In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
This went through several title changes. It was also known as " The 25th Hour ", " To Spring a Trap" and " Killing a Mouse on Sunday ". See more »
In the first 5 minutes of the movie it is supposed to be 1939 and the Loyalist (Republican) soldiers are crossing into exile on the French border. As they cross over they are turning in their guns and the first one to turn in his gun turns in a Russian PPSh-41 submachine gun. The PPSh-41 was not developed until 1941. See more »
[regarding which faction killed his father]
What difference does it make? Did either side have a right to take his life?
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Opening credits - the first card shown contains the passage from Revelations 6:8, which contains the phrase "Behold a Pale Horse", the title of the film. See more »
This excellent film tells the story of a stubborn Spanish republican, Manuel Artiguez, who refused to give up the fight when his side lost the Spanish civil war to the fascists in 1938. The film takes place twenty years later, when after many successful raids, Artiguez has lost the will to continue. However, his adversary, a Spanish police chief called Vinolas, has not yet given up on capturing or killing him and sets a trap for him. The trap and the question of whether Artiguez will fall into it it will keep you on your seat for most of the movie. Three men caught between Artiguez and Vinolas, an informer, a priest, and an idealistic Spanish exile boy, add a rich psychological and moral dimension to the film, following themes of idealism, revenge, and the uses of violence.
"Behold" is a great thriller with highly complex characters and a profound moral sensibility. The idealism of Spanish republicans like the boy is on the one hand supported by the oily and hypocritical Vinolas, and on the other hand undercut by the rawness and violence of Artiguez. Neither of the adversaries is vindicated, but neither are they equivalent to one another. The ending will set you thinking for hours, if you're so inclined.
Performances by Peck (Artiguez) and Quinn (Vinolas) are great. Peck is less stuffy than usual. I'm not generally a fan of earnest, wet-eyed Sharif (the priest), but his performance here suits the movie quite well. I can still hear his voice saying "Did the informer escape? Is the bandit safe?"
My only complaint is that for all of its thematic complexity and richness of character the film is at times somewhat melodramatic and the dialogue is sometimes a little clunky. And for some reason its parts, good characters, good plot, good actors, all excellent, do not quite add up into a perfect whole. Nor is it as good as some of the movies it slightly resembles: Guns of Navarone, Battle of Algiers, Wild Bunch. However, it is definitely worthwhile for fans of 'thoughtful thrillers'.
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