Horseman on the Roof

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

It is the early 19th century and revolutions are springing up throughout Europe. The fall of Napoleon has occurred and, after years of foreign rule, the noblemen's fight to keep their land is intensifying in an effort to unify Italy. A group of noble horsemen form a secret society known as The Carbonari. Hunted by the secret police, the group escapes into France to continue their struggle in exile. The film focuses on one officer, Angelo (Oliver Martinez), as he flees Austrian spies in an effort to warn his comrades of the impending danger. His escape route takes him through city after city infested with the deadly cholera epidemic. Exhausted and rain-soaked, he seeks refuge in a house where he meets a beautiful woman, Pauline (Juliette Binoche), who offers him tea and rest. The two are later reunited as Angelo helps Pauline return to the safety of her home and husband. Together they battle the forces of war, death and fear, and with each struggle their bond of silent love grows stronger. With English subtitles, this classic French movie's romance and beauty are sure to please avid foreign film goers.

However, amid the beauty are several disturbing scenes. All revolve around the cholera outbreak, but that does not lessen the horror of seeing many people dead or dying. Scenes of those infected with cholera vomiting and a raven plucking out the eye of a dead man are difficult to watch. When Paulina becomes stricken, Angelo begins frantically rubbing her legs, then her entire body to stimulate circulation. Finally, to save her life, he removes her clothing, and her completely nude body is exposed as he rubs her chest and body. His intentions are entirely noble, however, and there is nothing sexual about his action. Pauline's love for her husband wanes, and in traditional Hollywood style, the grass is shown as greener on the other side. Some foul language is spoken and frequent violence is all part of the war action. HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF would have been outstanding without the gratuitous nude scene.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 2, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Several (6) times - Exclamatory 4, Regular 2

Violence: Many times - Moderate (fist fight, girl slapped, man shot in head and chest, beatings, kicking, hanging, sword fight, bodies burned, dead man's eye plucked, hands burned)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (full female frontal)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times (drinking and smoking)

Other: Man rubs woman's nude body to save her life; people sick and dying, vomiting

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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