Set in Turkey in the 1920s, this tells the tale of young Memed (Dutton), a peasant who, to win his childhood sweetheart, heroically takes to the mountains as a brigand, incurring the wrath of his feudal master Abdi Agha (Ustinov) and the authorities. Beyond these bare bones, little remains of Yashar Kemal's fine novel (a stirring adventure and a persuasive indictment of injustice). Hopelessly mangled and confused, the film is little more than a vehicle for Ustinov (who stars, directs and wrote the screenplay) and his capacity for funny accents/camp comedy. It is left to Freddie Francis' photography of sun-bleached Yugoslavia (permission to film in Turkey was refused) to hold the attention during a trying two hours.
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