CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS -- THE DISCOVERY
DIRECTOR: JOHN GLEN
USA/SPAIN 1992
CINEMATOGRAPHY: ALAN MILLS
WRITTEN BY: MARIO PUZO
CAST: Marlon Brando, Tom Selleck, George Corraface, Rachel Ward, Robert Davi, Catherine Zeta Jones.
ONE WORD: The ship replicas. The ocean scenes.


While this is not the superb adventure film we would like it to be, it does have a few good things in it.

Rachel Ward, is not only the most attractive of all, of them, she smoothly delivers the best performance. She is not campy, she does not come of pretentious, and she is feminine enough, though she is a queen. Aside from Rachel Ward, there is Marlon Brando, the elder church statesman Torquemada, upon whose shoulders the whole voyage may have depended. And if so, the voyage was arranged to get rid of an over zealous Christian who was getting in their nerves with all the clever rhetoric. But the well meaning Torquemada ( he lets everyone choose their own destruction ) also knows that he has to deal with the fact that the queen happens to love this genoese. He does not disapprove of it, and allows the whole thing to go through. He blesses it at the departure, as a sign that even if he doesn't believe the young man, at least he has a heart for the visit to the unknown. And Marlon Brando, as this elder is very good, not jumpy, very quiet, and also smooth. There is a certain aura of control and calm when he is on.

Christopher Columbus -- The Discovery, is not a bad film. If it suffers a bit, it is that the film has to live with 'every day' Spain, for a while, and then has to live with insurrections and bad leaders of ships, the only people the young sea captain could come up with. These moments in the script are a bit difficult to recreate, in that the story is limited to setting things up in the beginning. Had it just happened, instead of immediately telling us that this character was going to be a problem might have made the film more surprising and enjoyable, rather than so predictable.

But it isn't a bad evening of history, and could be enjoyed for a few moments, even if it is so darn romantic in the whole thing, which many of those sailors had to be anyway....

See it when you have nothing better to check out. Let the kids see it before their history classes, what the heck!
3 GIBLOONS

 

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