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The Conqueror (Taras Bulba)

3.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set in the 16th century, this is a story about Ukraine's Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing Polish armies.

Special Features

None.

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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004XC5LRI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,202 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 15, 2011
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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
scatch your head scratch your well this adaptation is better in that it is not the musical but a straight forward approach to and old flim that quite simply breathes new blood into this classic struggle
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By Alpha on October 9, 2011
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie is much more faithful to Gogol's short story than the old Hollywood movie "Taras Bulba" with Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis. Rather than being a romance like the original movie, The Conqueror is more a patriotic story, as Gogol depicted. The movie portrays the ostensible mindset of the traditional Russian, with a modern elaboration that is familiar to the European. In the movie, Taras Bulba is the type of person one would call a 'Euro Guy,' macho and tough in the style of that part of the globe (think of actors like Jason Statham). Andriy Bulba is depicted as a Europe-looking Russian, and his Polish girlfriend is depicted not so much as a love interest, but as a Jezebel; the symbolism is clear - Russia is distinct from Europe and that flirtation with such will corrupt the country. The movie also presents Yankel, who was absent in the Hollywood version, but played a significant role in Gogol's story; the plot here was faithful to the original story.

The Conqueror would clearly appeal to the Russian patriot. But it is a story that Americans can relate to as well.
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