Biography of Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who helped Fidel Castro in his struggle against the corrupt Batista regime, eventually resulting in the overthrow of that ... See full summary »
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Biography of Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who helped Fidel Castro in his struggle against the corrupt Batista regime, eventually resulting in the overthrow of that government and Castro's taking over of Cuba. The film covers Guevara's life from when he first landed in Cuba in 1956 to his death in an ambush by government troops in the mountains of Bolivia in 1967. Written by
When Anita Márquez filled Che's mate bowl, he passed it to her without the bombilla, the metal straw; he then stirred the mate and took a drink. It's not done that way: the bombilla stays in the leaves at all times (no stirring). See more »
[Che is falling behind on a march]
Stragglers are sure to die, don't you know that?
I'm not a straggler, I'm your rear guard.
No you're not, you're the company doctor. See what you can do for the men with blistered feet. You've got ten minutes.
(noticing enemy planes flying overhead) It's too late for chiropody. The buzzards are already circling.
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If you are determined to see CHE! no matter what, I highly suggest you first pick up and read a good book about the man, Fidel Castro, and the Cuban revolution itself. Otherwise, you'll be utterly confused. The movie starts with the rebel invasion of Cuba, without giving us any idea about what Che had been doing up to that point of time. (Like: Why was he convinced to follow Castro?) We also don't really see what the political situation was exactly like in Cuba at the time. (How can we understand the rebels if we don't know what they are fighting against?) The movie continues to be confusing by subsequently not making it clear just how the rebels were able to build in force after being almost completely wiped out... or just how exactly they were able to weaken the government forces... or how Che transformed from a weakling into a strong leader (it seems to happen overnight!)... or why exactly Che got tired of being in Cuba.
The subsequent unfolding events do get somewhat clearer once Che gets to Bolivia and starts his doomed campaign there, but you still don't understand the man. And with Richard Fleischer at the helm - a director who was usually only as good as his script - the movie sinks deeper into badness. The fact that Fleischer shows a complete inablility to film action scenes is just the least of his problems.
And talk about miscasting! Omar Sharif as Che?!? He looks understandably confused and cowed in the role - deadly for someone who was reportedly a charismatic and cunning leader. But his performance is brilliant next to that of Jack Palance. Palance is unbelievably goofy as Castro, who was a strong leader in his own right. Reports at the time of filming state that Palance asked that Castro's "buffoonery" in the script be changed. Apparently that didn't happen. I can imagine that Palance subsequently decided to take revenge by hamming things up, especially since he also stated to the press after filming that he regretted ever being involved in this production.
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