Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Man Of La Mancha (1972)

Miguel De Cervantes (Peter O'Toole) and his servant (James Coco, simply awful) are arrested by the Spanish Inquisition. While awaiting his trial, he tells his fellow prisoners the tale of the aged Don Quixote (also O'Toole), not in his right mind, and his mission to be a knight errant. Based on the hit Broadway musical of the same name by Dale Wasserman (by way of his television play I, DON QUIXOTE, the film was greeted with negative notices (musicals were rapidly falling out of favor) when it opened but like many musicals of that era, posterity has been kind. Which is not to say, it's a good movie, it isn't, just not the "bomb" its reputation would suggest. Its pacing is rather listless and the heavy handed songs by Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh don't help much (the original director Peter Glenville wanted to toss out the songs altogether) but there are some bright spots. Dulcinea is lovely and schmaltzy as it is, The Impossible Dream is undeniably effective. His singing voice dubbed by Simon Gilbert, O'Toole brings a wispy sweetness to his Don Quixote. But it's Sophia Loren, who dominates the film. When her Aldonza spits out her guttural rage in a song like Aldonza, this is real woman who has been abused, a wounded animal in pain, not some Broadway diva hitting the high notes. Directed by Arthur Hiller. With Harry Andrews, John Castle, Brian Blessed, Rosalie Crutchley, Ian Richardson, Gino Conforti and Julie Gregg.

No comments:

Post a Comment