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The Horsemen (1971)

Omar Sharif , Leigh Taylor-Young , John Frankenheimer  |  PG |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Omar Sharif, Leigh Taylor-Young, Jack Palance, David de Keyser, Peter Jeffrey
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: Dalton Trumbo, Joseph Kessel
  • Producers: John Frankenheimer, Edward Lewis
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767856449
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,082 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Horsemen" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Afghanistan, the ruthless sport of buzkashi (similar to polo) is a game of great pride. When Uraz (Omar Sharif, Lawrence of Arabia) breaks his leg and loses a spirited match, he brings shame to his village, especially his father, Tursen (Jack Palance, City Slickers), a former champion. After losing his leg below the knee, Uraz, in order to regain his honor, must learn to ride again and win with a special, one-of-a-kind horse. Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962), THE HORSEMEN is an epic, gripping tale.

The Horsemen is a startling and robust adventure story--almost a fable, actually--that opens a window onto a brutal but exotic part of the world. Set in mountainous Afghanistan, the film (written for the screen by Dalton Trumbo of Spartacus fame) concerns the devastating and near-impossible efforts of a great horseman, Uraz (Omar Sharif), to establish a reputation equal to that of his famous father, the chieftain Tursen (Jack Palance). Parts of The Horsemen have a semi-documentary feel, and those sections can be astonishing to watch, particularly footage of a shockingly brutal sport called Bozkeshi, in which men and horses die by the score. Director John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate) literally whips up a sprawling and highly physical movie here, embroidered with a fascinating subplot about the treachery of a beautiful slave (Leigh Taylor-Young). Released in 1971, The Horsemen provides a startling glimpse of a pre-war, pre-Taliban Afghanistan. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful adventure November 15, 2003
By Tintin
This movie, which I saw for the first time in 1971, changed my life forever. From the first moment of the film, I was struck by the stunning Afghan scenery. Over the next three years, I visited Afghanistan three times. It was a fantastic adventure, like a voyage in another time, on another planet. Since then, I have not stopped travelling in this part of the World.

The film is based on Joseph Kessel's (1898 - 1979) novel, "Les Cavaliers," written following his travel throughout Afghanistan in the early 60's. Kessel is, in the tradition of Saint-Exupery, Malraux, Pierre Mac Orlan, and Hemingway, an adventurer, journalist, globetrotter, and great writer, a man who tried to make the novel "the privileged expression" of the "lived" adventure.

The movie, filmed for six months in Afghanistan, and then in Spain, in 1969-1970, was directed by John Frankenheimer. The picture cost $4.5 millions. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo recognized there was no need to embellish Kessel's fantastic adventure, and faithfully followed the book's story line.

The action takes place on the vast plains around Maimana in the northwest of the country, across the forbidding Hindu Kush, and in Kabul. Although the scenery and characters are timeless, the sight of a high-flying jet during a scene subtly establishes the movie's time period. The drama revolves around the "mad horse," Jahil, with its almost human presence. Uraz (Omar Sharif), son of the great "chapendaz" Tursen (Jack Palance) is to ride Jahil, Tursen's latest prized white stallion, in the great "buzkashi" of the King, in Kabul.

The Afghan national game of "buzkashi" dates back to the time of Ghengis Khan. In this fierce competition, played on the northern steppes by expert horsemen, everything goes.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True to the book January 25, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have been to Afghanistan three times (before the Russians invaded) and watched a number of games of buzkashi. The scenes depicted were very accurate. Also, the movie stays true to Joseph Kessel's book. This is one of only three movies I know of that are set in Afghanistan - the others being 'Caravans' (from James Michener's novel) and 'The Beast' (or "The Beast of War') about a Russian tank crew during their occupation.
'The Horsemen' is by far the best movie.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie about dealing with the hand fate deals you January 30, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Saw this movie just once when first released and have been searching for it ever since. I believe it is Omar Shariff's best role. More on a par with Lawrence of Arabia than the fluff he did in Funny Girl or Dr. Zhivago. This movie contains the best scenary of afganistan you will ever see. And the footage of the Bushkazi match is unforgettable
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horsemen October 21, 2003
By A Customer
I saw this movie in VHS form while living in Singapore. It is truly an amazing and unique story regarding the strong character and will of a father (Jack Palance) and son (Omar Shariff). It is a must for those who study the character and nearly limitless possibilities of man. I put this item on my DVD wish list earlier this year. Finally it is available. I look forward to adding this DVD to my library and being able to enjoy it with friends and family.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Set in Afghanistan, John Frankenheimer's 'The Horsemen' is the story of a tribesman determined to rival his father at horsemanship... Uraz is sent by his father Tursen to win the traditional Royal Buzkashi on the field of Bagrami in the capital city of Kabul...

