Michael the Brave (film)

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Michael the Brave
Mihai Viteazul1970.jpg
Directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu
Starring Amza Pellea
Ion Besoiu
Olga Tudorache
Sergiu Nicolaescu
Ilarion Ciobanu
Mircea Albulescu
Florin Piersic
Ioana Bulcă
Release date
  • 1971 (1971)
Running time
203 minutes
Country Romania
Language Romanian
This article is about a Romanian film. For the Indiana Jones movie, see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Michael the Brave (Romanian: Mihai Viteazul) is a Romanian historic epic film, created by the film director Sergiu Nicolaescu. The film is a representation of the life of the Wallachian ruler Mihai Viteazu, and his will to unite the three Romanian principalities (Wallachia, Moldavia and the Principality of Transylvania) in one country. The film was released in 1970 in Romania, and worldwide by Columbia Pictures as The Last Crusade.




The film was produced in 1970 after a script by Titus Popovici. It starred Amza Pellea in the lead role, while the cast included a number of the best Romanian actors at the time, including Sergiu Nicolaescu, Ion Besoiu, Olga Tudorache, Florin Piersic, Ilarion Ciobanu, Silviu Stănculescu, and Mircea Albulescu.[1]

The film had initially been intended to be an American-Romanian superproduction, with Columbia Pictures proposing actors such as Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Laurence Harvey, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, or Kirk Douglas. But at Nicolae Ceauşescu's intent, the production was approved only with Romanian actors.[2]

The story is historically less authentic, but is full of grand battle scenes, political plots, betrayals and family drama. To reenact the battles that Mihai Viteazul fought against the Turks, some 5,000 soldiers of the Romanian army were brought to the set.[3] Some reports put this number around 10,000 soldiers.[4] The film has two parts and was shot in several locations, such as Istanbul, Prague and Călugăreni,[5] but also the Danube, the Black Sea, Alba Iulia, Carpathian Mountains, Bucharest, Sibiu, Sinaia, and Miraslau.[6] The budget at the time was around 14 million lei,[3] which in 2010 was estimated to be worth to be around 500,000 dollars, a relatively high sum for its period.[1]


The film was released in Romania in 1970 and ran in the cinemas for several years. Worldwide, it was distributed by Columbia Pictures, under the name The Last Crusade.[2][6][7] The film debuted outside of Romania in July 1971 at the 7th Moscow International Film Festival and in East Germany, and in March 1972 in Finland, in June 1972 in West Germany and in April 1973 in Japan.[8]

In 2000, the soundtrack of the film was redone in Dolby Surround.[9] It is estimated that the film will be re-released in Blu-Ray format sometime in 2010.[10]


The film is the most viewed Romanian film worldwide.[4][11] It was Romania's entry for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1972,[7] but was not accepted as a nominee.[12] At the Moscow International Film Festival in 1971, it won a Golden Award,[13] but lost to Bilyy ptakh z chornoyu vidznakoyu (The White Bird Marked with Black).[14] Nevertheless, it won at the Beaume Historic Film Festival in 1974, ahead of El Cid.[15][16]

With a rating on 8.4 on Internet Movie Database,[17] it is rated as the twentieth best historic film of all time. It is considered 18th in the biography category,[18] 40th in the war category,[19] 34th in the action category,.[20] The director himself, Sergiu Nicolaescu, declared that he was impressed by the rating especially as it is an American website and the film was released four decades before.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ""Mihai Viteazul", pe locul III în topul filmelor istorice realizat de IMDB". Realitatea .Net. 2010-01-19. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Sergiu Nicolaescu: Cred că a fost blestemul meu - şi filmul şi faptul că nu am mai avut familie | Financiarul". Financiarul.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  3. ^ a b www.vedeta.ro. Sergiu Nicolaescu a mobilizat 5.000 de militari pentru Mihai Viteazul (VIDEO) - Stiri Vedete Film Online pe. Vedeta.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Nine O'Clock". Nineoclock.ro. 2003-11-13. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  5. ^ "Mihai Viteazul, third best historical movie in the world". Bucharestherald.com. 2010-01-20. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  6. ^ a b c Ultimul up-date 23:10 GMT+2 (2010-01-20). "Mihai Viteazul, locul 3 intre filmele istorice ale lumii - Ziarul de Iasi". Ziaruldeiasi.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  7. ^ a b "VIDEO Mihai Viteazul ocupa locul 3 intre cele mai apreciate filme istorice ale lumii - Showbiz - HotNews.ro". Life.hotnews.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  8. ^ De Laatste Kruistocht (1971) - Release Info - IMDb
  9. ^ "StartHosting.ro - hosting de calitate !". Sergiunicolaescu.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  10. ^ "Nicolaescu pregăteşte "Mihai Viteazul" în format blu-ray | 6:AM". 6am.ro. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2010-02-05. [dead link]
  11. ^ http://www.stirisibiu.ro/stiri-nationale/mihai-viteazul-in-regia-lui-sergiu-nicolaescu-cel-mai-vizionat-film-romanesc-in-intreaga-lume-7
  12. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  13. ^ Mihai Viteazul - Awards - IMDb
  14. ^ Moscow International Film Festival (1971)
  15. ^ "Mihai Viteazul » Filmele Adevarul". Filmeleadevarul.ro. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  16. ^ "Alegeri parlamentare - Nicolaescu Sergiu FLorin" (Press release). Alegeri-2009.ro. 1930-04-30. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  17. ^ De Laatste Kruistocht (1971) - IMDb
  18. ^ IMDb: Genre: Biography
  19. ^ IMDb: Genre: War
  20. ^ IMDb: Genre: Action

External links[edit]