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Man of La Mancha [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Sophia Loren, James Coco, Harry Andrews, John Castle
  • Directors: Arthur Hiller
  • Writers: Dale Wasserman, Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra
  • Producers: Arthur Hiller, Alberto Grimaldi, Saul Chaplin
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • Release Date: May 11 2004
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B0001AW11A
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Product Description

Academy AwardÂ(r) winners* Peter O'toole and Sophia Loren are magnificent in this lavishlyproduced (LA Herald-Examiner) and beautifully acted (The New York Times) epic masterpiece. Featuring an OscarÂ(r)-nominated** score with the classic 'the Impossible Dream, this original and daring (Films & Filming) musical is an experience not to be missed! Jailed during the Spanish Inquisition for offending the church, author Miguel de Cervantes (O'toole) is forced to act out one of his manuscripts for the entertainment of fellow inmates. Cervantes delivers a rapturous performance as the legendary Don Quixote, the chivalrous knight whose choice to see lifeas it should be, not as it is, takes him into battles with an imaginary foe and into romance with the beautiful Dulcinea (Loren). *O'toole: Honorary Award (2002); Loren: Actress, Two Women (1961), Honorary Award (1990) **1972

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 303 reviews
93 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest madness of all is to see the world as it is March 3 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
While I understand the spanish gentleman who wrote the first reviews comment about the film not being accurate I must say I find this musical one of the best I have ever watched. The essence of the film is best expressed in the words "The greatest madness of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be". Thus the film illustrates that Don Quixote is the only sane man in a mad world. He alone sees the beautiful, noble, and serene qualities in everything. He is the last chivalrous and truly good man in a world that no longer has any place for nobility and chivalrous ideals. In this sense it is not important if the film is entirely accurate as Peter O'Toole is brilliant in portraying the haunted blue eyes of a man who will always be a knight in his soul. One has to be a romantic to appreciate this perhaps, but it is a great film. The reason for the story about Don Cervantes being arrested by the inqusition is in my opinion that the Author of the musical who must himself have felt kinship with Don Quixote would like to illustrate that Don Cervantes must have felt that kinship himself and probably possesed many of the same qualities. Regardless if one still wants to fight for what is true, good, and beautiful, this is a superb film about a man, whom if he had existed, I would have been hounoured to call my friend.
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Musical Dec 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"Man of la Mancha" contains as much of the Don Quixote legend as could be expected in a reasonable-length movie. And it is wonderfully acted. Having taught Theatre Arts for twenty years, I do not understand why people complain that every non-operatic voice isn't looped by Carreras or Brightman. "Man of la Mancha"s actors are just that -- actors. Actors who happen to sing with the appropriate emotion. I'd much rather listen to Peter O'Toole sing "Impossible Dream" with all his passion, than to hear an unemotional operatic version. "Man of la Mancha" is the best possible musical that could have been made from Cervantes' classic.
37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing Quixote April 21 2004
By Pandra Selivanov - Published on
Format: DVD
Let me say first that I fly in the face of almost all the reviews I have read. I love this film-the cast, the singing, the sets, in fact every aspect is a near-perfect rendering of the vision I have of Don Quixote. I have read the book but have not seen the musical. I have the feeling that many people will never read the book-it's almost 2000 pages long and rather intimidating to people who are not readers. Many people may also never have the opportunity to see the musical, and perhaps the art snots are right and the musical is far superior to the movie. However, the movie does something that the musical and the book don't do-it makes Don Quixote accessible to everyone. Watching Peter O'Toole is to understand how a man can go out and fight windmills. Seeing James Coco at his side is to glimpse the true nature of friendship, for both as Sancho and the stage manager, Coco displays true affection and loyalty to a man whose idealism gets his friends in tight spots. Perhaps the most compelling evidence I can offer as to the value of the film is this-I have a son who is dyslexic and although I have read many books to him (The Lord of the Rings, Huckleberry Finn, Watership Down, to name a few) I never read him Don Quixote. He didn't want to try reading such a big book, but I told him about Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and we talked about the importance of following your dreams and not letting the world dictate to you. Anyway, he was deployed recently and the night before he left we watched Man of La Mancha. After it was over, he said thank you to me for sharing it with him. I'm glad that he has a better understanding now of the word quixotism, because he has always been a person of high ideals with his own mind and I hope he always will be. I will be getting the DVD the day it comes out, and I will keep it next to my copy of Don Quixote, so that I always have them both together. Walter Starkie, who translated Don Quixote, writes that Don Quixote was "created out of a life of disillusion, privation, and poverty by a maimed ex-soldier...whose noble nature and gentle sense of humerous tolerance taught him that life is an unending dialogue between a knight of the spirit who is ever striving to soar aloft, and a squire who clings to his master and strives with might and main to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground." Peter O'Toole, James Coco, Sophia Loren, and the rest of the cast bring this dialogue to life. I invite you to see this film.
46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Favorite Musical Nov. 14 2004
By Confederate - Published on
Format: DVD
Generally many people regard musicals as silly, combining the worst elements of drama and song. OKLAHOMA's singing and dancing cowboys, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN and other ridiculous productions; even so, there are notable exceptions. JOSEPH AND HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and MAN OF LA MANCHA are just two of my favorites. The latter was a success because it never lost track of the story and the music was nothing short of inspirational.

