The Red And The White 1968 NR

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(17) IMDb 7.9/10

Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the murderous entanglements between Russia's Red soldiers and the counter-revolutionary Whites in the hills along the Volga. The epic conflict moves with skillful speed from a deserted monastery to a riverbank hospital to a final, unforgettable hillside massacre.Banned for many years in the U.S.S.R., Hungarian director Miklos Jansco's masterful THE RED AND THE WHITE is a haunting, powerful film about the absurdity and evil of war.

András Kozák, Józef Madaras
1 hour 31 minutes

The Red And The White

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The Red and The White

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Miklós Jancsó
Starring András Kozák, Józef Madaras
Supporting actors András Kozák, Jácint Juhász, Anatoli Yabbarov, Sergey Nikonenko, Mikhail Kozakov, Bolot Beyshenaliev, Tatyana Konyukhova, Krystyna Mikolajewska, Viktor Avdyushko, Gleb Strizhenov, Nikita Mikhalkov, Vladimir Prokofyev, Valentin Bryleev, Vera Bykova-Pizhel, Ye. Yermolayeva, Vitali Konyayev, Valeri Glebov, Yevgeni Karelskikh
Studio Kino International
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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He escapes to the river, where a White soldier spears him dead with a long pole.
Erika Borsos
I don't want to bore you here with a historical and political lecture on the history of Hungary but I suppose some background information is needed.
Alex Udvary
This is a beautifully shot and sparse film that is filled with long takes reminiscent of the Russian Tarkovsky.
Oslo Jargo/Bartok Kinski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mad Dog on October 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw "The Red And The White" I lost track of the story. The "problem" with this film is that it is not a drama with a focus on character, simply a collection of sequences in a day of fighting. It was disorienting and I wasn't prepared for it. But I was intrigued by the idea, so a year later later I watched it again.
And I'm glad I did.
The second viewing is a real eye-opener. This film is simply extrodinary. Everything that disoriented me the first time, became a feature the second time. "The Red And The White" is one of the most fascinating and unconventional films I have ever seen.
The story involves the attempts by both Red and White Russian armies to hold a monastery during the Russian Civil war. It is told through a series of seemingly simple tracking shots, long takes that pass gently and slowly over the endless Russian landscape. People pass through these frames, on horseback, running, walking, marching, some floating to their destiny -- some we recognize from previous shots but most we will never see again.
Most conventional narrative begins with a point-of-view -- a decription of an event, made relevant by the personal drama of one of the participants. Jansco avoids this almost entirely by using his long takes and graceful tracking shots to capture a geography within which these events occur. How we interpret the actions of those we see is up to us. We aren't participating, simply observing.
There is drama, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of the standard scripted conversations, we hear snippets of arguments: nurses who refuse to seperate their patients by army; a Hungarian who refuses to shoot prisoners; a General organising a massacre.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Tashiro on February 22, 2002
Format: DVD
Great films like "The Red and the White" stun and overpower us into forgetting every other movie we have seen. They don't cater to our prejudices, they don't flatter us into feeling good about ourselves. They refresh the art's potential and risk losing their audiences through their radical singleness of purpose. They transform experience, in short they make a *difference.*
Such works result from one person, usually a director, pursuing an idea with a fascistic insistence that nothing matters more than the film. This is one reason Hollywood so rarely creates great works. Studios with a vested interest in keeping audiences infantile force even the best directors to trim their visions. Hollywood's contempt for the audience makes it impossible for a Miklos Janscó, with his disregard for the rules of smooth construction, indifference to sympathetic characterization, hypnotically absorbing camerawork and pessimism about humanity, to work on the scale his epic conception requires.
Staged on a huge canvas, this dramatization of an obscure incident during the Russian Civil War may take place in the Soviet Union, but at one level exists only in the world created by the film itself. Questions of historical or geographic veracity are moot. What matters is the inexorable unwinding of a logic that reveals the casual brutality of human behavior. Yet while the action is grim, what makes the film so powerful is how *beautiful* it is.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Taylor on February 5, 2004
Format: DVD
Like Ingmar Bergman's amazing film "Shame" (produced in the same year as "The Red and the White", 1968), Miklos Jancso's masterpiece evokes the vast and breathtaking panaroma of civil war on a small scale. No crashing, thundering armies here, and no heroes -- just murder on both sides. No plot really, no easy resolution, no ideology -- just the tension and menace of a venomous snake uncoiling in the sun.

At the center of the movie is a group of Hungarian volunteers who have come to Russia to fight for the Bolsheviks, either in 1919 or 1920. Caught in an abandoned monastery by a battalion of the counter-revolutionary, pro-Tsarist White Army, the Hungarians are let loose, in an apparent gesture of mercy, then hunted down while they scramble along the banks of the Volga futilely trying to escape. No mercy is shown to anyone on either side. Some of the Hungarians eventually meet up with a Red Army battalion, which is wiped out in a quixotic, unforgettable mini-battle against the Whites along the river. From beginning to end, Jancso squeezes every last drop of "beauty" out of war. Moreover, his refusal to romanticize the Bolshevik struggle in the Russian Revolution led to this film being banned by the Soviets for years.

Visually, "The Red and the White" is absolute eye candy. Jancso's genius, like Bergman's, is that he recognized the value of silence. As E.E. Cummings put it, "Nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness." There are whole scenes of this movie where the crickets and the grass say more than the people involved. And arguably, the Volga is a major figure in the film, too, the spectacular and flowing symbol of Mother Russia, a snake more lasting than violence and one that will outlive every blood-letting combatant fighting along her banks.

A dreamy and labyrinthine masterpiece. Get it. Five stars.
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