ukrainians Not the Russians January 31, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bogdan Stupka is a brillant actor. I have seen him in two Polish Films (Stary Basn and With Fire and Sword). His portrayal of the fictitious Taras Bulba is up to full measure. The action sequences were great, although the portrayal of the nasty Poles (my ancesters, I suspect) was a mite too caricature. That said the film uses the history of the Ukraine as a backdrop for Russian nationalism. The Cossack rebellion against the Polish Throne and their greedy Polish, Lithuanian, and polonised Ruthenian rulers had nothing to do with Russia. Russia at that time had a peace treaty with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is a shame that films like this, while well made, distort the rich histories of Central and East European nations, about which English speaking peoples know next to nothing.

Ron Ostrowski, Canberra Australia
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Messy film October 9, 2011
By Alpha
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Jigsaw puzzle of a plot line. Very primitive fight sceens and death blows. I felt like I was watching a remake of a movie made 50 years ago the was remade trying to be very simple and true to the original.

This movie is very simplistic and although interesting at times you will find yourself asking the question am I really still watching this.

If you want a movie depicting a Russian / Poland conflict buy the movie "1612". It is light years ahead of this movie in quality.

Bottom line is if you like period pieces with large scale battle scenes and war this movie is way down the list of must sees and will leave you wanting more out of the movie.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Taras Bulba is a historical movie based on the romanticized historical novel by Nikolai Gogol. Although I have not read the novel, the plot of the movie and the plot summary I have read of the revised 1842 edition match pretty well. Set in the 16th century, the story tells the story of an old Cossack named Taras Bulba and his two sons Andriy and Ostap.

When Taras Bulba's sons return home from study in Kiev, they all decide to seek adventure and go to the Zaporozhian Sich. The Cossacks there are restless as it is a time of peace in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth (which they are part of), so they ponder if they should attack the Ottomans or Tartars. When Taras Bulba gets word from one of his men that Poles have killed everyone at his estate, he directs his wrath at them. His man also proclaims the Poles are up to no good in many other regards, so all the Cossacks there are riled up and ready for war.

Knowing that the Russian government produced Taras Bulba is a key detail in understanding the stance the film takes. One could easily construe that this movie contains overtures of propaganda. The movie takes place in Ukraine, but all the Polish hating Cossacks refer to their land as Russia. If one didn't know any better, one would think they are Russians, which they are not. Although Ukraine is mentioned a couple times, it is always presented as if it was part of Russia. You are also not going to be able to escape the many speeches that every dying Cossack gives, in which they sing praise to having the honor to die for Russia.

The evil villains of the story are the Poles. They Poles are inept fighters and their elite forces, the winged hussars, have armor so thin that a Cossack blade can cut right through it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but good
The original story I saw with Tony Curtis etc., was fairly well done but I was informed from a friend this is up to date version and worth the watching. Read more
Published 12 days ago by George
5.0 out of 5 stars but the Russian language with subtitles is much better. If you liked...
Grittier and bloodier that the Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis version of Taras Bulba. The English overdub is a bit juvenile, but the Russian language with subtitles is much better. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Berdman
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
was a great movie
Published 1 month ago by Darrell Skaling
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUY
VERY HAPPY WITH THE PURCHASE.LOVE THAT PART OF HISTORY , RECOMMEND TO ALL.MOVIE IS MOST ACCURATE ON THE HISTORY PART OF IT.
Published 5 months ago by eric bojara
5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion, this is the best film about Ukraine and Ukrainian...
Great movie, great actors! In my opinion, this is the best film about Ukraine and Ukrainian character (which is why there is so often the case of the revolution).
Published 7 months ago by Maryna
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lush film destroyed by Russian Propaganda
If you are searching for a historically correct film, this is not it. Yes the locations are amazing, the costumes look very authentic, and Bogdan Stupka's acting is good, if not... Read more
Published 8 months ago by timbo
4.0 out of 5 stars Russian made, but pretty good.
The scenery and locations were very authentic, the actors you can believe are Cossacks. The story is more informative and better performed than our version with Yul Brenner and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by William
3.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating War Movie
The plot is not very complicated the Polish empire turned against the Ukrainians and the Cossacks decide to fight. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dan Ionescu
5.0 out of 5 stars What a film!!
This movie far surpasses the older, Yul Brynner, version (though I love that actor!). The subtitles are not a problem, especially if you know the story. Read more
Published 14 months ago by john kwasny
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great parts of Russian History
It is a very well-made movie, I really enjoyed watching it.
The story really reflected the history of Russia and it also showed the true Russian and Polish mentalities at... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Quan D. Truong
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