The production, rendered only so-so in conversion to DVD, is worth the price of admission, however, because of its excellent acting, subtle humor, wonderful characters and, most importantly, its lofty moral values. The music doen't require great voices to be effective (in fact, it helps if they're a bit earthy). I've read a number of unfavorable professional reviews by writers who were disappointed that the singing wasn't up to par when compared to singing gang members in New York; but it only shows they missed the point.

The production here is fabulous. I only wish greater care had been given in cleaning up the muddy colors and sound track. Still, this is well worth the price until someone wakes up and releases it with dazzling saturation and crisp sound.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Impossible Film? Aug. 31 2004
By Cowboy Buddha - Published on
Format: DVD
I initially approached this film with a great deal of trepidation. I had always loved Man Of La Mancha on stage - not just for its performances, story, and great songs - but also for the sheer theatricality of the piece. The device of having Cervantes in prison acting out his great creation of Don Quixote was a marvellous one and the imaginative staging was a neverending joy to watch. There was no way this unique and exciting concept could be recreated on film.

However, the film makes a better attempt than I expected, substituting a gritty reality for the stylized stage vision. Sometimes this works quite well, particularly in the opening scenes. Other times, a bit more of a dream-like quality would have helped. One good move was to retain the basic design for the huge prison cell, with its long dramatic descending staircase. Visually, the film has promise.

But, of course, Man Of La Mancha is a musical and musicals tend to rise or fall on the strength of their performers. For the central role of Cervantes/Quixote, Peter O'Toole was a great choice - in a dramatic sense. His flamboyant acting style suited both characters and he made the transition back and forth with the ease of a seasoned trouper. But Man Of La Mancha was written for performers with strong singing voices and O'Toole, as he proved in Goodbye Mr Chips, doesn't have one. So instead of stirring renditions of "The Impossible Dream" and other songs, we get dramatic versions that are spoken as much as they are sung. This is not as bad as it sounds and O'Toole pulls it off much better than, say, Richard Harris in Camelot. It is only the knowledge of how the songs could sound that leads to a touch of disappointment. Still, O'Toole does better than some of his co-stars.

The largely British supporting cast of non-singers does well enough. Dependable old Harry Andrews tries gamely, Brian Blessed roars and stomps as he usually does, and John Castle is quietly effective as a sarcastic cynic. But James Coco as Sancho Panza is a huge obstacle to credibility. Why he was cast is a mystery - presumably someone wanted an American in the project. But he seems uncomfortable and out of place, and the rapport he should have with O'Toole simply isn't there. Then there is Sophia Loren...

Loren manages to seem, often at the same time, both perfect for her part and totally miscast. At first glance, she looks wonderful as Aldonza, the serving wench with easy virtue. But, on closer inspection, she occasionally appears too glam and at other times (dare I suggest it?) too old. Her acting is fiery and sexy enough. But I always thought Sophia was a better singer than she demonstrates here. But she looks great in the stills!

All in all, Man Of La Mancha arrives on screen reasonably intact but with a cast better suited to its dramatic elements than its musical ones. Man Of La Mancha is such a great play that it will take more than this to ruin it. Its impact may be diminished, but it is still an interesting and relatively enjoyable experience.