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 ...
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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
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Everyone thinks that Fidel was the Cuban Revolutionaries military genius! Don't You Believe It! It Was CHE!
Superficial biographical flick about international revolutionary and Castro's second in command Che Guevara, Omar Sharif. The movie gives you the impression that if it wasn't for Che Fidel Castro, Jack Palance, would never have taken over Cuba in what's called the Great Peasant Revolution of 1959. Che, an Argentinian doctor and one-world revolutionary, did in fact land with Castro and his contingent of 82 men off the west coast of Cuba on December 2, 1956.
After being ambushed by Batista's, the Cuban dictator, men only a dozen, including Che & Castro, survived. During the next two years in the Sierra Maestras mountains the dozen revolutionaries grew into the thousands. It was undoubtedly because of the leadership and knowledge of guerrilla tactics and warfare by Che that forced the besieged and defeated Batista to abandon his palace in Havana on New Years Eve 1959 and check out of the country. This left a victorious Castro & Co. to enter the capital city without as much as a shot being fired on New Years Day.
The movie shows how Che became a ruthless and blood-thirsty disciplinarian to the troops. Che as a command-ante is shown without as much as flinching ordering the execution of traitors, many times in the movie doing it himself, that even his leader Fidel didn't have the heart to do. After the Castro take-over of Cuba Che held around the clock military trials and executions of former Batista political and military personal. This even shocked and outraged some of the most battle-hardened Cuban revolutionaries. Che's excuse for his cold-blooded policies was that if he didn't show the people that he was ridding the country of Bitista's war criminals they would do the job for him themselves. This would result in many innocent, far more then those proved guilty by his military tribunals, people ending up being slaughtered by rampaging mindless and vengeful mobs.
The movie "Che" goes on to show that it was Che who gave Fidel Castro the idea of not only declaring himself a Marxist which outraged the United States Government and turned it against him but in establishing diplomatic and military relations with the Soviet Union. This lead to the 1961 fiasco, for the US and Free Cubans, known as "the Bay of Pigs". Were also show that it was Che who planted the idea in Fidel's head to invite the Soviet Union to use Cuba as a base for it's nuclear missiles. This irresponsible action, on Castro and the USSR's part, almost brought the world to the brink of nuclear war in the autumn of 1962.
Feeling betrayed by his friend Fidel and his Soviet allies for backing down to the US during the Cuban Missile Crisis Che, calling Castro a Soviet dupe, decided to leave the safety of Cuba and go out in the dangerous hills and valleys of Bolivia to start a revolution of his own. Since in reality Che left for Bolivia in late 1966 or early 1967 the event, in the movie, of Che's break with Castro,in 1962, seems a bit premature.
In Bolivia Che lost his revolutionary persona as well as his ability to rally peasants, like he did in Cuba ten years earlier, to his aid. Going against his own writings and principles about how a guerrilla/revolutionary war should be fought had Che's men, mostly Bolivian rebels, desert him because of his mindless and brutal tactics to whip up both support and recruits among the peasant population.
The hard life as a guerrilla fighter coupled with his deteriorating asthmatic condition, smoking Cuban cigars didn't help Che's asthma either, took a heavy toll on Che's health. Fate eventually caught up with Che as well as the Bolivian army and on October 9, 1967 in an ambush at the Quebrada del Yuro ravine the life-long revolutionary was shot and captured. Later, on orders from the Bolivian high command, Che was executed as if he were just a common criminal not the man who's name became synonymous with world as well as local revolution over the last thirty five years.
More of a curiosity piece then anything else "Che" has it's share of unintentional laughs. Omar Sharif in many of the battle and strenuous jungle mountain climbing scenes in the movie is heard breathing and wheezing, because of his asthma condition, like someone making an obscene phone-call. The final scene when Che's confronted by an elderly Bolivian peasant berating him about how his guerrilla actions in and around his village have caused his goats to cease from giving milk. The scene looks like something straight out of a Mystery Science 3000 parody of an unintentionally and hilariously funny movie.
Jack Palance as Fidel Castro with his fake plastic nose and acting as if he'd be lost without Che makes the guy, Castro, look like a totally helpless dolt as well as alcoholic buffoon. Castro who seems to drink as many bottles of booze as the cigars that he smokes that it's a wonder that he's still around now; some forty after Che left him to run Cuba on his own!
At the time of the movies release in the spring of 1969 there were plans by many Cuban/Americans to demonstrate in front of the movie-houses that were to be playing "Che". It wasn't until after word of mouth, as well as critics reviews, about how awful the film really was that it was decided that "Che" instead of ingratiating Castro's Cuba was in fact the United States revenge for it's defeat by Castro's army and militia at "the Bay of Pigs"!
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