DeWolfe Hopper is today completely forgotten, but it's thanks to him that
know the great American poem 'Casey at the Bat'. This poem was originally
published in an obscure newspaper, attracting very little attention ...
until Hopper discovered it and began reciting it on the vaudeville
using eccentric movements and exaggerated voices to act out the events of
the poem. Hopper's recitation made him a star in vaudeville. His wife
Hopper had mild success as a legitimate actress, eventually reaping
acclaim as a gossip columnist. Their son William Hopper is best-known for
playing Natalie Wood's father in 'Rebel without a Cause'.
This film version of 'Don Quixote' stars DeWolfe Hopper as Cervantes's
quixotic hero. Hopper looks much too young, too well-fed and too sane for
this role ... and he's not a very good actor, at least not in silent
More interesting is the casting of Max Davidson as Sancho Panza; Davidson
(who reminds me of Ron Moody) is quite funny and extremely believable in
role here as the Spanish peasant, but looks extremely Jewish. Well, maybe
Sancho Panza is a Sephardic Jew. I regret that Davidson never had the
success he deserved as a character actor.
The original two-part novel 'Don Quixote' is so long and complex that
are passages even Cervantes (as the narrator) begs us to skip. This movie
very much a condensed version, but that's certainly no disadvantage. We
most of the well-known scenes, with the other scenes omitted.
The famous 'they must be giants' scene is depicted from Quixote's point of
view, with two windmills dissolving into a cartoon drawing of a giant,
dissolving back into windmills again.
A flaw here is the casting of attractive Fay Tincher as a genuinely
beauteous Dulcinea. She actually looks too good for the role. In the
this woman was really a broken-down tavern slut named Aldonza, whom the
deluded Quixote perceived (in his romantic fantasies) as the pure and
virginal Dulcinea. As pretty as Tincher is, a major theme of Cervantes's
novel is lost here in favour of casting an attractive leading lady. George
Walsh (Raoul's brother) is good as Quixote's beefy opponent in one
I'm prejudiced against Miguel Cervantes; after he lost his left arm at the
Battle of Lepanto, he casually remarked that the loss was 'for the greater
glory of my right hand'. I'm a southpaw, so I resent that remark. I'll
this movie 3 out of 10. It's still better than the film version of 'Man of
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