IMDb > Christopher Columbus (1949)
Christopher Columbus
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Christopher Columbus (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.0/10   258 votes »
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Up 58% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Rafael Sabatini (novel) and
Muriel Box (writer)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Christopher Columbus on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 December 1949 (Sweden) See more »
Tagline:
The greatest adventure man ever lived!
Plot:
Christopher Columbus overcomes intrigue at the Spanish court and convinces Queen Isabella that his plan to reach the East by sailing west is practical. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Like all films on Columbus, it's all a lot of hooey. See more (8 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
David MacDonald 
 
Writing credits
Rafael Sabatini (novel "Christopher Columbus")

Muriel Box  writer
Sydney Box  writer
Cyril Roberts  writer

Produced by
Betty E. Box .... producer
Sydney Box .... executive producer
A. Frank Bundy .... producer
Alfred Roome .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Arthur Bliss 
 
Cinematography by
Stephen Dade 
 
Film Editing by
Vladimir Sagovsky 
 
Production Design by
Maurice Carter 
 
Art Direction by
George Provis (supervising art director)
 
Costume Design by
Joan Ellacott 
Elizabeth Haffenden 
 
Makeup Department
W.T. Partleton .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Anthony Nelson Keys .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Don Weeks .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Leslie Hammond .... sound recordist
Bill Salter .... sound recordist (as W. Salter)
B.C. Sewell .... sound director
Claude Hitchcock .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Alfred Davis .... special effects
Albert Whitlock .... special effects (as A. Whitlock)
Philippo Guidobaldi .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Harcourt .... camera operator
Reg Johnson .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Doris Lee .... assistant costume designer
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... conductor
Doreen Carwithen .... composer: additional music, Spanish Court dances (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Arthur Alcott .... production controller
Joan Bridge .... associate color director
Alex Bryce .... location manager
Cyril Hughes Hartmann .... historical advisor
Natalie Kalmus .... technicolor color director
Cyril J. Knowles .... location and special effects photography
Paddy Girdlestone .... continuity (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min | West Germany:105 min | Finland:94 min (Finland: video)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cyril Cusack was cast in this film but dropped out before filming could began.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Opening narration perpetuates the myth that people of Columbus' time thought the Earth was flat when in fact they knew it was spherical. Later, when Columbus discusses his plan with Father Perez and another friar, the friars clearly know that the world is round.See more »
Quotes:
Father Perez:I see you're a scholar, my son, as well as a traveler.
Christopher Columbus:Certainly a traveler, Father. I've sailed as far north as Iceland, as far south as Guinea, and eastward to the Golden Horn.
Father Perez:But that is to have reached the limits of the World.
Christopher Columbus:Of the known world? Yes, Father, but the actual world... not by a thousand leagues.
Father Perez:How can you say that - never having seen it?
Christopher Columbus:Have you ever seen Heaven or Hell?
Father Perez:We have sound reasons for believing they exist.
Christopher Columbus:I have sound reasons too.
Father Perez:What are they?
Christopher Columbus:The same as yours, Father, and revelations to which I can add cosmography and mathematics.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Last Cigarette (1999/I)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Like all films on Columbus, it's all a lot of hooey., 9 December 2010
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

As a history teacher, I generally avoid film depictions of Christopher Columbus because they bear little similarity to real life. The biggest problem is that although he became famous, little is actually known about the man--especially before his famed voyages to the New World. So, much of the 'fact' in the film is fiction. In addition, the films also perpetuate myth--stories often retold so many times people just assume it to be true. THe sad fact is that we have no idea what he looked like and aren't even positive about where he was born. When the film begins, it says that during Columbus' time people assumed the world was flat--something practically no sane person at the time thought! They could see that the Earth had a curved horizon and the reason few traveled across the Atlantic had to do with a previous lack of navigational tools as well as it being completely unknown. People just did NOT think they'd fall off the world--a myth perpetuated by a mostly fictional history book by Washington Irving that purported to be a biography of the man.

Today we are in an age of deconstruction of Columbus. Whereas in 1949, he was practically depicted as super-human, today he's seen as a genocidal maniac. Neither depiction is quite correct. There is a lot to admire as well as dislike about the man--and it's a darn shame that no film I know of even tries to give a balanced account of what we know about this skilled sailor.

So why, then, did I watch this film? Well, I like Frederic March and think he's a bit underrated as an actor. Even a second-rate film (which this clearly is) with March is worth watching. There are some nice qualities about the film--the costumes and sets are reasonably accurate. As for the acting, it is a bit stilted and dull. Perhaps they talked this way back then, I am no expert on this, but the people seemed a bit too constricted and formal throughout. There were a few exceptions--the jolly fat guy was pretty cool. But even with a few decent performances, nothing can change the fact that the film is wildly inaccurate and rather dull. Plus, it perpetuates the idea that Columbus discovered America--omitting the fact that natives had discovered it first and the Vikings had been there several centuries earlier. Of course, there are several other possible expeditions that MIGHT have made it there before Columbus as well, but there just isn't enough space here to discuss the recent Chinese claim or other ideas that most likely will never be proved.

By the way, the print shown on Turner Classic Movies is strongly sepia-toned. I am not sure if this was intentional--it might just need restoration!

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