is a Romanian historic movie, 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 Transylvania) in one country. The movie was released in 1970 in Romania, and worldwide by Columbia Pictures as The Last Crusade
- Amza Pellea ... Mihai Viteazul
- Ion Besoiu ... Sigismund Báthory
- Olga Tudorache ... Mama lui Mihai Viteazul
- Irina Gardescu ... Contessina Rossana Viventini
- György Kovács ... Andrei Báthory
- Sergiu Nicolaescu ... Selim Pasa
- Nicolae Secăreanu ... Sinan Pasa
- Ilarion Ciobanu ... Stroe Buzescu
- Aurel Rogalschi ... Rudolf II
- Ioana Bulcă... Doamna Stanca
- Septimiu Sever ... Radu Buzescu
- Florin Piersic ... Preda Buzescu
- Klára Sebök ... Maria Cristina de Graz
- Mircea Albulescu ... Popa Stoica
- Emmerich Schäffer ... Generalul Basta
- Colea Răutu ... Sultan Murat III
- Constantin Codrescu... Alexandru The Evil One
- Alexandru Herescu ... Ionică
- Corneliu Gârbea ... General Baba Novac
- Alexandru Repan ... Earl Viventini
- Jean Florin Georgescu. Archduke Maximilian
thumb|A scene from the movie with Amza Pellea as Mihai in the foregroundThe movie 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.
The movie 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.
The story, recognized for its historical accuracy, 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.
Some reports put this number around 10,000 soldiers.
The movie has two parts and was shot in several locations, such as Istanbul
but also the Danube, the Black Sea, Alba Iulia, Carpathian Mountains, Bucharest
, Sibiu, Sinaia, and Miraslau.
The budget at the time was around 14 million lei,
The movie 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
The movie debuted outside of Romania in July 1971 at the 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.
In 2000, the soundtrack of the movie was redone in Dolby Surround.
It is estimated that the movie will be re-released in Blu-Ray format sometime in 2010.
The movie is the most viewed Romanian movie worldwide.
It was Romania's entry for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1972.
but lost to Bilyy ptakh z chornoyu vidznakoyu
(The White Bird Marked with Black
Nevertheless, it won at the Beaume Historic Film Festival in 1974, ahead of El Cid
With a rating on 8.4 on Internet Movie Database, it is rated as the third best historic movie of all time only after 1993 movie Schindler's List
and 1981 German movie Das Boot
It is considered fifth in the biography category,
tenth in the war category,
18th in the action category,
and 41st in the drama cateogry.
The director himself, Sergiu Nicolaescu, declared that he was impressed by the rating especially as it is an American website and the movie was released four decades before.