Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Duran
Joe Volpi
Marion Chigwell
Julio Ramos
Betsy Brantley ...
Lise Cutter ...
Vasek Simek ...
Fred Asparagus ...
Baby Hernandez
Mike MacClaney
Roy Forbes
Carmine Caridi ...
Captain Potts


Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Arturo is reported "shot while trying to escape," but Jack manages to get Roberta free again. He can't, however, keep her from continuing to support the revolution. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman who keeps putting herself in harms way and the biggest poker game of his life; between the man he could be and the man he is. Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A gambler who trusted no one. A woman who risked everything. And a passion that brought them together in the most dangerous city in the world.


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and strong language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

14 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Havanna  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)


$9,243,140 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Redford originally wanted Michelle Pfeiffer for the lead role of Bobby Duran but she turned it down. See more »


There was no Santo Domingo in 1959.The Capital city of the Dominican Republic at the time was Ciudad Trujillo. It became Santo Domingo in 1961. See more »


Bobby Duran: How many times have you lost everything Jack?
See more »


One Night
Written by David Bartholomew (as Dave Bartholomew) & Earl King
Performed by Fats Domino
Courtesy of EMI, a Division of Capitol Recordings, Inc.
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

A love story set against one of the sexiest, most dangerous and most glamorous cities in the world…

Jack Weil, played by Robert Redford, feels at home in this corrupt city… He's a professional gambler looking for the game of his life… He played in every Elks Club and Moose Hall in America… He remembers every hand of every game and now he wants a shot, only one shot in Havana…

But while he is on the verge of winning everything Bobby Duran (Lena Olin) has lost all she ever knew… Olin plays the wife of a Cuban revolutionary, Raul Julia… Bobby has nothing to lose or to protect… And in a super-natural and strange way Jack reaches her… And so, as Cuba crumbles Jack is drawn in Bobby's world of the revolutionaries and, in one crucial moment he sees himself he must choose between the greatest card game of his life and the woman he loves…

There's a kind of exotic combination between Redford and Olin's characters… Between Redford's very American, blond, golden look and Olin's dark, intense Swedish expression…

Sydney Pollack's "Havana" is a love story that takes place during the week of Christmas, 1958 which was the last week Batista was in power before Castro came in… It was the last week of this kind of a circus that Havana was… An attractive city full of gambling, of burlesque, of every kind of hedonistic pleasure possible…

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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