Red Psalm (1972)


Red Psalm (Hungarian: Még kér a nép) is a 1972 Hungarian film by Miklós Jancsó. The literal translation of the title is “And the People Still Ask”, a quote from a poem by Sándor Petőfi.


Red Psalm centres around a small peasants’ revolt in 1890. It draws inspiration from the Hungarian revolutionary movements of the 19th century, including the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, of which Sándor Petőfi, the poet whose work the film’s Hungarian title references, was a participant.


  • Andrea Drahota … Nagy Mária, szocialista.
  • Gyöngyi Bürös … Ráczné, szocialista.
  • Erzsi Cserhalmi … Galambos lány, szocialista.
  • Mari Csomós … Cselédlány.
  • Ilona Gurnik … Paraszt asszony.
  • Éva Spányik … Fehérkendõs halottsirató asszony.
  • Zsuzsa Ferdinándy … Grófnõ.
  • József Madaras … Hegedüs Bálint, szocialista.
  • Lajos Balázsovits … Fiatal tiszt.
  • Tibor Orbán … Pongrácz András, szocialista.
  • Jácint Juhász … Tóth Ferenc, szocialista.
  • András Bálint … Majláth gróf.
  • Bertalan Solti … Öreg Hegedüs.
  • Tibor Molnár … Lovas Imre, szocialista.


Like most of Jancsó’s best-known works, Red Psalm is loosely based on events from Hungarian history. Shot in very long, carefully choreographed takes, the film features only 26 shots. Unlike Jancsó’s previous films, which used music only sparsely, almost every scene in Red Psalm features music, usually performed by the on-screen characters. The songs include Hungarian folk music and songs in Russian and English, most famously “Charlie Is My Darling” (a variation on a Scots song later adopted during the American Civil War as the pro-Union “Johnny Is My Darling”). Due to this large number of songs and dances, the movie is sometimes described as a musical.



Red Psalm won Jancsó the Best Director prize at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival and is considered one of his major works. Several critics, most notably the American Jonathan Rosenbaum, consider it his best film.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Miklós Jancsó.
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
    • Gyula Hernádi.
  • Music:
    • Tamás Cseh.
  • Cinematography:
    • János Kende.
  • Editor(s):
    • Zoltán Farkas.
  • Production:
    • MAFILM 1. Játékfilmstúdió.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Audio Brandon Films (1973) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled).
    • Artkino Pictures (1973) (Argentina) (theatrical).
    • Lab 80 Film (1976) (Italy) (theatrical).
    • Second Run (2011) (UK) (DVD).
  • Release Date: 09 March 1972 (Hungary).
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 87 minutes.
  • Country: Hungary.
  • Language: Hungarian.

Video Link(s)

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