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The movie itself was old. It was about human greed, exploitation and capacity.

In the feudal societies of Europe, some landholders had a gambling program. The deal was: a chosen worker was allowed to mark land, as much as he can, from sunrise to sunset, and he would be the owner (I don't remember if there was competition among workers or not, but it makes sense that the winner be the one who has marked more than others).

No worker ever becomes landholder! They ran so hard to mark more lands that by the sunset they died. In fact the landholders were aware of choosing with whom they made the deal. I remember a scene in which they were eating and laughing at a table and watching the greedy workers who were running to mark more lands.

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Sounds like a version of Tolstoy's short story How Much Land Does a Man Need? – System Down Feb 19 '13 at 19:58
@SystemDown: There is a movie with the name you mentioned production of 2000 which is not old enough. – Xaqron Feb 20 '13 at 1:17
It's an old and famous short story, so I'm sure there are other versions (if not by the same name). I know I've seen an older one, though it doesn't match your description. – System Down Feb 20 '13 at 6:37

You have misinterpreted it a little bit and you have missed an important point. It was not about marking as much land as possible from sunrise to sunset. There was a starting point. And the worker had to return to the same point before sunset. Whatever he marked was his. This is where greed comes into the picture. It wasn't a competition between workers.

My dad used to tell me this story when I was young. I was always surprised by the foolishness of the workers. Unknown to my dad and countless others who repeated the story in many occasions, is that this is a short story by the famous author, Leo Tolstoy. You can find countless adaptations to it, regional legends with slightly different setting. It's fascinating how everybody knows this story but never credit Tolstoy for this.

This was a German movie adaptation of it titled Scarabea - How Much Land Does a Man Need?, but don't be surprised if you can find ten more. In fact, I even remember seeing this in a Tamil movie in India. Judging from your question, this must be the movie. It was out in 1969. I haven't seen it myself, but since it is a old movie you say. I don't think there was any other movie before this. Though the story line is a bit different in the movie.

This is another one, though shorter but fits your timeline and your description.

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