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
Omar Sharif and Jack Palance would reunite two years later for John Frankenheimer's " The Horsemen ". See more »
San Juan, Puerto Rico, served as the setting for the Communists' triumphal entry into Havana. In one scene you can see a street identified as Calle Federico Degetau (Federico Degetau Street). Degetau was a Puerto Rican politician and writer, and therefore not someone likely to have a street named in his honor in Havana. 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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With more than it's fair share of wooden acting 'Che!' seems doomed from the word go.
Omar Shariff attempts to breathe life into his overtly asthmatic portrayal of the revolutionary icon, Ernesto Che Guevaro, but is held back by the sheer lack of factual references. Jack Palance portrays Fidel Castro, in a manner that could almost have been written by the US government, as a man not able to fully think things through for himself. The film portrays the July 26th movement as an inept band of unwashed desperados who want to take over Cuba, but with only sheer luck, & government ineptitude, helping them to ultimately win through.
Covering the period of time from Che's first arrival on Cuban soil in 1956 until his Bolivian death in 1967, 'Che!' struggles with both poor screenplay and locations, but still trys to maintain a sense of purpose throughout. It could have been so much better. The political oppression that led to the overthrow of the Batista regime is totally glossed over & the rebels life, in the Sierra Madre, is portrayed as almost luxurious with Batista's troops wandering around waiting to be shot. Constant monologues, as a means to link scenes, prove to be more irritating than useful, and you find yourself wishing for the what little action there is to resume.
The film truly dies when Guevara leaves Cuba for Bolivia, with Shariff becoming more asthmatic and psychotic by the minute, until his ultimate capture in the mountains and his eventual murder in the backroom of La Higuera's village schoolhouse.
Any half decent film director would probably relish the chance to make a bio-pic of the legend that is Che Guevara. Che is an icon who deserves to have a film biography worthy of his legend, in the same manner of the bio-pics of Chaplin, Gandhi, Biko, Morrison etc.
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