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The Mill of Good Luck (1956)

La Moara cu noroc (1956)

114 min. - Drama - PG - 26.01.1957

Synopsis: Adaptation of the short story „Moara cu noroc” („The Mill of Good Luck”) by Ioan Slavici.

Director: Victor Iliu

Writer: Alexandru Struţeanu, Titus Popovici

Stars: Constantin Codrescu, Geo Barton, Ioana Bulcă

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Constantin Codrescu Ghiţă
Ioana Bulcă Ana
Geo Barton Lică Sămădăul
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Produced By

„Bucharest” Filmmaking Studio 

Production info

Shooting took place between 02.04. – 11.08.1956; exterior shoots in Brașov County – Hărman, Sânpetru; studio shoots in Tomis and Buftea studios. Production expenses: Lei 5,474,000.
Normal screen, black and white, 3180 m.


Film Broadcasting Direction


Ghiţă is a former shoemaker who wants to become an innkeeper, so he settles at the„The Mill of Good Luck” Inn, together with his wife, beautiful Ana, and with his mother. Among the crossroads' inn's guests is Lică Sămădăul accompanied by his acolytes – a band of wrongdoers acting in the area. Lică proposes Ghiţă to become party to their evil doings, and the latter, greedy but also scared, accepts. Lică does not stop at corrupting the innkeeper, but he also wants to seduce Ana, who is obviously impressed with his aggressive virility. But hot on the tracks of the swine herders is Pintea, a ranger who will contribute to the tragic end of the main characters.


  • The film La Moara cu noroc (The Mill of Good Luck) ranks 7th in the ”Top 10 Best Romanian Movies of All Time”, published in 2008 and ranked by 40 film reviewers. 
  • The film was entered in the Cannes Film Festival in 1957.
Reviewers' Opinion
„Este filmul care a consacrat nu numai rigoarea și virtuțile cinematografice ale regizorului Victor Iliu, dar și un moment de maturizare a cinematografiei românești. Pentru 1956 — anul producției filmului — Moara cu noroc reușește toate performanțele cinematografice imaginabile; interpretări actoricești excelente (Constantin Codrescu, loana Bulcă, Geo Barton, Marietta Rareș, Colea Răutu, etc.), o imagine de o acuratețe exemplară surprinzând prin rafinamentul orchestrației de gri-uri (Ovidiu Gologan) și o bună și viguroasă adaptare pentru ecran a nuvelei lui Slavici (Alexandru Struțeanu – Titus Popovici) și, bineînțeles, regia sobră, de subtilă permeabilitate pentru cerințele specificului cinematografic, datorată lui Victor Iliu. Acest mare maestru al filmului românesc are aici și meritul de a-i fi fost și dascăl în ale cinematografiei lui Liviu Ciulei, care semnează la Moara cu noroc prima sa asistență de regie.” (Dinu Kivu, Cinema nr. 3, martie 1974)
„The film outlines the coordinates of a national cinematographic style, of a vision with roots deeply buried in the soil of the Romanian reality and culture”. (George Littera, vol. „Fascinaţia cinematografului” („Fascination with Cinema”)
„The Mill of Good Luck remains an important landmark in the history of the Romanian cinema for at least two reasons: first, due to a certain professional progress (progressvisible at multiple levels: screenplay, photography, soundtrack, actors' performance); second, through an enhanced consciousness of the cinematographic specificity. (...) In 1957, the launching of such a film equalled a revolution in the cinema language, thus perceptiblyaltering the national film's physiognomy”. (Călin Căliman, Almanah enciclopedic Contemporanul, 1985)
„A work of art displaying classical clarity and severity, The Mill of Good Luck is the film facilitating the opening to the cinematographic expression of the Romanian epos, to the connecting of cinema to the ethnic values of the Romanian archaic thesaurus. Its suggestions would be taken over in the years to comein Nunta de piatră (The Stone Wedding) and Duhul aurului (The Genie of Gold), in Ochi de urs (Bear Eye) and in Întoarcerea din iad (The Return from Hell)”. (Roxana Pană, Almanah Cinema, 1987)

The Mill of Good Luck (1956) - Photo