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Storyline:   "Taras Bulba" is a 1962 historical drama film directed by J. Lee Thompson. Based on the classic novel by Nikolai Gogol, the film transports viewers to 16th-century Ukraine and tells the story of a Cossack warrior named Taras Bulba. The film follows Taras Bulba (played by Yul Brynner), the fierce and proud leader of the Cossack warriors. Taras is dedicated to defending his people and their way of life against invading Polish forces. He instills a sense of patriotism and honor in his sons, Andrei (played by Tony Curtis) and Ostap (played by Perry Lopez), who join him in the battle against the Poles. As the story unfolds, the film explores the dynamics between the Cossacks and the Polish nobility. Taras and his sons become entangled in a conflict that goes beyond mere warfare, as they encounter love, betrayal, and personal sacrifices. Taras forms a deep connection with a Polish noblewoman, Natalia (played by Christine Kaufmann), which further complicates the already tense relationship between the two sides.

"Taras Bulba" captures the spirit of the Cossack culture and their fight for freedom. The film showcases epic battle sequences, breathtaking landscapes, and the clash of traditions and ideologies. It delves into themes of loyalty, honor, and the struggle to preserve one's identity in the face of oppression. Yul Brynner delivers a powerful performance as the charismatic and determined Taras Bulba, portraying his fierce pride and unwavering commitment to his people. The film's rich production design and sweeping cinematography enhance the immersive experience, transporting viewers to a bygone era. Overall, "Taras Bulba" is a visually striking and emotionally charged film that depicts a compelling tale of heroism, sacrifice, and the resilience of a people in the face of adversity. It captures the essence of Gogol's novel and offers a captivating exploration of love, war, and the indomitable spirit of the Cossack warriors.
Taras Bulba
Year : 1962
IMDB Rating: 6
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Top Billing Cast:  Yul Brynner as Taras Bulba Tony Curtis as Andrei Bulba Paul Frees as Narrator Brad Dexter as Shilo

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Taras Bulba Trivia

  1. During the filming of "The Magnificent Seven," there was a humorous misunderstanding with the Argentine gauchos who played horsemen in an attack scene. They were mistakenly told that falling off their horses during the scene would earn them extra pay. As a result, when the scene was shot, two-thirds of the gauchos fell off their horses, expecting the additional compensation. When they learned they wouldn't be paid extra, they threatened to strike. Yul Brynner, showing his resourcefulness and charm, personally delivered steak dinners to their encampment and spent hours entertaining them. This gesture impressed the gauchos, and they returned to work the next day.
  2. Yul Brynner had a strong desire to capture the essence of Nikolay Gogol's novel in "Taras Bulba." Unfortunately, by the time the film was released, it was perceived by many as just another routine action picture set in a Cossack setting, contrary to Brynner's aspirations. This disappointment led Brynner to invest less of himself in his subsequent screen projects, according to his son Rock.
  3. The score composed by Franz Waxman for "Taras Bulba" received an Oscar nomination and was highly regarded by fellow composer Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann considered it to be one of the finest film scores ever written, acknowledging the exceptional artistry of Waxman's musical contribution.
  4. In an interesting casting choice, Tony Curtis portrayed Yul Brynner's son in the film, despite being only five years younger than Brynner in real life. This age difference may have required some suspension of disbelief for the audience. Additionally, Curtis's character is depicted as a college student, even though Curtis himself was 37 years old at the time of filming.
  5. Yul Brynner's commitment to his role in "Taras Bulba" was remarkable. He had a strong desire for the film to be shot in sequence, believing that it would enhance the authenticity of his performance. However, this request was not granted, and the film was not shot in chronological order.
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