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We Were Strangers (1949)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 654 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 10 critic

China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police, Ariete. She meets and falls in love with American expatriate Tony Fenner. Tony ... See full summary »

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Title: We Were Strangers (1949)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Anthony L. 'Tony' Fenner
...
Armando Ariete (as Pedro Armendariz)
...
Guillermo Montilla
...
Chief
Wally Cassell ...
Miguel
David Bond ...
Ramón Sánchez
José Pérez ...
Toto (as Jose Perez)
Morris Ankrum ...
Mr. Seymour, Bank Manager
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Storyline

China Valdes joins the Cuban underground after her brother is killed by the chief of the secret police, Ariete. She meets and falls in love with American expatriate Tony Fenner. Tony develops a plan to tunnel under the city's cemetery to a plot owned by a high official, assassinate him, and blow up the whole Cuban hierarchy at the ensuing state funeral. Together with a band of dedicated revolutionaries, they begin digging. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rough Sketch  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the writers, Peter Viertel, wrote a chapter in his book Dangerous Friends about how he and John Huston wrote the screenplay for We Were Strangers, including two weeks in Cuba with Ernest Hemingway. According to Viertel, Hemingway suggested ending the film as it occurred in reality: with the death of the revolutionaries. Instead, an alternative ending was supplied by Ben Hecht. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Subject Was Roses (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

We Dig All Day We Dig All Night
(uncredited)
Performed by Gilbert Roland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unique Hollywood revolutionary film
31 March 2005 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This film is an astounding anomaly to Hollywood film-making, in that it is openly supportive of armed revolutionary terrorism, even if it means the death of innocent people. And since it was made in 1949, by Columbia Pictures, just as the Hollywood Blacklist was beginning, it is even more unusual.

The quality of the film is first-rate—a taut, well-constructed thriller, with convincing characterizations by the actors and strong direction by John Huston. The fact that it is about Cuba, made 10 years before the victory of the Fidel Castro-led revolutionary forces, is more coincidence.

The revolutionaries are seen as intense fanatics, yes, but each with a justification for their zeal. They are seen as different from each other, occasionally at odds, but essentially united in their purpose. They openly discuss the rights and wrongs of revolutionary violence, and come to a consensus to go ahead.

Jennifer Jones is impressive, as are Gilbert Roland, Pedro Armendariz, and John Garfield. I can't think of another studio-made American feature like this one, worth seeing for both its quality and its unique place in American movies.


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