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We Were Strangers (1949)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Romance, Drama  |  27 April 1949 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 660 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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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
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User Reviews

A walk with love through the dead.
17 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

"We were strangers" is considered a minor film among all Huston's masterpieces of the era:"treasure of the Sierra Madre" "Key Largo" "Asphalt jungle'' or "African Queen" .But many of this director's works are sleepers :"a walk with love and death" "Heaven knows mister Allison" or " Reflections in a golden eye" -which was an accurate rendition of McCullers' novel- are good examples ,sometimes more praised abroad than in America.

"We were strangers " is in the center of Huston's work:one of his permanent features was failure ("treasure" "asphalt" "misfits" ).the heroes of "strangers" are in a way ,misfits:they do not mix with the people and they do not feel that history is moving faster than they do.Forget the political background which may seem,to some,naive and vague :sometimes we wonder whether the heroes themselves are believing in what they are doing:hear this little ditty one of them sings as a leitmotiv ("we are digging all day,we are digging all night" "We were strangers" shows Huston's fascination for death: it would reappear in the overlooked "walk with love and death" ,in the dance macabre at the beginning of " under the volcano" and it is even more glaring in the director's final opus "the dead' where one of the characters ,still alive,appears on her deathbed.

Fighting against the tyrants is one good thing:doing so by digging a tunnel to get to a graveyard to kill one of the men of the dictatorship,Huston challenges realism!"there are two parts in the cemetery,says Jones ,one for the poor,one for the rich" even in death...

Jones ,some kind of romantic passionnaria (the part was tailor made for her- and Garfield an idealist American are part of the odd couples who are numerous in Huston's work:"African queen" "Heaven knows..." or "Roots of heaven" or "the Barbarian and the geisha" or "Annie" or...you name it...

a Huston which should not sink into oblivion....


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