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Film / Blood on the Land

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Blood on the Land is a 1966 film from Greece directed by Vasilis Georgiadis.

The story concerns conflict between agricultural laborers and landowners in 1907 Greece, specifically Thessaly. Four years ago, in the backstory, there was a violent uprising by the peasants, which the landowners crushed. Now groups of hungry commoners traipse across the land looking for work.

The film opens with the return home of Odysseas, younger son of the Hormovas family, who has been gone since the uprising. The reason Odysseas left is that he sympathized with the workers and advocated for treating them better. He is welcomed home with open arms by his father Hormovas, who wants the family to be reconciled again. However, Hormovas's older son Rigas, who defended the family estate with a gun four years earlier and believes in the iron fist for dealing with the laborers, despises his younger brother.


Meanwhile, arriving separately but at the same time as Odysseas is a migrant caravan looking for work. They are lead by Eirini, a young woman whose father was killed in the protests of four years prior. Among their number is Marinos Antypas, an intellectual from the city and an advocate of workers' rights.


  • As You Know:
    • The cop who pulls Odysseas off the train says he's "the son of a nobleman" while upbraiding him for not supporting his father.
    • When Odysseas as for Rigas by name his father says "Your brother has gone hunting in the mountains."
  • Attempted Rape: Rigas's unhealthy desire for Eireni culminates in him attempting to rape her by the stream, but Odysseas swoops in and saves her.
  • Badass Bandolier: Kotsos the bandit and rebel is made more badass by the bandoliers he wears.
  • Bathtub Scene: Some gratuitous Fanservice finds the one particularly sexy woman among the group of weary migrants slipping her dress off and climbing naked into the bath. A man notices and hops in with her clothed, and they're starting to kiss when he's distracted.
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  • Between My Legs: Antypas is framed this way, through the assassin's legs, right before the assassin kills him.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: When Hormovas notes that Rigas's face is swollen (from fighting with Odysseas), Rigas claims he fell off his horse. Hormovas is not fooled.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the violence and tragedy Odysseas swears that the land will in fact be distributed to the peasants. And the ending titles reveal that a few years later the land of Thessaly was indeed given to the peasants, which in turn proved key to liberating Macedonia from the Turks.
  • Gold Digger: The sexy peasant, who's completely honest about it at least. She arranges to be naked in the barn when Rigas arrives with his horse, and she tells him straight-up that she doesn't want to be a poor manual laborer anymore.
  • Gun Struggle: Hormovas and Rigas struggle over a rifle after Hormovas discovers Rigas with Eirini, whom Rigas has kidnapped. It ends with Rigas getting shot, but unusually Rigas is able to stand on his feet for a while and even give a last speech before he's killed.
  • I Have No Son!: Rigas responds to Odyssseas's arrival by telling his father, "You don't have a second son. Neither do I have a brother."
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: What is the sermon Hormovas is attending the moment his prodigal son Odysseas returns? A sermon about the Prodigal Son.
  • Mutual Kill: A vengeful Giagos shoots Rigas with a rifle, but Rigas manages to empty a revolver into Giagos before Rigas also expires.
  • Neutral Female: Naturally, Eireni stands and looks concerned while Odysseas and Rigas have a fight after Odysseas stops Rigas from raping her.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Kotsos is by the side of the road when patrolmen come looking for him. Kotsos takes his horse into the ditch by the road. There aren't enough reeds in the ditch to cover Kotsos and certainly not enough to cover his horse, which is obviously visible. The patrolmen still manage to not see him.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: Rigas does this when the commoners are getting unruly.
  • Sibling Rivalry: There's clearly one between Odysseas, the goodhearted brother who wants to deal fairly with the peasants, and Rigas who wants to put his boot on their necks. Rigas is enraged that Hormovas welcomes Odysseas back after Odysseas wasn't loyal during the uprising.
  • Skinnydipping: Eireni is bathing in a stream when Rigas finds her. She recoils, understandably as he nearly raped her earlier, but he acts contrite and apologetic. (Eventually it's revealed to be an act.)
  • A Taste of the Lash:
    • Rigas whips Eireni's brother for stealing wine. Hormovas shows up to put a stop to it.
    • Later Odysseas does the same when he catches the man who murdered Antipas.
  • World of Ham: Hammy acting by pretty much everybody except the actress who plays Eireni.

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