Length / Main feature: 98 minutes
Length / Special features: 30 minutes
Sound - Blu-ray: 2.0 Mono LPCM (48k/24-bit)
Sound - DVD: 2.0 Dolby Mono
Black and white
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Blu-Ray: BD50 / 1080 / 24fps / Region ABC
DVD: PAL / DVD9 / 25fps / Region 0
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99
DVD RRP: £12.99
Release Date: 30 August 2021
Second Run DVD 134 / SRBD 043
Set in Prague, this powerful tale is informed as much by Czech resistance to Soviet impositions as it is by the torments of the Nazi era.
A Jewish former doctor is compelled to work cataloguing the confiscated homes and possessions of fellow Jews. When asked to secretly treat a wounded resistance fighter he is plunged into a moral dilemma, and begins a nightmarish odyssey to save the man.
Focussing on the intense anxiety, paranoia and terror prevalent in any totalitarian system, Zbyněk Brynych’s The Fifth Horseman is Fear subverts its historical context, creating a frighteningly relevant portrait of a society ruled by fear.
Presented from a new HD transfer from original materials, our region-free Blu-ray and DVD editions feature a new Projection Booth commentary; two controversial ‘lost’ sequences that appeared in the 1968 American and Italian release versions of the film;
a short film the renowned Czech filmmaker Evald Schorm,
a booklet with new writing on the film by author Jonathan Owen and filmmaker Dominik Graf.
• The Fifth Horseman is Fear presented from a new HD transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• A newly-recorded Projection Booth audio commentary with Kat Ellinger, Jonathan Owen and Mike White.
• Two ‘lost’ sequences: the Italian Prologue, and the notorious Nazi brothel sequence that appeared in the 1968 American and Italian release versions of the film.
• Žalm (1966) - a poetic short film by the renowned Czech filmmaker Evald Schorm.
• 24-page booklet with new writing on the film by Jonathan Owen, and an appreciation by filmmaker Dominik Graf.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• World premiere on Blu-ray / UK premiere on DVD
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C) and DVD (‘0’) editions.
Directed by Zbyněk Brynych
Screenplay - Hana Bělohradská, Zbyněk Brynych
and Ester Krumbachová (uncredited)
Based on Without Beauty, Without a Collar
(Bez krásy, bez límce) by Hana Bělohradská
Cinematographraphy - Jan Kališ
Editor - Miroslav Hájek
Music - Jiří Sternwald
Miroslav Macháček - Armín Braun
Olga Scheinpflugová - Music teacher
Jiří Adamíra - Dr. Karel Veselý
Zdenka Procházková - Marta Veselá
Tomáš Hádl - Honzík Veselý
Josef Vinklář - Vlastimil Fanta
Ilja Prachař - Šidlák, the butcher
“A nearly perfect film... it is unmistakably the work of a master... a beautiful, distinguished work.” Roger Ebert
“A work of both oblique horror and nightmarish intensity, sophisticated in form yet accessible in its humanity, it stands with the very best of its contemporaries.” Jonathan Owen
“Superlatively photographed film... exceptionally powerful in both concept and execution... Brynych's stark, symbolic explorations of human despair lift The Fifth Horseman is Fear to a high level of creative cinema.”
Richard Schickel, Time Magazine, 1968
“Beautifully and thoughtfully made - well written and acted, shot with perfect economy and care - that one is almost surprised at the end to be very much moved by the substance of it. Written and directed by Zbynek Bynych, who becomes with this movie quite simply one of the best directors.”
Renata Adler, New York Times, May 1968
“A brilliantly visualized film, evoking an atmosphere of intense fear and anxiety prevalent in a fascist state.”
High on Film
“A stunning, beautifully made film - one that you will not forget!” Judith Crist, NBC-TV Today Show