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Behold a Pale Horse

Gregory Peck , Anthony Quinn , Fred Zinnemann    DVD

Price: CDN$ 37.11
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Product Description

Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn. A drama about the ideological conflicts that exist in the post-Spanish Civil War era between a guerrilla leader who, after years of being away, secretly returns to visit his dying mother in a hospital. 1964/b&w/118 min/NR/widescreen.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEHOLD A PALE HORSE- GREGORY PECK , ANTHONY QUINN May 26 2000
By luis de quesada - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
A classic action film with a brilliant cast! Features Gregory Peck as "Manuel Artiguez" an aging spanish revolutionary exile living in the french town of "Po" near the spanish border and the Pirennes Mts. Artiguez is dreaded by the spanish authorities and specially by ruthless and somewhat corrupt commander of Franco's Guardia Civil, Captain Vin~olas, brilliantly portrayed by Anthony Quinn,due to Artiguez ability to cross the border, raise havoc in spanish territory and escape, unharmed back to his safe haven in France, in spite of Vin~olas best efforts to capture him. Equally brilliant supporting cast by Omar Sharif, Mildred Dunnock, Paolo Stoppa and Mario Angeletti. Probably based on a true story,which takes place around 1959 or 20 years after the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) this is an unforgettable action film, a must buy!
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a subtle, excellent drama June 5 2001
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I thought in memory of Anthony Quinn's passing, I'd view one of his lesser known performances, and do a review on it. One of my favorite actors, he was always fascinating and versatile, with a great screen presence. His filmography is remarkable, and spans 6 decades. I love "La Strada" ('54), "Lawrence of Arabia" ('62), and one of his last, the sweet and sentimental "A Walk in the Clouds" ('95).
This film starts with actual 1936-39 newsreel footage, and proceeds to tell the story of Manuel, a warrior-soul who won't give up, and the anguish and trials he goes through. The intrigue that surrounds him, in trying to capture him, makes for a subdued but suspenseful drama.
Gregory Peck is Manuel, and though not 100% convincing as a Spaniard, is nevertheless excellent. Quinn is fabulous as the police captain, rougueish and full of vitality, determined to get his man. My favorite character in this film is the priest, with Omar Sharif giving a performance of amazing and unforgettable depth.
Made in 1964, Fred Zinnemann directed this with a lot of sensitivity...it's in black and white, with a lovely score by Maurice Jarre. Though this film never received much critical acclaim, or public recognition, I've seen it several times, and appreciate it more with each viewing.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be better known Oct. 24 2005
By steve b - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It is a sign of Gregory Peck's talent as an actor that although used to playing American Heros in films like to Kill a Mockingbird, he is totally convincing as Artiguez, a Spanish Communist living in France during the time of the Franco regime.

Peck's performance is matched by that of Anthony Quinn as Captain Vinolas, the Spanish policeman who sets out to catch him.

Artiguez is a hero to the Spanish exiles in France, having spent the years since the Spanish Civil War crossing into Spain and robbing banks. Dispite this he lives in povety having given all the procedes from his robberies away.

Vinolas is determined to catch Artiquez who has made a fool of him over the years. When Artiquez's mother, who still lives in Spain, falls fataly ill, Vinolas gets the message to Artiguez knowing that he will have to try and see his mother before she dies.

Both Vinolas and Artiquez are shown as real people, Peck plays the Communist bandit as a man tied of the life he has led,

although he is still true to his cause. Vinolas is a corrupt Policeman with a crippled wife and a mistress. However in church he promises God that he will give up his mistress, return a horse which he was given as bribe and take his wife to Lourdes if he catches Artiquez.

Shot in black and white it is clear that neither Vinolas or Artiquez is a hero, neither are either of them a villan.

Omar Sharif, in an early role plays the priest who Artiquez's mother sends to him warning him not to try and see her as Vinolas will be waiting.

An film which should be much better known, not only for it's

unusal story but for the performances of it's leading actors.

Peck being to my mind one the most talented actors ever to grace the screen and anyone who does not love Anthony Quinn must have been born without a soul.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paved with good intentions... April 26 2007
By Trevor Willsmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
One of the few films to deal with the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Behold a Pale Horse is a now completely forgotten but once high-profile well-intentioned failure where you can see the good intentions and valid reasoning behind every misstep. It certainly has pedigree to spare: Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn resuming on screen hostilities after their ruckus on Navarone, a supporting cast including Omar Sharif and Christian Marquand, a screenplay based on a novel by Emeric Pressburger (the wonderfully titled Killing a Mouse On Sunday) and direction by Fred Zinnemann. At its core is an effectively simple idea, with Anthony Quinn's failing local police chief trying to tempt Gregory Peck's legendary Republican bandit across the border into Franco's Spain and right into a trap, with the rebel's dying mother as the bait. But the film wants to be more than a thriller or a simple adventure story and in the process ends up considerably less. The biggest problem is a slow opening half, where Peck is kept deliberately at a distance, seen only through the eyes of a child and filtered through the hatred of Quinn as the film tries to build him into a mythic figure so that when we finally do meet the embittered, grumpy and overly cautious man the void between reputation and reality is that much greater. Unfortunately he's kept at far too much of a distance and the film is just far too low-key and drawn out to really draw us in.

Thankfully the second half is considerably more successful as the moral dilemmas multiply and the story enters Graham Greeneland as the tired, violently atheist hero has to face the betrayal of friends and the help of a priest, although it's not without its absurdities (most notably in a scene in Lourdes where they look for, and find with comical ease, one specific group of priests among thousands). This desperately wants to be a great film, but sadly it rarely manages to be a good one, much as you may appreciate the effort. Those with an eye for trivia might want to note early bit parts from Michel Lonsdale at a reporter in the final scene and an uncredited future producer Claude Berri as well as the involvement of actress Nicole Stephane and writer-director Frederic Rossif in putting together the extremely effective opening montage sequence.

The DVD transfer is a little too dark at times, while the only extra is the theatrical trailer.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Significant Films Ever Made--and Suppressed Sept. 30 2012
By Alan K. Sumrall - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of one of my top ten films ever...I'm biased in favor of it because I have studied the Spanish Civil War and as it was one of the atrocities of the 20th Century that was ignored as much as possible by democratic governments both during the war itself and it's bloody aftermath, supporting it comes natural to me. And who can ignore the fine characterizations in the film, by not only the big three (Peck, Quinn, and Sharif), but the supporting actors. The film pulls no punches...it shows Spain under dictatorial rule at a time when dictators of major countries were obsolete. It shows the continuing misery of people who wanted to be free but were denied even the sympathy of a world thriving around them. It shows the continued moral corruption of the Catholic Church in Spain in the 40's, 50's and even the sixties. With all this, it made few friends except perhaps history buffs like me. It is a deadly serious movie of people making deadly serious decisions. There is no justification of traditional heroism or the concept of the greater good. This film is about individuals making individual decisions in their world where there is no respect for individuality. To many, with out the appreciation of the truth of individual conscience, this movie is depressing. But to those with a high regard for individuality, it can be a most inspiring film. The Spanish Dictatorship did it's best to suppress it, not only in Spain but throughout the world, and the Catholic Church looked the other way. I think this film is becoming much better appreciated today. It's failure in the 60's was a result of the direct action of the Spanish government to interfere with it's distribution and the quiescence of the democratic governments in standing up to Franco.
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