The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »
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John G. Avildsen
George C. Scott,
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Gian Maria Volonté,
The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to deal with the same rebels that he built up because they have seized too much power that now threatens British sugar interests. Written by
United Artists rapidly lost faith in the film as the budget spiraled out of control. Much to Pontecorvo's horror, it was re-edited by an editor who specialized in putting trailers together. See more »
Looking through his spyglass, Sir William can see Jose Delores up close. Later, when he hands the glass to a British officer the view is much more distant. Spyglasses of that era (1850s) would have had 3X-6x magnification. The extreme close up view would be impossible. See more »
Sir William Walker:
Gentlemen, let me ask you a question. Now, my metaphor may seem a trifle impertinent, but I think it's very much to the point. Which do you prefer - or should I say, which do you find more convenient - a wife, or one of these mulatto girls? No, no, please don't misunderstand: I am talking strictly in terms of economics. What is the cost of the product? What is the product yield? The product, in this case, being love - uh, purely physical love, since sentiments obviously play no part in ...
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One of the most under-rated films of all time. Marlon Brando is at his best playing the cool, witty Sir William Walker. The film is taut and fast paced. Add to this an intelligent script and beautiful scenery as well as an ironic political story and you have an excellent film. Brando carries the film in his portrayal of Sir William Walker, who is ready to play either side of the political struggle to satisfy his government's (Great Britain) needs. He is equally at ease with the rich upper class plantation owners as with the slave sugar cane cutters allowing him to take advantage of both. Where the film triumphs is in its ironic showing of how colonial powers will stop at nothing to get what they want no matter what the cost. Are the islanders of Queimada any better off as an independent country but relying on the British for trade, or as a colony of Portugal? Hard to say. The sugar cane cutters are no better off that's for sure. The musical score by long time Sergio Leone contributor Ennio Morricone captures very well the senselessness of the revolution as well as the fact that the slaves are just pawns in a much larger and dangerous game.Apparently the actor who plays Jose Dolores was an illiterate sugar cane cutter and had never even seen a film. Even with this handicap, he still manages to give the heroic Jose an air of dignity. It is nice to see a film that does not accept that everything is all right in the world and that such a trivial thing as having sugar for our tea, can have life and death consequences for so many people. A film not to be missed.
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