Uraz on Jahil has to battle for control of a headless calf, carry it around a blue flag, and deposit it back in the 'Circle of Justice'... thus signifying that he wins the king's pennant... and remains as the master chapandaz of all Afghanistan... During the tournament, opposing horsemen use their whips to urge on their horses and to hit the rider for the chance to snatch the heavy carcass...

The motion picture turns around five well drawn characters: an angered son eaten up with vanity; a brave father who knew something worse than danger; a nomad woman whose touch defiles; a once loyal servant lusted for an 'unclean woman;' and a wager from the high passes of the East where 'men know how to forge fine weapons and use them well'...

Uraz (Omar Sharif) deliberately chose to bribe his devoted servant with the magnificent white stallion in order to increase the already terrible dangers which he hopes to conquer...

Zareh (Leigh-Taylor Young) urges her man to kill his high blood master to secure for herself his horse and his money...

Tursen (Jack Palance) know nothing but evil legends about an impossible road taken by his embittered son... His pain, remorse, and blood wept for a son lost through his fault...

Mukhi (David de Keyser) forgets his humble and faithful world in the arms of the 'untouchable' woman who pushes him to murder the great prince...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when sharif was an actor August 29, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have been looking for this movie since 1973. I saw it over seas and did not even know it was a hollywood movie. I thought it was to good and dealt with subjects westerners have (I thought ) no knowledge of. I have waited this long I will wait for the DVD. the story line and Sharif's acting are as engaging (stimulating) as anything I have ever seen.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horsemen
This is a film I have sought for a long time. My husband and I saw it late one night on cable and loved it.
Published 10 months ago by Cynthia Christiansen
1.0 out of 5 stars Gratuitous violence, animal abuse, & misogyny- not my cup of tea
When this film began I was struck by the fantastic cinematography and the stunning beauty of Afghanistan. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Trancelucence (Leigh)
5.0 out of 5 stars Little known classic
A classic movie and one of the only ones with site filming in Afghanistan before the Russians, Taliban, etc. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Enhursag
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Want to find out about the Afgan culture and gain insight into current events, get a bowl of popcorn and spend a quiet Friday night.
Published 18 months ago by bdmillerlaw
1.0 out of 5 stars You Sent The Wrong "the Horseman" Movie; Was Not Omar Sharif.
I wanted "The Horseman" starring Omar Sharif, but another "the Horseman", a more recent re-make starring someone else, was sent.
Published 23 months ago by Dal Trader
5.0 out of 5 stars the Horsemen
read the book many years ago and loved it. This movie is excellant. I have already watched it twice. You cannot help but enjoy the actors. Needless to say they are always good. Read more
Published 23 months ago by peggy
1.0 out of 5 stars Not from Go-Hastings you can't!
"The Horsemen" is a wonderful movie with one of the best leading men ever, Omar Sharif. An exotic locale, Afghanistan circa 1969, about "Buzhkazi" a game virtually unknown to the... Read more
Published on July 27, 2012 by Rich
1.0 out of 5 stars NAFFAWP
GoHastings advertised DVD (picture showed right DVD). Was sent another cheaper DVD. When I contacted about incorrect DVD was provided refund instead of sending me the DVD I... Read more
Published on January 22, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for the boss
I bought this DVD last minute as a gift. The disc came in plenty of time and was just as described. Read more
Published on January 11, 2012 by sheena.bowen
5.0 out of 5 stars This sale was exceptional. They actually gave me more than I paid for
This movie is hard to find, its a classic and if you never seen it you should its one of those hidden great movies. The acting is great the story line is great..
Published on September 16, 2011 by Edward Gerry
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