Synopsis

In 1918 a defeated Austro-Hungarian Baron Colonel Von Görtz returns home to Transylvania which has just been lost to Romania. A vengeful Von Görtz punishes the nearby villagers but Romanian Major Tudor Andrei aids them.

Mercenaries' trap (1981) - by Sergiu Nicolaescu - feature film online on CINEPUB

Directed by: Sergiu Nicolăescu
Cast: Gheorghe Cozorici, Sergiu Nicolaescu, Mircea Albulescu, Ion Besoiu, Amza Pellea, Violeta Andrei, George Mihăiță, Colea Răutu, Ileana Popovici
Script: Sergiu Nicolăescu, Liviu Gheorghiu
Producers: Lidia Popiță Mohor
Cinematography by: Nicolae Girardi
Edited by: Gabriela Nasta, Anca Dobrescu
Sound: Anusavan Salamanian
Muzică: Ileana Popovici
Year: 1981
Category: feature film
Genre: Drama
Duration: 111 minutes

124,814 – Cinepub viewers

PLOT SUMMARY

In a village in Transylvania, during the winter preceding the historic act of the Union in 1918, Colonel von Görtz, a count and owner of a splendid castle, terrorizes the villagers. He organizes a band of mercenaries whom he sends into the village, where each gunman will kill one person in every house as punishment for an imagined guilt. To save the villagers, Major Andrei is sent, who with a group of nine men will defeat the count’s army (consisting of over fifty gunmen).

AWARDS

  • Mystfest – 1981 Nominee Best Film

CRITICAL REVIEWS

“The historical film entails difficulties and dangers. Certainly, the author has complete freedom in inventing details for dramatic articulation. But there are also inventions that are prohibited. For example, you are not allowed to narrate on film that Napoleon Bonaparte died in Pitești. Sergiu Nicolaescu’s film, “Capcana mercenarilor” (Mercenaries’ Trap), does not content itself with simple anachronisms, but it is entirely untrue from beginning to end.” (D.I. Suchianu, România literară nr. 6, February 5, 1981)

TRIVIA

  • Director Sergiu Nicolaescu co-wrote the screenplay, directed and starred in this motion picture.
  • Loosely based on historical events that took place in 1918, in Transylvania.
  • Filming took place under difficult conditions, in winter, when temperatures dropped to minus 32 Celsius.
  • The grenade duel idea belonged to Romanian Director Sergiu Nicolaescu. Small explosive devices were set up in the areas where the grenades would fall. One pyrotechnics engineer got seriously hurt when the explosive device he was setting up prematurely blew up.
  • Romanian actress Violeta Andrei got in character by reading psychology books on absinthe drinkers and by studying paintings of absinthe drinkers created by the famous French painter Edgar Degas.Due to the extreme cold weather the actress contracted pneumonia.
  • Some of Ennio Morricone’s music was used in the film.The music was intended for Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. Morricone is not credited in this film.

ARTICLES

  • ”Mercenary trap” – film review – D.I. Suchianu – 1981 – aarc.ro
  • Academicism – Cristina Corciovescu – 1981 – aarc.ro
  • Professionalism, between virtues and pitfalls – Ecaterina Oproiu – 1981 – aarc.ro

This premiere is part of a national archive project supported by the Romanian National Film Centre.
Special thanks goes to the Romanian Filmmakers Union and to the Romanian Film Archive.

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