The funny story of mad but kind and chivalrous elderly nobleman Don Quixote who, aided by his squire Sancho Panza, fights windmills that are seen as dragons to save prostitute Dulcinea who is seen as a noblewoman.

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(musical play), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
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Pedro
...
...
Antonia Quijana
Rosalie Crutchley ...
...
...
Captain of the Guard
Dorothy Sinclair ...
The Innkeeper's Wife
Miriam Acevedo ...
Fermina
Dominic Barto ...
Muleteer (as Dominic Bartó)
Poldo Bendandi ...
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Storyline

This musical version of Don Quixote is framed by an incident allegedly from the life of its author, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote is the mad, aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his adventures. Backed by his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, he duels windmills and defends his perfect lady Dulcinea (who is actually a downtrodden whore named Aldonza). Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rarely does the motion picture bring to the screen all the warmth, adventure and great music you've been waiting for. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 1973 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre de La Mancha  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected as one of the Ten Best Films of 1972 by the National Board of Review. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the brawl with the Muleteers, Aldonza goes from standing right next to Pedro to far behind him and back throughout the scene. She also appears to be moving toward him in two separate shots. See more »

Quotes

Aldonza: Alright! He's a man, isn't he! He wants what every other man wants!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, we see the animated sails of a windmill, which, with each turn, begin to reveal, and finally become, a sketch of the face of Don Quixote. The camera moves in for an extreme closeup of the facial features, which, as the camera gets close, reveal themselves to be a giant prop in an outdoor stage presentation during a festival. As the opening credits end, the sketch of that prop dissolves into the real item. See more »

Connections

Version of Aventuras de D. Quixote (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

The Impossible Dream
Music by Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by Joe Darion
Sung by Simon Gilbert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

maligned and misunderstood

Bringing big Broadway musicals to the screen has always posed tremendous problems for film makers. The results have by and large been unsatisfactory, with few exceptions. The late 60's brought us "Camelot", (67),"Hello Dolly" (69) and "Fiddler on the Roof" (71), all films adhering to the unquestioned rule that bigger is better, be it casts, sets and orchestrations. All three were overblown bores. Arthur Hiller's concept for "Man of La Mancha" is clearly the antithesis of what had become expected of the musical on film. He decided to use the film media not as a device for augmentation in a broad sense, but rather to focus in on the characters and bring them as close to the audience as possible using naturally many close-ups. They are the crux of the film; not massive sets, huge choruses or dazzling choreography. "Man of la Mancha" boasts two fine songs; the rest are pretty mediocre, which justifies Hiller's keeping the music as a device to serve the characters and not the other way around. From the very start with the credits appearing, the audience is geared up for one of those massively orchestrated rousing overtures. Yet, what we are offered is an underscored, almost chamber music style overture setting the tone for the entire film. The message as with chamber music is clear; the focus is on the content, not the trappings.

The critics by and large hated the film. Maltin in particular is uncharacteristically savage in his criticism. They simply were not prepared to accept an unorthodox approach to a huge Broadway success. While "Dolly", "Camelot" and "Fiddler" tend to be almost impossible viewing today, "Man of La Mancha" remains astonishingly fresh, very much vindicating Hiller's concept of this much maligned and misunderstood movie.

Being so focused on character, the films success would lie with its principal players. O'Toole gives a bravura performance, one of his finest, while Loren too, is perfect in her role. Sure the soundtrack is not one to listen to in the way one would a Broadway musical. But both O'Toole's and Loren's shaky vocals are in perfect sync with the fragility of their characters and hence very human and very moving. If more Broadway musicals had been brought to the screen with such a clear concept as was "La Mancha", the movie musical may have enjoyed far greater success.


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Recent Posts
Do a Better Verson of Man of La Mancha skywalker1008
This definitely needs a remake. tom_amity
Broadway was better, I bet. grouping
Do you sing the songs in public? crimson-crow
Peter O'Toole didn't sing!! :-( anthonyinaction
Broadway Cast Recordings? mr_peabody_70
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