DIRECTOR: ALBERTO LATTUADA
COUNTRY: ITALY 1985
MUSIC: Riz Ortolani
CAST: Gabriel Byrne, Oliver Reed, Faye Dunaway, Max Von Sydow, Eli Wallach, Nicole Williamson, Rossano Brazzi.
SUPER FEATURES: Not a bad story. Good period sense.
European films usually have one thing that helps a lot of their filming. They have history on their side, and plenty of information on that history, which keeps many writers (school books specially) at bay. But the wonderful details, and documents do help design any production of a historical event. Chances are that their information is better, and has some worthy value. For film, it is great, as it takes out the romantic
versions of many a story.
This film appears to be extremely well researched, and well planned out from beginning to end. Unfortunately, it was produced at a time when the star studded productions were beginning to fall off, and this one, while having good acting, suffers from a bit of soft dialogue, forcing the actors to strengthen their characters between the lines. At least the music is great enough to keep the whole thing moving well, and the actors are good enough that they can fill in the blanks. And it doesn't come across as a pompous film.
The premise was that it was the greed of those around Columbus that destroyed the beautiful land, of its inhabitants, thus facilitating the take over. The Spanish greed was well known, and it comes through in the politics which the film exposes loud and clear.
And while the politics, and the greedy figure out how to get the discoverer out of the way, Columbus is caught in many crossfire's, that eventually leave him angry, bitter, and a disappointed old man.
It isn't a bad film, per se, and the nicest character is actually that of Faye Dunaway as the queen of Spain.
EASIER TO TAKE AFTER A BEER.
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