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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Up 4% 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:
Isabella, Really Liked This Fella 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:
Finnish visa register number T-30829 delivered on 29-11-1994 (video).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:
Christopher Columbus:[as he and Diego observe a native smoking tobacco] Doesn't that prove how backward they are? You never see a civilized man do that.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Isabella, Really Liked This Fella, 16 May 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

I'm not sure what compelled Fredric March and Florence Eldridge to do this British film for J. Arthur Rank based on the life of Christopher Columbus. Or at least an interpretation of that life as come down in popular culture. It didn't add much to either of their reputations, but I suppose did no harm.

March is in the title role of the intrepid Genoese sea captain who is credited with the discovery of America. By America of course we mean the western hemisphere and not the USA. Columbus never did make it in any of his four voyages to the lower 48.

One thing that is a weakness of this film for American audiences is that this it is not made clear that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were joint rulers, she was not just a consort Queen. Earlier in Spanish history, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile married and that marriage unified Spain as a nation. But both were monarchs in their own right. It's clear to me, but I fear not to others as to why Florence Eldridge as Queen Isabella can in fact act independently as she does.

Francis L. Sullivan is Count Bobadilla who became Columbus's enemy at court and he plays it in the grand and florid Sullivan manner. He's always a joy to watch in any film, no matter how good or bad it is.

The greatness of Columbus lies in two things, the fact that he had an idea about sailing west in an effort to find a shorter route for trade with the Orient. He was in fact, wrong as you can be on that score. He based his calculations on the fact that he thought the earth much smaller than it really was. But he persisted and eventually sold the notion to the Castilian Queen.

Secondly though, whatever else he was, Columbus was one incredibly good sea captain. In a voyage into unknown territory he kept his crew together for about two months until land was sighted in what is now the Bahamas.

The film itself has quite a few dry patches. It's dull retelling of an exciting adventure. For their time, the special effects are good, but are pretty dated now. It's obvious the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria are all models in a tank.

A couple of films were done in time for the 500 anniversary of the first voyage that were more accurate in the detail. You probably are better off seeing either of them.

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