1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four...
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1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four people, such acts the government deeming treasonous. China Valdés, a young woman who works in an American bank in Havana, is generally non-political. However, she decides to join the revolutionary forces to avenge the murder of her activist brother Manolo - a murder she witnessed - at the hands of the government, the trigger pulled by a police officer she will eventually learn is named Armando Ariete. Her goal is to kill Ariete. Another of the revolutionaries, an American entertainment promoter named Tony Fenner, convinces her to hold off on her assassination, as he believes he has come up with a plan that can wipe out all the major government leaders in one fell swoop. Along with China and Tony, the Chief of the revolutionaries amasses a team of four non-related men - Guillermo, Ramón, Miguel and ... Written by
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 »
This story is set in Cuba, a Spanish speaking country; however, the check that China presents at the bank is in English: TWO THOUSAND PESOS. See more »
A first rate 'gritty' actioner with terrific performances
Dealing with Cuban revolutionaries a few years before Castro, the story line is tough, thoughtful, ironic. Jones(especially good as China Valdez) and Garfield are well teamed. Roland provides humor and bravado in a performance(one of his best)that balances the pace of the film's drama and action. The Mexican and American supporting players are all on the mark, a pleasure to watch. Huston directs with a consistent, steady hand; with knowledge and empathy in canvassing territory not easily accessed by the war weary now grown complacent audiences of 1949.
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